I fly a drone that weighs under 25kg, so I fall into the A3 subcategory.
Markings: My drone must bear a CE marking and a class identification label (C0, C1, C2, C3 or C4). If I fly a drone without a class identification label, the transitional category rules apply to me.
Registration: I must register as the operator of the drone on the online drone platform UAS.gate and label the drone with the UAS operator number. Registration is free of charge.
Certificate: If I want to fly in this drone category, I have to obtain the A1/A3 certificate. To do this, I complete a self-study training course and an exam (multiple choice, 40 questions) on the online drone portal UAS.gate. After passing the exam, the certificate will be issued. The training and exam are free of charge.
Flying over uninvolved persons is prohibited.
I always keep a minimum horizontal distance of at least 150m from residential/commercial/industrial and recreational areas (*see note below).
In addition, I must always comply with the following three points concerning the distance to uninvolved people:
minimum distance of 30m
1:1 rule (number of meters height I am flying, I must also keep in horizontal distance)
at least the distance my drone travels at maximum speed within 2 seconds (reaction time).
*FOCA's Guidance on Pt. 2: >150m from residential/commercial/industrial/recreational areas
The intent of point 2 above is that the operation is conducted in an area where no uninvolved person will be endangered within the range where the unmanned aircraft is flown.
The remote pilot shall thus ensure a minimum horizontal distance of 150m from areas where, at the time of the operation, 10 or more uninvolved people, contained within a radius of 100m, are present.
It is the responsibility of the remote pilot to evaluate the area by means of an on-site inspection prior to the start and during the operation, and to determine whether the operational environment complies with the limitations above.
Drone operator "A" needs to perform a photography mission with his/her 15kg drone. The operation would fall under the A3 Open category. The flight takes place close to a leisure and sports complex, which includes an outdoor swimming pool and parking. As Drone Operator "A" plans to fly early in the morning, he/she verifies during an on-site inspection that not many people have arrived yet at the complex, and there are less than 10 people present in the area. Therefore, he/she decides it is safe to fly, and continuously monitors the area and the amount of people nearby.
Drone Operator "B" needs to perform an inspection of a building with his/her 20kg drone. The operation would fall under the A3 Open category. The flight takes place in a commercial area where large commercial centers are located. Drone Operator "B" plans his/her flights on a Sunday, when the shopping centers are closed, and there is no people in the area, apart from a couple walking with their dog. He/she verifies during an on-site inspection that there are less than 10 uninvolved people in the surroundings of the operation, and continuously monitors the area to ensure the situation remains safe during flight.