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EASA Regulation – Standard scenarios updates and new classes C5 and C6

by Fabio Affortunato
Implementing Regulation 2020 639 Easa
Reading time / Tempo lettura : 3 minutes / minuti

EASA regulation – working in progress

As we know, case covid-19, the entry into force of the EASA European regulation on drones should be postponed to 1st January 2020.

However, the regulation was updated, and on May 12th, 2020, the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/639 was published in the European Official Journal, which amended the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947. So let’s see what the changes consist of.

Standard scenarios

A first update of the Implementing Regulation 2020/639 concerns the introduction of two European standard scenarios: STS-01 and STS-02, but before illustrating them, it is good to briefly remember what the standard scenarios are.

Standard scenario definition

By standard scenario we mean an operating scenario for critical operations with drones in urban areas.

In practice, these are operational simplifications aimed at carrying out operations, or obtaining authorizations quickly in both urban and suburban scenarios.

The scenarios are related to the MTOW (see Acronyms & Terms), and for the ENAC regulation there are seven standard scenarios, each with its limitations-obligations to be respected.

For example the scenario S01 ENAC, is defined as:

“Urban areas that do not provide for the overflight of people in the area of operations unless they are essential to operations and trained for the purpose”,

provides that:

  • the drone has a take-off weight <2 kg,
  • the flight takes place in VLOS,
  • the maximum height (night and day) is 50 m (A.G.L.),
  • the maximum distance tar the APR and the operator (night and day) is 100 m.

Scenario STS-01 – EASA regulation

The standard scenario STS-01 introduced by the modification of the Implementing Regulation 2020/639, is defined as:

“The standard scenario 1 STS-01, includes the operations carried out within the visibility distance VLOS (see Acronyms & Terms), at a maximum height of 120 m above a controlled area of ​​land in a populated environment, using a UAS (see Acronyms & Terms) of class CE C5”.

As is evident, the standard scenario introduces a new class the CE C5 (Open category) for drones (UAS). It is also important to underline that a class C5 drone can also be obtained through a “kit” to be applied to a class C3 drone. The kit referred to is the direct identification system (transponder).

Class C5 therefore allows the possibility of flying over a populated urban area, provided that the pilot is in possession of the certificate for critical operations in addition to the fact that the pilot is equipped with the direct remote identification system.

Class C5 also introduces well-defined limits for the buffer area against ground risks, namely:

Tabella Area Buffer Catg. C5

Table Area Buffer Catg. C5 – Image taken from Regolamento di Esecuzione 2020/639 (italian version)

Scenario STS-02 – EASA regulation

The standard scenario STS-02 introduced by the modification of the Implementing Regulation 2020/639, is defined as:

“The standard scenario 2 STS-02 includes the operations that could be carried out beyond the visibility distance (BVLOS, see Acronyms & Terms), with the unmanned aircraft at a distance not exceeding 2 km from the remote pilot and in the presence of observers of the airspace, at a maximum height of 120 m above a controlled area of land in a sparsely populated environment and using a CE C6 class UAS”.

This standard scenario also introduces a new class; CE C6. It is also important to emphasize that a class C6 drone must have a device for terminating the flight. In the absence of an airspace observer, the maximum achievable distance will be limited to 1 km. Obviously the pilot must be certified for critical operations.

Applicability of standard scenarios and validity of national standard scenarios

National authorities have the right to avoid the application of the standard scenarios STS-01 and STS-02, in certain areas.

The national standard scenarios will retain their validity as long as they are considered valid if they fall within the regulatory provisions. In any case, the national standard scenarios will cease their applicability from December 2nd, 2023.

Validity of the Executive Regulation 2020/639

If, on the one hand, the entry into force of the European EASA regulation has already been postponed to January 1st, 2020, as reported at the top of the article, the Executive Regulation 2020/639, should already be effective and valid, as they are 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

However for the Executive Regulation 2019/947, the date of entry into force has not been changed by this amending law, it remained on July 1st, 2020, although the national aviation authorities continue to show on their sites notices on the willingness to postpone the European regulation in January 2021.

Therefore, in order that everything is aligned also in terms of time, the European Commission should issue an act of postponement. So let’s stay hovering to understand how to really behave.

Note regarding the images: The table shown in the article is taken from the document Implementing Regulation 2020/639. The use of the images and the table is exclusively for the purpose of a better understanding of the contents of the article. The highlighted image was created by 4mydrone on the basis of the photo taken from pixabay.com, free for commercial use, author of pieonane.

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Last Updated on/Ultimo aggiornamento – 28/07/2020

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