EASA Drones – Category “Specific”
After introducing the peculiarities in terms of limits, competences and nature of the allowed operations of the Open category “European European EASA Drones Regulation – Catg. Open Catg.”, described in the European regulation on drones, let’s now examine the Specific category.
However, it is good to remember that according to the European EASA drone regulation, there are three categories:
each of which allows well-defined drone flight activities, in relation to the level of risk contemplated by the category itself.
The “Specific” category concerns the more specialized flight operations and also includes those cases that are not part of the “Open” category. In other words, if the activity to be carried out with the drone does not fall within those foreseen by the “Open” category, the operator of the UAS (drone) is obliged to request an authorization from the competent authority of the country where the UAS is registered.
The flights in the Specification category – authorized – as specified by the implementation regulation, also allow flight above 120 meters, the possibility of flying out of the pilot’s field of vision – BLOS (see Drones – Acronyms & Terms), above gatherings of people and in uncontrolled (F and G) and controlled airport areas.
As already mentioned, all this must be authorized by the competent authority, by submitting a request for authorization.
However, the purpose of streamlining both the bureaucratic aspects and to allow the carrying out of those simplified operations, which fall into one of the standard scenarios, with limitations similar to those of the Open category, it is possible to carry out the activity with the drone without requesting operational authorization.
The following table therefore highlights both the operational requirements, the type of authorization and the limitations required in the Specific category.
The need to enroll in the member state in which the UAS operator resides is therefore fundamental for the activities of all operations in the Specific category.
For the purposes of the operations to be carried out in the Specific category, we will only examine the first two: operations with risk and operations in standard scenarios STS1 and STS2.
Specific category operations with risk
For operations that present a higher risk, the in-depth risk assessment – SORA (Specific Operations Risks Assessment) must be carried out by the UAS operator.
The purpose of SORA is therefore to identify the requirements that must be met in order to guarantee the safety of operations. It is therefore a multi-stage process that aims to identify the risks related to operations carried out through an unmanned aircraft, as well as to identify measures aimed at mitigating risks.
The SORA must be submitted to the competent authority. If approved, it will be possible to carry out the relative operations.
With the European regulation, through the opinion 5/2019, EASA proposes two standard scenarios STS1 and STS2. Which define the operating conditions and within which the UAS operator can start operations after submitting a declaration to the competent authority.
Standard scenario STS1 (C5 class mark)
The STS1 scenario has the following limitations:
- operations in VLOS,
- maximum flight height 120 meters,
- MTMO <25 Kg,
- maximum speed of 5 m/s if not bound,
- no flight on crowds of people
- controlled operations area (urban areas),
- ontrolled area must be defined by the operator in order to ensure non-flight on crowds of people.
Standard scenario STS2 (C6 class mark)
The STS2 scenario, which includes greater intrinsic risks than the STS1 scenario, has the following limitations:
- operations in VLOS (1 km extended up to 2Km with observer) and BLOS
- maximum flight height 120 meters,
- MTMO <25 Kg,
- maximum speed of 50 m/s,
- no flight on crowds of people.
The operations in the STS2 scenario can therefore be carried out on larger areas and with less speed restrictions.
Standard scenario considerations
The requirements of class C5 and C6 of the standard scenarios derive from the expansion of the requirements of class C3 of the Open category.
The standard scenarios are therefore suitable for carrying out those activities such as aerial photogrammetry, inspections and surveying with drone.
It should also be noted that according to the EASA European regulation on drones, the performance of drone operations in standard scenarios therefore requires a declaration and does not require Authorization if the requirements of the standard scenarios are satisfied.
Timing of the EASA regulation
The entry into force of the EASA drone regulation was set for 1 July 2020. However, in Covid-19, the entry into force was postponed to 1 January 2021. The full validity of the regulation is to be prohibited from 1 July 2022 (if confirmed). During the period between 1 January 2020 and 1 July 2022, a transition period is active, during which the pilots’ certificates of competence will be “unified” and the various authorizations will be adapted.
Note: The date of 1st july 2020 must be read as 1st january 2021. The remaining dates must be confirmed.
Note about the images: The images showed in the article were created by 4mydrone. The use of the images is exclusively for the purpose of a better understanding of the contents of the article.The highlighted image is made by 4mydrone.
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Last Updated on/Ultimo aggiornamento - 30/07/2020