As of January 2021, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has implemented new regulations on drone management across the European Union (including all 27 EU-members, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The goal is to provide a unified rule structure for drones operating in these countries. Previously, the drone management scenario in the EU was highly fragmented, with each country adhering to its own rules and regulations. Experts believe that this unified model will streamline the regulation process by making drone operations easier and safer for everyone.
New classification of drones
The new regulations stipulate that all drones must be classified under three categories: Open, Specific, and Certified. Along with the risk factors, these categories give prevalence to the weight, certification, qualification of the operator, and operational features. For a smooth transition, EASA has decided to use the “Limited Open Category” for the next two years, giving users ample time to get familiar with the new policies. During this transition period, leisure drone operations should ideally fall in this category.