EU adopted a risk-based approach, and as such, do not distinguish between leisure or commercial civil drone activities. What they consider is the weight and the specifications of the civil drone and the operation it is intended to conduct. It defines three categories of civil drone operations: the ‘open’, the ‘specific’ and the ‘certified’ category.
The EU regulatory framework::
Standards will complement this regulatory framework:
In recent years, the need for a UAS traffic management system (UTM) emerged in many parts of the world. This system will enable the safe operation of a large number of drones at low-altitude (especially in urban areas) as the ATM ensures the safety of aircraft operations at high altitude. The Commission, EASA and SESAR Joint Undertaking are working the development of a UTM concept for Europe, called U-Space. In order to support the development of the U-Space, the Commission has established European Network of U-space Demonstrators.
Commission implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/664 on a regulatory framework for the U-space was adopted of 22 April 2021.
EU common rules
From 1st July 2019, the EU has common rules on drones and they replaced the previous national ones last 1st July 2020.
A - Are you a drone operator?
In this case you need to register in the country where you live or where have your principal place of business. You should refer to the list of NAAs’ drone website references by country at "Drones - National Aviation Authorities" for more details.
Then, your product will be associated with one of the safety categories listed by EASA (the European Union Aviation Safety Agency) and which you will find below.
B - Are you a drone user?
Your purchase will respond to a business or leisure need. In both cases you will need to know which safety category your purchase corresponds to and the rules and standards you will have to comply with.
Lower-risk civil drone operations in , where safety is ensured provided the civil drone operator complies with the relevant requirements for its intended operation. This category is subdivided into three subcategories, namely A1, A2 and A3. Operational risks in the ‘open’ category are considered low and, therefore, no operational authorisation is required before starting a flight.
Medium-risk civil drone operations, where safety is ensured by the drone operator by obtaining an operational authorisation from the national competent authority before starting the operation. To obtain the operational authorisation, the drone operator is required to conduct a risk assessment, which will determine the requirements necessary for the safe operation of the civil drone(s).
High-risk civil drone operations, where the certification of the drone operator and its drone, as well as the licensing of the remote pilot(s), is always required to ensure safety. Operational authorisation from the national competent authority
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