New European Drone Regulation as laid out by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) comes into effect today in the UK, all EU member states, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
These new rules are designed to offer a harmonised framework across most European countries and will help drone pilots to operate their drones in different territories on the same conditions as in their home country regardless of recreational or commercial purposes.
This is designed to effectively improve flight safety, simplify user approval procedures, facilitate users’ personal and business applications, enhance user experience, and support rapid business development.
The world’s largest drone manufacturer, DJI, has urged operators to embrace the new framework.
“We welcome the new EU Drone Regulation as it streamlines different processes and allows DJI customers to travel from country to country without having to worry about different rules in different foreign locations,” said Christian Struwe, Director of Public Policy at DJI EMEA. “Striking a balance between the need to harmonise regulation of the safe use of drone technology and allowing our customers to benefit freely from its growing potential has always been of paramount importance for DJI in Europe.”
The new regulation distinguishes between low-, medium- and high-risk categories with different requirements for products and operators.
The most widely used category will be the Open Category (low risk) which will be managed through the so-called CE (Conformité Européenne/European Conformity) marking process which is an established process for products sold in Europe to ensure they meet safety, health and environmental protection requirements.
In addition to already existing CE marking, the new CE class identification labels for drones will define, amongst others, which types of drones (categorized by weight), can be flown in which type of environment (over people – A1 environment, near people – A2 environment or away from people – A3 environment).