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Drones regulation: from ENAC to EASA part 3 – What changes?

by Fabio Affortunato
regulation-drones-ENAC-EASA-part 3
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ENAC vs EASA regulation

The excursus on the drone legislation continues in the path that leads from the current ENAC drone regulation to the European EASA drone regulation. In the previous two post “Drone regulation: from ENAC to EASA part 1 – ENAC regulation” e “Drone regulations: from ENAC to EASA Part 2 – EASA regulation“, the obligations and limitations imposed by both the current ENAC drone regulation and the EASA regulation that will be supported by it starting from 01/01/2021 were analyzed.

This post, the last of the trilogy, summarizes the key aspects of the two drone regulations and focuses on the aspects that pilots need to take into account.

ENAC and EASA drone regulations – The principles

To fully understand the impact of coaching and the transition from the ENAC drone regulation reported in the document “Mezzi Aerei a Pilotaggio Remoto – Ed.3, Emendamento 1 del 14 luglio 2020“, and the EASA one described in the document “Regolamento di esecuzione (UE) 2020/746“, it is necessary to consider the different principles on which the two regulations are based.

The ENAC regulation on drones bases the rules and limits of its regulation on the principle of operation with the drone, while the EASA regulation bases its rules and principles on the principle of risk.

In other words, for the ENAC regulation, the more specialized the operations, greater are the requirements that must be met by the drone and the pilot.

On the other hand, according to the EASA regulation, increasing the risk increases the requisites necessary for pilot and drone.

As in both cases the final outcome is that the requirements of the pilot and the drone vary (increase); but in relation, however, to two different principles of operation for ENAC and risk for EASA.


ENAC-EASA Regulation Principles – 4mydrone

ENAC vs EASA – Impact

The key principles of the two regulations on drones ENAC and EASA have a direct and immediate impact on drone operations and on the pilot’s skills.

Drones regulation – Impact on Drone Operations

Drone operations, by virtue of the transition from the ENAC to the EASA regulation, will therefore be characterized by the risk assessment for both the “Specific” and “Certified” categories:

EENAC-EASA Regulation Operations Schema

ENAC EASA Regulation Operations Schema 4mydrone

The standard scenarios remain active under different conditions (STS-01 and STS-02 scenarios) in order to simplify operations and avoid the authorization process under certain conditions.

Drones regulation – Impact on the pilot skills

Another aspect due to the transition from the regulation on drones from ENAC to EASA is that linked to the skills of the pilot.

Without prejudice to the LUC conversion of the pilot certificates for “Non-Critical Operations” and “Critical Operations” CRO, valid and necessary according to the ENAC drone regulations, the passage to the EASA regulation implies for those who do not yet have the license the demonstration of basic knowledge requests, in relation to the class to which the drone belongs.


Pilot License Schema ENAC EASA Regulations – 4mydrone

The infographic is available for download at this link.


The transition from the national legislation on ENAC drones to the European EASA one is not painless. The introduction of the new classes for drones, the CE marking of the same, the conversion of certificates are all elements of discontinuity with respect to the national ENAC legislation. But above all what must be assimilated to avoid misunderstandings and who passes from the principle of operation to the principle of risk. And this leap is no small feat.

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Note regarding the images: The cover image was created by 4mydrone. The drone icon present in the cover image and in the info-graphics, such as the “pilot” and “drone” icons are taken from pixabay.com, free for commercial use and without attribution request. The authors are respectively: OpenClipart-Vectors and karlrots. The icons used in the info-graphics, free for commercial use, relating to the “thumbs down” and “bullet points” are taken from Iconfinder.com – authors Kokota and Anastasya Bolshakova in Developer Set. The info-graphics were created by 4mydrone . The use of the images is exclusively for the purpose of a better understanding of the contents of the article.

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Last Updated on/Ultimo aggiornamento – 11/03/2021

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