DJI, the largest manufacturer of drones or UAS in the world, has announced on its website that the DJI Mavic 3 model has obtained the C1 class label as established by the European UAS regulations, protected by Delegated Regulation 2019/945.
As can be read in the news released by the Chinese UAS manufacturer on August 18, the DJI Mavic 3 has received the world's first C1 class label. If one reads the news more carefully, the dates for that class label to be available, and therefore valid for the owners of the DJI Mavic 3 sold so far, are considered for the fourth quarter of 2022 (4Q/2022). The certifying body that is in charge of validating said C1 class label is the German company TÜV Rheinland, which has also notified it on its website:
Once said class label is granted to the DJI Mavic 3, and users can take advantage of it (it seems that by future firmware update when everything is available), the mentioned UAS will be able to fly in open category A1, with the exceptions that are It confers it as it is not a category C0 UAS or less than 250g.
Let us remember that UAS with class C1 labeling (according to point UAS.OPEN.020 of Execution Regulation 2019/947), 'may be used in category A1, being carried out in such a way that the remote pilot of the aircraft does not make it fly above concentrations of people and reasonably anticipate not flying it over any non-participant. In the event of unexpected flight over non-participating persons, the remote pilot shall reduce to the minimum possible the time during which the unmanned aircraft flies above these persons'.
To date, the DJI Mavic 3 can be operated in the open category A3, and the distance from non-participants can be reduced to 50m, as indicated in article 22 of the Execution Regulation 2019/947, during the transition period. Additionally, it can be used in the STS-ES-01 or STS-ES-02 scenarios, with the particularities of each one of them, remembering that in an urban environment, the UAS must have an impact limitation device, according to the article 46 point 1.b of RD 1180/2018.
Currently, to fly a DJI Mavic 3 in the open category, the remote pilot must have the A1/A3 pilot certificate, and know the User Manual of the aircraft.
DJI in its statement announces that it will be a great advance as the pilot does not have to take expensive drone piloting courses, an aspect that currently does not happen. In fact, in Spain, the procedure for obtaining the A1/A3 certificates, including the A2, is currently free without more than passing an online exam at the electronic headquarters of the State Aviation Safety Agency. Let us also remember that the flight in category A2, according to Execution Regulation 2019/947, can only be carried out by means of aircraft with class C2 labeling. (UAS.OPEN.030 point 3)
The modifications that DJI announces to achieve the C1 class label and that the Mavic 3 will update through firmware, are the following:
- Will comply with the new noise reduction level of 83db.
- When using ActiveTrack intelligent flight mode to film people or objects, the distance of the person/object will be limited to 50m. Beyond 50 m, ActiveTrack will be disabled.
- The auxiliary LEDs will automatically turn on or off during use, according to the actual environment, and the LEDs on the front arms of the drone will flash by default while the UAV is powered on.
Although we miss one of the systems that UAS with class C1 labeling must have, according to part 2 of the Annex to Delegated Regulation 2019/945, point 12:
'Have a direct remote ID that:
a) Allows the registration number of the UAS operator to be loaded in accordance with article 14 of the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 and only by applying the process provided by the registration system;
b) guarantee, in real time throughout the duration of the flight, the direct periodic dissemination from the ANT using an open and documented transmission protocol of the following data, so that they can be directly received by existing mobile devices within the range of diffusion:
Yo. the UAS operator's registration number;
ii. the unique physical serial number of the ANT that complies with the ANSI/CTA-2063 standard;
iii. the geographical position of the UA and its height above the surface or the launch point;
IV. the trajectory measured clockwise from geographic north and the speed of the ANT with respect to the ground; Y
v. the geographical position of the remote pilot or, if not available, the take-off point. c) guarantees that the user cannot modify the data mentioned in section b), subsections ii, iii, iv and v.'
DJI has not yet specified which system will be used to meet this requirement, but at the moment it seems that the DJI Sense may be the one entrusted to it, not knowing the improvements or variations that must be made on it. In addition, the administration must also have the systems ready to receive the data from the issuing UAS, and be able to view or manage it in real time.
Assuming that the announcement is good news for the sector, it remains to be seen when said class labeling will actually be implemented, and when the rest of the pending fringes will be resolved.
We will therefore look forward to the end of the year 2022 and to be able to confirm the announcement made by DJI.