The last few months have seen a spate of new consumer and prosumer drones being launched by industry-leading players such as DJI and Autel. However, the one question that has kept several enthusiasts across the European Union and the UK from loosening their purse strings is: “Where is the class identification label?” If you’ve also held off wondering the same, here’s some good news.
The requirement for class identification label, as part of the new European Drone Regulations laid out by the European Commission and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), was initially supposed to come into effect on January 1, 2023. But now, it has been postponed by a year to January 1, 2024.
According to EASA, the use of drones with class identification labels C0, C1, C2, C3, and C4 will now be mandatory in the Open category only from January 1, 2024 (unless privately built drones are used).
This amendment, notified by the European Commission in a circular dated March 15, has become necessary because regulatory authorities are yet to provide drone manufacturers with the complete list of harmonized standards addressing the requirements applicable to both – drones of classes C0 to C6 as well as the direct remote identification rule.
In fact, these standards are not expected to become available until mid-2023. As such, drone makers cannot be expected to make compliant aircraft available in the market before the deadline proposed initially.
And so, this is the new timeline for EU drone regulations provided by EASA:
- Drones with class identification label to be used in the Open category from January 1, 2024.
- Drones without class identification label can be used in the “limited” Open category according to Article 22 of Regulation 2019/947 until Dec 31, 2023.
- Drones without class identification label purchased before Dec 31, 2023, can be continued to be used in A1 or A3 (depending on their weight) after January 1, 2024, also.
- Remote identification for drones in the Specific category will become mandatory from January 1, 2024.
- EU standard scenarios will be applicable from January 1, 2024.