CAA EASA Categories

Open Category – A1 – fly ‘over’ people

A1 (fly ‘over’ people) – Operations in subcategory A1 can only be conducted with unmanned aircraft that present a very low risk of harm or injury to other people due to their low weight (less than

This is for a C0 class drone or you can fly with no intentional flight over uninvolved persons with a C1 class drone. 250g), their type of construction, or because they are a ‘toy2 ’ (i.e. they are ‘inherently harmless’). However, flight over open-air assemblies of people is not permitted.

C0 (toys) are toys that have a MTOM of no more than 250g.

▪ are less than 250g maximum take-off mass

are unable to be flown more than 120m (400ft) from the controlling device

The drones and types of operations have been deemed to present a very low risk of harm or injury to other people due to their low weight, type of construction or have been deemed ‘inherently harmless’. However, flight over open-air assemblies of people is not permitted.

There is also a C0 (not a toy)which is effectively an Unmanned Aircraft System with a MTOM of no more than 250g but is fitted with a camera (or sensor). The same standards apply as above, however, to fly this Unmanned Aircraft System in this subcategory you will have to complete the DMARES (Drone and Model Unmanned Aircraft System Education Service) to get your Flyer ID and affix an Operator ID to the Unmanned Aircraft System.

With any C0 Unmanned Aircraft System, you can overfly people as long as it is not over an assembly of people. Examples of an assembly of people are: sport, cultural, religious or political events; beaches or parks on a sunny day; commercial streets during the opening hours of the shops; and ski resorts/tracks/lanes.

These limitations are designed to minimise risk by avoiding circumstances where people are unable to move out of the way of the drone if it goes out of control.

DJI Mavic Mini is a C0 Transitional Aircraft – overflight of uninvolved people permitted but not crowds or events etc

C1 Unmanned Aircraft System

C1 are Unmanned Aircraft System that are less than 900g MTOM or have no more than 80 joules of kinetic energy to a human head on impact. They also must not fly more than 19m/s(42.5 mph), needs a remote ID, will have noise limitations and geo-awareness.

You can also fly home or privately built Unmanned Aircraft Systemin the A1 category if the MTOM is less than 250g and flies no more than 19 m/s. 

To fly a C1 Unmanned Aircraft System in the A1 subcategory you will have to complete the DMARES (Drone and Model Unmanned Aircraft System Education Service) to get your Flyer ID and affix an Operator ID to the Unmanned Aircraft System

Privately built – less than 250g and max speed less than 19 m/s

If you have a self built Unmanned Aircraft System that has less than a 250g Maximum Take Off Mass then you can fly over uninvolved people, but not over crowds at sport events, bus stops etc.  If your privately built Unmanned Aircraft System has a camera on it, you will need to get an Operator ID and affix it to the Unmanned Aircraft System.

FLY your ‘legacy’ sub 500g aircraft in the Open Category A1 (Transitional Period) until 2022, after which you will need to purchase and fly a C1 class aircraft. You may not fly overhead uninvolved people. UAS in this weight Class; Parrot Anafi, DJI Spark, DJI Mavic Air v1

The EU UAS Regulation Package – Outline

  • If a class C0 or C1 aircraft has its ‘follow-memode activated, it may be flown up to a distance of 50m from the remote pilot, even if this means that the aircraft is no longer within visual line of sight

Open Category – A2 – close to people

The A2 subcategory will allow you to fly closer to people if you hold an A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC) in the UKand are flying a C2 class Unmanned Aircraft System.

You’ll be able to fly down to 30m of uninvolved people, or down to 5m if the Unmanned Aircraft System has been switched to a low-speed mode.

The only Unmanned Aircraft System you can fly in this category with the CofC is the C2 class Unmanned Aircraft System which is Unmanned Aircraft System with a Maximum Take Off Mass of no more than 4 kg.

C2 Unmanned Aircraft System

C2 class Unmanned Aircraft System need to have less than a 4 kg Maximum Take Off Mass, be ‘safely made’ as determined by EU manufacturer standards, it needs noise limitations, a remote IDand a form of geo awareness.

It also needs a low-speed modewhich limits the maximum speed of the Unmanned Aircraft System to 3 m/s (approx 6.7 mph).

Please note:There are currently NO EXAMPLES of a C2 class Unmanned Aircraft System on the market at the time of publishing this web page.

In the transitional period an Unmanned Aircraft System with a mass of less than 2kg will be able to be operated in subcategory A2, as if it was a class C2 device, but only down to a minimum horizontal distance of 50m from people. In addition, the remote pilot will be required to have been tested to a competency level that is at least equivalent to that required for operation within the A2 subcategory (i.e. the ‘A2 CofC).

A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC)

To get theA2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC)that will allow you to fly C2 class Unmanned Aircraft Systemdown to 30m, or 5m in a low-speed mode, you firstly need to do the DMARES online examination to get the basic RP competency, and then you will need to take an additional theory test with an RAE(Recognised Assessment Entity).

Please note: RAE is what NQE’s (Nationally Qualified Entities) will transition over to teach A2 CofC courses and General Visual Line of Sight (GVC) courses.

This will mean learning a syllabus and then sitting a 30 question closed book examinationwhich you will have a minimum of 75 minutes to complete.

There is no practical flight test or operations manualrequired as part of the course, however, the student will need to have completeda period of practical flight training, either under the guidance of an RAEor under self-monitored circumstances.

The student must declare in writing that they have completed the DMARES and flight training before taking the A2 CofC written examination.

As soon as you pass the written exam and the CAA implements the regulation you’ll be instantly qualified to fly in the A2 category with a C2 Unmanned Aircraft System without having to apply to the CAA.

You need to be aware that you will still have to log all flights and keep flight records (we provide flight logging forms), should you have an incident or accident you’ll be investigated by the CAA. So you will still need to do Risk Assessments which we will provide templates to follow.

Your qualification lasts for 5 years, after which you’ll have to renewit.

Open Category – A3 – far from people

The last subcategory in the Open category is the A3 which is where you must not fly within 150m of residential, commercial, industrial, or recreational areasand no uninvolved people must be present within the area of flight. This is where all legacy UAS will have to be flown in the future (around 2022) if they do not have a C Rating.

This subcategory applies to C3 and C4 Unmanned Aircraft System.

C3 Unmanned Aircraft System

C3 class Unmanned Aircraft System must comply to the Delegated Regulation standards (EU manufacturing standards) which include that the Unmanned Aircraft System must have a MTOM of less than 25kg, a remote IDand must have geo awareness.

To fly a C3 Unmanned Aircraft System in the A3 subcategory you will have to complete the CAA UK DMARES (Drone and Model Unmanned Aircraft System Education Service) to get your Flyer ID and affix an Operator ID to the Unmanned Aircraft System

C4 Unmanned Aircraft System

C4 class again must comply to the EASA delegated regulation standards, be less than 25kg MTOM but are basically traditional model Unmanned Aircraft System with no automation.

To fly a C4 Unmanned Aircraft System in the A3 subcategory you will have to of completed the DMARES (Drone and Model Unmanned Aircraft System Education Service) to get your Flyer ID and affix an Operator ID to the Unmanned Aircraft System.

Please note: You can also fly home built or privately built Unmanned Aircraft System that are less than 25kg MTOM in the A3 subcategory