EASA Drone Regulations for 2024

DR 2019/945 | IR 2019/947

As we told you in the post about Spanish drone laws, during this year, there are many novelties concerning the use of drones, as well as their design and manufacture by the different drone brands.

The new EASA drone Regulations aims to standardize the different regulations of the Member States and to regulate the civil use of drones regardless of their size or weight.

In this way, it will be possible to provide a common regulatory framework that covers all possible operational scenarios, and which is in line with current technological reality.

As we shall see below, the new EASA drone regulations establishes significant differences concerning current Spanish regulations, especially in the requirements for training drone pilots, the process of registering new operators and the technical features that the aircraft must have to obtain EC certification.

When is the EASA drone Regulations
2019/947 and 2019/945 applied?

Although, they had been in force since their publication in 2019, it is not until the year 2020 that their progressive application have begun.

Initially, the first changes were planned for July 1st, 2021, but the situation caused by the health crisis of COVID-19, forced to delay the time, as it happened with all activity worldwide.

The Implementing Regulation 2020/746, modified the dates indicated in SR 2019/947, and set new deadlines adapted to the situation.

Thus, the timetable for the implementation of the new European Regulation on UAS, updated with the latest news, is as follows:

December 31st 2020

  • The partial application of Regulation EU 2019/947 begins.
  • European Registry of Operators (AESA registration and European EASA repository).

January 1st 2022

  • The Spanish regulations are no longer in force.
  • Deadline for the operators’ registry and pilot certification conversion to the standard established by the new EASA drone regulations.

January 1st 2023

  • Deadline for carrying out UAS operations in clubs and model airplane associations under national regulations

January 1st 2024

  • Only CE marked drones may be sold.
  • Electronic ID mandatory in Open Category (with Class C1, C2 and C3 markings) and Specific Category.
  • European standard scenarios STS-01 and STS-02. On 30 August 2024, operators will no longer be able to submit STS-ES declarations of conformity.

    We tell you about the process for converting AESA drone certificates.


Who is affected by the new EASA drone Regulation?

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.

What do these new European regulations consist of?

As we have indicated previously, two new documents must be dealt with:

  • Delegated Regulation 2019/945 of 12 March 2019, aimed at regulating the requirements and specifications of UAS manufacturers (Unmanned Aircraft Systems or drones).
  • Implementing Regulation 2019/947, of 24 May 2019, which regulates the use of UAS by operators and pilots of drones, whether recreational or professional.
  • Implementing Regulation 2020/746, of 4 June 2020, amending the implementation dates indicated in IR 2019/947 to take account of COVID-19 context.

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.

Delegated Regulation 2019/945
on UAS systems

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.

A new classification of UAS according to weight

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.

  • C0: MTOM < 250 g
  • C1: MTOM < 900 g
  • C2: MTOM < 4 kg
  • C3: MTOM < 25 kg (check other requirements).
  • C4: MTOM < 25 kg (check other requirements).
  • C5: MTOM < 25 kg (check other requirements).
  • C6: MTOM < 25 kg (check other requirements).

Direct Electronic
Remote ID

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:

  • Operator’s registration number.
  • UAS serial number.
  • Geographical position and height above the ground.
  • Direction and speed of the UAS.
  • Take-off coordinates.

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.

Online Registration


  • All drones whose design is subject to certification according to ICAO Annex 7 must be registered (in addition to nationality and registration).


  • In all certified and specific category operations.
  • In the open category: Drones of more than 250 g, and those that incorporate cameras or other sensors and are not considered toys.

UAS Geographical Areas

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:

  • Prohibit certain or all operations.
  • Require specific authorisation or require certain conditions.
  • Restrict flying to certain types of aircraft.
  • Introduce specific environmental regulations.
  • Allow the flight of drones incorporating certain intelligent systems or specific functionalities.
  • Modify the general requirements to operate in the open category.
  • Self-built drones will also be governed by the new EASA regulations.

Implementing Regulation 2019/947
on the use of UAS

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:

  • The overflight of groups of persons.
  • The carriage or dumping of dangerous materials or goods.
  • Autonomous operations.

Furthermore, open category establishes a certain number of requirements to be met:

  • The pilot must be at least 16 years old (it is possible to carry out the flight under the direct supervision of a remote pilot who meets the applicable requirements).
  • Registration of the UAS operator (exceptions may apply).
  • Pass a theoretical online training and examination (online training and examination for subcategories A1 and A3; classroom examination for subcategory A2).
  • Always keep the UAS in the line of sight (the ‘First Person View’ and ‘Follow-me’ flight modes can be considered under certain conditions as VLOS).
  • The maximum height of the operation is 120 meters.
  • The maximum take-off weight of the drone is 25 kg and, in addition, it must be marked according to the applicable requirements.

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:

  • BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) flights.
  • Operations over 120 meters high.
  • Drones over 25 kg.
  • Urban flights with drones over 4 kg or without EC certification.
  • Material dumping.
  • Flight over crowds of people, etc.

Additionally, the following conditions must be met:

  • The pilot must be at least 16 years old.
  • The registration of the UAS operator is compulsory.
  • A Specific Operations Risk Assessment performed by the UAS operator is required before applying to EASA.

Also, if NOT flying in the standard scenarios, which are specified below, the drone operator must own an operational license.

  • STS-01: VLOS operations in a controlled land area in a urban environment with class C5 drones (UAS).
  • STS-02: BVLOS operations in a controlled land area in a sparsely populated environment with class C6 drones.

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:

  • Drones certified under the Delegated Regulation EU 2019/945.
  • When flying over people with a UAS with a wingspan of more than 3 metres.
  • When flying over crowds of people; transporting dangerous goods with high risk in case of an accident; or when it involves the transport of people.
  • If the SORA submitted indicates the need for certification of the UAS the operator and the obtaining of the relevant pilot’s license.

The detailed rules concerning the certified category are still being developed by the EU.

With the European Regulation on drones, what about Spanish regulations?

As defined above, there are implementation periods for the new European regulation. Therefore, all the changes described above have been implemented gradually. In fact, since 2019 there has been a transition period during which the old legislation coexists with the new. In 2024, we are already experiencing the final stage of this transition.
Until this year, Royal Decree 1036/2017, which regulates the use of drones in Spain, remains in force. Furthermore, as we have already mentioned, it will still be possible to submit declarations of conformity to the STS-ES until 30 August 2024. But be careful, from that date on, only operational declarations based on the European scenarios, STS-01 and STS-02, can be submitted.

It is also important to clarify that although European legislation aims to bring all EU Member States under the same regulatory framework, countries will still have discretion in some areas, such as the designation of UAS zones.

As always, we at One Air will keep you up to date with the latest regulations, so that you have everything you need to know to fly your drone with maximum safety. In the meantime, we recommend you read this article about DroneMask, a product that has revolutionised FPV flying.

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