The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published a new set of rules following the trend with Australia and the US regulating drones recently as well. In less than a year, there have been 7 drone related incidents reported in Europe of drones flying too close to planes at various airports. Various European aviation associations called for mandatory registration of all drones during point of purchase or resale.
EASA has released a commission regulation on UAV operations. The document, called the “prototype” regulates drones into three different categories:
- Open – low risk that do not need prior permission to fly
- Specific – medium risk that requires authorisation by a national aviation authority
- Certified – military drones
The category you’re probably most interested in is the open category. This category includes the DIY drone flyers and hobbyists.
To fly a drone in the A1-A3 category you must register with your relevant aviation authority e.g. CAA in the UK. Every model aircraft will also need to be registered with a kind of mini transponder which is going to be extremely tedious and expensive.
By these regulations it looks like a majority of racing quads and privately built drones due to weight restrictions.
These changes have come as a shock to the hobbyist community as this document doesn’t differentiate between unmanned drones and model aircraft (a huge separate part of the hobby). EASA has stated they cannot differentiate between the two and so both will be treated the same.
If you’re in the UK or the EU and want to block or change the Commission Regulation on Unmanned Aircraft Operations you can sign a petition and get heard.
Written by BlueWren