New EASA Drone Regulations
DR 2019/945 | IR 2019/947
– FULLY UPDATED –
Although, they have been in force since their publication in 2019, it is not until this year 2020 that their progressive application begins.
Initially, the first changes were planned for July 1st, but the situation caused by the health crisis of COVID-19, has forced to delay the time, as has happened with all activity worldwide.
After months of rumours, we now have available the new Implementing Regulation 2020/746, which modifies the dates indicated in SR 2019/947, and sets new deadlines adapted to the current situation.
Thus, the timetable for the implementation of the new European Regulation on UAS, updated with the latest news, is as follows:
EASA has indicated that the new European regulatory framework applies to all UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems), whether autonomous or remotely piloted, and regardless of their mass or use.
What is noteworthy is that drones and military personnel, search and rescue, police, customs and border control agents, firefighters, coastguards and other security forces and various authorities are exempt.
As we have indicated previously, two new documents must be dealt with:
Let’s see below, in a detailed way, what each one of them consists of and what interesting novelties they bring to the drone sector.
From the application of the Delegated Regulation 2019/945, the technical requirements and specifications that must be incorporated, in a mandatory way, by the drones destined to the operations under open category (that we will see later) are standardized.
The systems, applications and accessories accompanying the drone are included. Also, the safety information that the aircraft must detail in the manuals.
Even so, the most important novelty introduced by Reg. 2019/945 is the implementation of a new and much more precise classification of drones, according to their MTOM or maximum take-off mass.
This classification will serve to define the specifications that each model must include to guarantee the safety of use.
One of the requirements for the new drones to be marketed, according to Reg. 2019/945, is a new real-time in-flight emission system. The drone’s emission will respond to a specific protocol that it will include:
Besides, the drone must include a manual for the correct installation and configuration of this system; this will serve for the accurate identification and monitoring of the operation by the competent authority.
The new EASA drone Regulations also introduces a broader concept of geographical areas where drone operations can be expressly permitted, restricted or excluded.
It helps to control and avoid risks to public safety, privacy and data protection, and environmental risks.
In these geographical areas, the Member States of the European Union may:
Of the two new regulations, the one that interests us most, both pilots and operators, is the one that regulates their use, the 2019/947 Implementing Regulation. From now on, three different operational categories are established, according to the level of risk of the operation itself.
Thus, the classification will be as follows: open category for low-risk procedures; specific category for medium risk; and certified category for flights presenting a high level of risk.
It also recalls that you will have to take account of IR 2020/746 of 4 June, which modifies the paragraph on the dates of IR 2019/947, in order to adapt it to the new international context on the occasion of COVID-19.
This operational category includes low-risk flights for which no prior authorisation or declaration by the operator is required.
The explicit prohibitions for the open category are:
Furthermore, open category establishes a certain number of requirements to be met:
Besides, three different subcategories are established based on operational limitations, requirements to pilots and technical requirements of the UAS.
For drones of less than 250 g, of private construction before the standard, or of type C0 and C1, which fly over people not involved in the operation, it is established that it is necessary to know the aircraft manual.
Besides, for type C1, it will be necessary to take an online training course and pass a theoretical exam, also online.
This subcategory is established for C2 type drones, i.e. weighing less than 4 kg and incorporating the e-ID, low-speed and geo-awareness systems). The flight is allowed near people outside the operation, provided that a safety distance of 5-30 meters is maintained.
For this purpose, it will be necessary to know the drone manual and to have a certificate of competence, obtained through training and theoretical-practical examination.
For privately built or pre-standard drones under 25 kg, operations will be allowed in areas away from residential, recreational, industrial or commercial areas, within a minimum of 150 meters.
The requirements will be the knowledge of the user’s manual and the completion of an online course with its respective exam.
The new EASA drone Regulations dictates that the specific category applies to operations that do not fit into the open category, for risk reasons:
Additionally, the following conditions must be met:
Also, if NOT flying in the standard scenarios, which are specified below, the drone operator must own an operational license.
In the following scheme, you can see the applicable operational requirements, according to the nature of each operation.
The general requirements for operations within the certified category are:
The detailed rules concerning the certified category are still being developed by the EU.
As we have defined previously, there are periods of implementation of the new European regulatory framework. Therefore, all the above changes will be implemented progressively in response to the need for adaptation in the sector.
Until that time, Royal Decree 1036/2017, which regulates the use of drones in Spain, will remain in force. Also, national regulations will be applied in the transition periods contemplated in the new European Regulation and operational situations not covered by it.
As usual, at Grupo One Air, we are up to date with all the news on current regulations to inform you of everything you need to know to fly your drone with maximum safety.