All remotes pilots required t be trained according to EASA standards?
Yes, in general, you need to have training that is proportionate to the category of drone you are going to operate.
Training is not required only if you are using very light drones:
1. if the drone bears a CE class mark 0, you only must be familiar with the manufacturer’s instructions; or
2. b. with privately built drones with a weight less than 250g, you are not required to undergo any training.
However, all other remote pilots must undergo the required training.
This means that, in the ‘open’ category, all remote pilots flying in subcategories A1, A2 and A3 are required to:
1. be familiar with the manufacturer’s manual.
2. complete an online training course provided by the National Aviation Authority (please consult their website); and
3. successfully complete an online theoretical knowledge examination (provided at the end of the online training) before they can fly the drone.
The test consists of 40 multiple choice questions testing your knowledge as a pilot.
Once completed will issue a certificate of completion of the online training. It enables you to fly in the in A1 and A3 subcategories.
However, if you intend to operate in A2 subcategory, you must in addition to the above:
1. Complete and declare the completion of self-practical training in order to familiarize yourself with the drone and ensure you reach a good level of control. This must be conducted in an area where you do not pose a risk to other people; and
2. Undergo an additional theoretical knowledge examination that will be provided in a facility identified by the Greek l Aviation Authority;
The test consists of 30 multiple choice questions testing the pilot’s knowledge on mitigation of ground risks, meteorology and the drone’s flight performance
On completion, the Greek Aviation Authority issues a ‘certificate of remote pilot competency’. With this certificate, you can fly in the A2 subcategory.
Regulatory reference: UAS.OPEN.030 Annex Part A of EU regulation 2019/947.
What are the responsibilities of Drone operator in Open category?
As a drone operator flying in the ’open’ category, you must:
• ensure that the drone displays the drone operator registration number (e.g. with a sticker) and the same number is uploaded into the remote identification;
• develop operational procedures (written procedures are required when the drone operator employs more than one remote pilot, otherwise it is enough that the remote pilot follows the procedures defined by the manufacturer in the user’s manual);
• ensure that there is no radio interference that may affect the command and control link of the drone;
• designate a remote pilot for each operation; it is important that it is clear who is the person responsible for each flight;
• ensure that the remote pilot and the personnel supporting the operation of the drone are familiar with the user’s manual and with the drone operator’s procedures, have appropriate competency, and are provided with the relevant information concerning any geographical zones published by the MS;
• ensure that the maps in the geo-awareness system of the drone are up to date, unless you are flying in a geographical zone where geo-awareness is not required;
• ensure that, unless you are using a privately built drone, it has a declaration in conformity to the CE class mark and its class label (0 to 4) is affixed to the aircraft; and
• ensure that the persons involved in the operation of the drone is aware of the risks involved in operations under subcategories A2 and A3.
Regulatory reference: UAS.OPEN.050 under Annex 1 and art.19 (2)
What are the responsibilities of Drone operator in Open category
As a remote pilot you must:
Before the flight:
• complete the training and examination required for the type of operation you will be involved in;
• have relevant up-to-date information about any geographical zones published by the National Aviation Authority;
• check for obstacles and the presence of people not involved in the operation of the drone (unless operating in the A1 subcategory with a privately built drone or a drone with a CE class 0 mark;
• check that the drone is fit for flight and the operation it will undertake;
• check that the remote control works properly (if applicable); and
• ensure that the weight of the drone is within the limit of the category or subcategory of the intended operation.
During the flight in the ’open’ category, you must:
• not operate the drone when you are unfit either due to the consumption of psychoactive/ hallucinogenic substances or alcohol, or unfit due to sickness;
• keep the drone at a distance such that you can clearly see it; you may use a UA observer to scan the airspace when you want to fly in first person view. UA observers must be located alongside you such that they can immediately communicate in case they see an obstacle and give you instructions such as to immediately land the drone.
• if you or the UA observer see a manned aircraft, give way to it, and make sure you are far away from it. If you have any doubt about the operation, you should land the drone immediately.
• comply with the limitation of the geographical zones;
• operate the drone according to the manufacturer’s user manual;
• comply with the operator’s procedure; and
• do not operate where an emergency response service is ongoing (e.g. in the case of an accident, keep away from that location since an emergency helicopter may be required to be used);
Regulatory reference: UAS.OPEN.060 under Annex part A EU regulation 2019/947.
I am into Drone Racing and/or flying drones with goggles (FPV) As a drone racer, which category and subcategory of operation do I fall under?
-Normally drone races are organized by clubs and associations. In such cases, they may have received operational authorizations from their National Aviation Authorities in accordance with Article 16 of Regulation (EU) 2019/947, which also covers the organization of such events. If, instead, you want to conduct a race that is not within a club or association and with no spectators (in this context meaning uninvolved persons, see the definition above) present, you will fall under the ‘open’ category and you can operate under subcategory A3.
Is flying with goggles (first person view) authorized in the ‘open’ category?
– The Regulation allows you to fly without keeping direct eye contact with the drone, provided you have a person next to you, a UA observer, keeping direct visual contact with the drone, scanning the airspace to make sure that you do not endanger other parties (e.g. aircraft or buildings or persons). The UA observer must be located alongside you so they can immediately communicate with you in case they see an obstacle, and give you instructions, such as to immediately land the drone.
I am a Non-EU resident visiting Europe and I plan to fly my drone in the ‘open’ category, do I need to register?
– All drone operations conducted in the EASA Member States must comply with the Drone Regulation, no matter what the nationality of the operator or remote pilot is. Therefore, as a non-EU resident, you are also required to register with the National Aviation Authority of the first EU country where you intend to operate. You will then be issued with a ‘drone operator registration number’ that needs to be displayed with a sticker on all the drones you own. You must also upload it into the ‘remote identification system’ of your drone(s). Once registered in the host country, the drone operator’s
registration will be valid across Europe and the operator will be required to follow all the provisions of the Drone Regulation.
As a non-EU resident, are my competencies for the ‘open’ category recognized in the EU?
-Given that there is not yet any mutual recognition established between EASA and other countries, in the domain of drones, the training or qualification obtained in your country of residence will not be accepted in the EU. Therefore, you will have to undergo the required training before you can fly your drone. In the meantime, other nations may develop regulations that may be considered by the EU commission as equivalent to those in Europe. Information on future recognition will be published on the EU Commission website as soon as it is finalized.
View plan to provide services (commercial and other) with drones How do I determine which category I can operate under, ‘open’ or ’specific’?
– You can operate your services whether commercial or not, under the ‘open’ category, if you meet all the requirements defined for the ‘open’ category.