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Which Drone Course to Choose?

In December 2020, standardised drone rules across Europe were introduced. These new drone laws have been added to ensure the safe operation of UAS (drones) in the air.


This means that as of December 31, 2020, your first step you need to take as a drone operator is to register in the country where you live or where have your principal place of business.


There are 3 types of training available. Below we will explain each training and what they cover.

The 3 types of training are: Open Category, Specific Category and the Certified Category



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The Open Category


The Open category addresses the lower-risk civil drone operations in, where safety is ensured provided the civil drone operator complies with the relevant requirements for its intended operation.


The Open Category is subdivided into three subcategories: A1, A2 and A3. Given the low level of risk, a declaration by the drone operator is not required. The drone’s total takeoff mass must be less than 25kg, and it must be operated within a visual line of sight at a maximum altitude of 120m.


A1 & A3 Open Category: This category is suitable for any drone pilot who flies drones of 250g- 25 kilos in the open category. With the EU Drone License, you can fly in the EU, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway.


A1 Restrictions

- You cannot fly over uninvolved people

- Also no drone operation over assemblies of people


A3 Restrictions:

- You cannot fly near or over people

- You must operate the drone at least 150 metres awa from residential, commercial or industrial places



A2 Open Category:

The Open A2 Category permits a remote Pilot with a drone weighing 500g to 2kg fly as close as 50m from uninvolved people, fly as close as 30m for those using EU Class C2 drones. What's more, in this category you can fly up to 120metres above ground and as far as 300 metres within the visual line of sight (VLOS). You can also apply for permission to fly in controlled/ prohibited/ restricted airspace once you have a license in this category.


A2 Restrictions

- You cannot fly Over uninvolved people

- You need to keep a distance of at least 50 metres from uninvolved people


This category is the most popular and most suitable for most drone operators.

Learn more about the Open A2 Category License.




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Specific Category


Considering the moderate level of risk involved, operating a drone in the Specific category require authorization before the operation. The ‘specific’ category covers riskier 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).


As mentioned earlier, the permission is given considering the mitigation measures identified in an operational risk assessment, except in specific standard scenarios where an operator declaration is sufficient.




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Certified Category


In the ‘certified’ category, the safety risk is considerably high; therefore, 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.

Given the inherent dangers, certification of the drone and a licensed remote pilot are required. If your drone is capable of carrying people, you fall under the Certified category.


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