FPV drones have to be registered

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New EU regulations for drones apply at the turn of the year On May 24, 2019, the European Commission issued a new set of regulations for the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). The regulations apply from December 31, 2020.

These are the most important new rules for drone operators:

1. The operation of drones is divided into three operational categories:

"Open":

  • affects the operation of drones that

    • have a takeoff mass of less than 25 kilograms,
    • fly within sight of a maximum of 120 meters and
    • Do not transport dangerous goods or drop objects.

"Special":

  • concerns the operation of drones whose range of use exceeds the scope of the "open" category, e.g. B. when operating out of sight and / or starting at 25 kilograms.

"Subject to approval":

  • concerns the operation of large and heavy drones that are used e.g. B. are designed to transport people or dangerous goods.

2. Registration requirement

  • The operators of drones of the "open" category from 250 grams, of drones of the "open" category under 250 grams, if they are equipped with a camera or other sensor that can record personal data, provided it is NOT a Toys comply with the Toys Directive, and drones in the “special” category have to register themselves.
  • The registration number must be visibly affixed to every drone used by a registered operator.
  • Owners of drones that require authorization must also register them.

3. The new EU competence certificate for remote pilots:

  • Proof of competence is mandatory from a starting weight of 250 grams (previously: starting from a starting weight of more than 2 kilograms).
  • In the sub-categories A1 and A3 of the "open" category, this consists of a theoretical online test on the website of the Federal Aviation Office (LBA).

    • This ensures that the competency certificate is compulsory across the board, but is easy to acquire for simpler types of operation.
  • For drone operation in sub-category A2, in addition to the proof of competence, the remote pilot must complete a practical self-study and pass a further theory test at a body appointed by the Federal Aviation Office (LBA).

4. Permits and permits:

  • The operation of certain drones in the operating category "open" is basically free of permits. This includes:

    • Drones with a take-off mass of less than 25 kilograms,
    • which are in direct visual contact with the remote pilot during the entire flight and which are operated in accordance with the specifications in subcategories A1, A2 and A3.
    • From December 31, 2020, these drones may be operated at a maximum height of 120 meters (previously: a maximum of 100 meters).
  • For the drone operation that deviates from these requirements and then takes place in the "special" category, an operating license is required or, alternatively, an operating declaration or an operator certificate for light UAS (LUC) in accordance with the new EU regulations.
  • The places where drones are prohibited from operating continue to apply until the national laws come into force. These include B. hospitals, residential properties or nature reserves.

5. Transitional provisions: In order to facilitate the transition to the new regulations for drone operators, some transitional provisions will apply in the coming year.

  • For example, permits issued by state aviation authorities as well as national certificates of knowledge acquired from a recognized body continue to apply until January 1, 2022 at the latest.
  • In addition, the LBA has ordered a four-month suspension of the registration obligation for operators in the “open” and “special” categories if the operator's name and address are still attached to the drone via a sticker. This ensures that operators have enough time to register in the first few months of 2021.

Information on these provisions and the new drone regulations are continuously updated in the LBA FAQ.