French regulator publishes updated guide to UAS operations in the Specific Category

The French Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGAC) has published Version 1.5 of its guide to operations of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in the Specific Category in France.

The guide presents the main safety principles and rules for operating an aircraft (UAS) in the Specific Category introduced by the European regulations and applies to professional use of these aircraft in France.

The purpose of the guide is to present all the applicable requirements, whether they come under national or European regulations. It concerns any person or organisation involved in

the design, manufacture, use or maintenance of a civil UAV used in the

Specific Category. It specifies the obligations incumbent on these persons and organisations as well as the various formalities they are required to complete. It explains:

– Why it is important to follow the rules for using a UAS;

– What the rules for using a UAS are, and what type of UAS for what purpose;

– What are the differences with the old national rules (specific activities, S1, S2

activities, S1, S2, S3, S4 scenarios, experiments) and how to continue to fly your UAS;

– What steps to take before your first flight;

– How to train and how to register;

– What to check before any UAS flight and during the flights.

The European regulation applicable to UAS mainly consists of two regulations:

– Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 of 12 March 2019 on unmanned aircraft systems and third country operators of unmanned aircraft systems;

– Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 of 24 May 2019 on rules and procedures for the operation of unmanned aircraft.

Regulation 2019/945 entered into force on 1 July 2019 with immediate application. The technical standards that are to be used to declare compliance with this regulation have been published in draft form. The first ones were only formalised at the end of 2021 and others are to follow.

Regulation 2019/947 is applicable from 31 December 2020. However, some requirements defined by the existing national regulations continue to be applicable with some provisions will only become applicable at a later stage

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