If you are a UK Citizen please Sign this petition!!!
There are a new set of rules which have recently be published by EASA (the European version of the CAA and FAA). In response to a series of Drone scares, and fears about their safety, they have decided to release a massive document of safety regulations called the prototype. The Frist Document is 72 pages long and the second is a 60 page explanatory document (these are not half assed regulations). Unfortunately, it targets us DIY guys, the people who actually put in the most effort and care when it comes to safety.
The reason why this comes as such a surprise to the community is because the previous (draft) version of the document – The Technical Opinion – said that there would be a differentiation between Unmanned Drones and model aircraft. However, subsequently EASA have stated that they cannot differentiate between the two so now they have bundled the two together in a brutal semi-ban.
As First Person View said ‘EASA’s Prototype commission Regulation on Unmanned Aircraft Operations will destroy the European drone industry by limiting drones to 50m and 100m away from the operator in hardware! Homebuilt model aircraft and drones to be limited to 250g!’
Check out our assessment on the likelihood of fatality for Multi-Rotor Crashes
The Main Regulations
Under the proposed regulations, UAV’s (unmanned aircraft) will be grouped into 3 categories
This category is the lowest risk and is for aircraft that do not need prior permission to fly. This category is further split into 4 more sub-categories. These are categories:
To fly in this category requires authorisation by the competent authorities. Unless it is declared you are sufficiently competent e.g. you have some form of qualification/ (like the PfAW in the UK).
This is for military drones, so we won’t discuss this license.
The Open category – DYI and AP ships
The open category is the one that affects all drone hobbyists, so that is what we will concentrate on.
If you want to fly a privately build UAV it must conform to the A0 category. This means it must:
- Weigh less than 250g
- Have a maximum speed of less than 15m/s (54km/h)
- Remain within 100m of the pilot
- Be limited to a maximum height of 50m
This means a ban of the vast majority of race quads. As they would breach at least 2 of these regulations. The categories A1-A3 do not allow for the use of privately built drones.
However here are the planned regulations regarding these categories:
- A1 –“Phantom” category
- Max voltage of 24V
- Max weight of 25kg
- Must be actively limited to 50m.
- Same rules as A1 but added on/changed are:
- Max voltage of 48V
- Must have auto return function (return to home)
- Must have a geofencing system in place.
- You must have training – and minimal noise (whatever that means)
- Same rules as A2 but added on/changed are:
- Must be actively limited to 150m
- You must be above 14+
- No point of failure – so full redundancies on everything!!! all the down to the compass and barometer – utterly impractical!
To fly an A1-A3 you must also register yourself with the relevant aviation authority (CAA in the UK). They also require every model aircraft to be registered with a kind of mini transponder, which is clearly too expensive and impractical for the majority of model UAV users. What category each make of drone will fall into will be decided by the EASA.
This Video Explains them in more detail:
These are not a set of pansy half assed regulations and technicalities that no one will listen to, these have the power to completely destroy the UK drones market and community, as well as the wider European community. They are clearly written by people who do not understand the hobby, or the extensive safety measure which almost all members of the community already utilise.
The biggest problem is that this is obviously politically incentivized and so goes way over the top in order to cover lazy, incompetent and unelected ministers and beaurocrats. To make matters even worse for the UK, leaving the EU will not have any impact because the regulations are set to be invoked before article 50 is triggered and the CAA will take them up.
If you are reading this in the USA, Australia or any other part of world, please also email and protest the EASA. Because if these regulations go through it will set a president which could strangle the hobby out of existence all across the world.
What you can do:
Email UASPrototypeRule@easa.europa.eu about this issue. Do not copy someone else’s email. Only unique reponses will count.
Send a letter (non-template) to EASA / email to your local MP/MEP.
We have until mid October to save our hobby.