EASA regulations effective from july 2020


What are the main changes?

The main change is that we will be no longer defining a commercial element to drone flights!!

Drone Classes?

There will be 3 classes that your drone falls into, they are :

  1. Open Category
  2. Specified Category
  3. Certified Category

Drone Classes briefly explained...

Drones will fall into classes based on their Maximum Take off Mass. This is different from the weight of a drone. 

An example would be the DJI Mavic MINI which weighs 249g. However it is capable of lifting itself plus a few accessories. It is capable of lifting a MToM of 272g.

Open Category Drone classification table


Full CAA Document available below

Overview of classifications and categories

Open Category - A2 - Fly Close to People

Open Category - A2 - Fly Close to People

Open Category - A2 - Fly Close to People



The A2 subcategory will allow you to fly closer to people if you hold an A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC).

You must maintain a minimum horizontal distance of 50M at all times

You’ll be able to fly down to 30m of uninvolved people, or down to 5m if the aircraft has been switched to a low-speed mode, provided you have a C2 Class Drone.

You cannot fly UAS with a MTOM of no more than 4 kg.

You must abide by the 1:1 Rule at all times.

A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC)

Open Category - A2 - Fly Close to People

Open Category - A2 - Fly Close to People


 To get the A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC) that will allow you to fly in the A2 Category.

Firstly need to do the DMARES online examination to get the basic RP competency, and then you will need to take an additional theory test with an RAE (Recognised Assessment Entity). 


This will mean learning a syllabus and then sitting a 30 question closed book examination which you will have a minimum of 75 minutes to complete.

There is no practical flight test or operations manual required as part of the course.

However once you pass the test and we certify you, you are free to fly INSTANTLY.

Open Category A3 - Far from people


The last subcategory in the Open category is A3 which is where you must not fly within 150m of residential, commercial, industrial, or recreational areas and no uninvolved people must be present within the area of flight.

This subcategory applies to drones over4KG in MTOM.

Specified category

General VLOS Certificate


 Operating in the specific category will require the operator to hold a GVC also known as a General VLOS Certificate. This will need to be obtained by attending a course with an RAE (formerly known as NQE’s) and completing a 2-3 day course, an operations manual and then a practical flight assessment.

This essentially replaces the PfCO permission system and course. There will be future building block training. We will be offering Module 1 which will allow flights out to 2KM.

What if i have a pfco?


Your permission is still valid

Your PfCO will be valid and you will not suddenly become illegal. You will be able to operate under the privileges of the PfCO indefinitely. It will be referred to as an OPERATIONAL AUTHORISATION.

What happens if I miss my Renewal / or take a PfCO Course but delay my PfCo Application?

The CAA will recognise your PfCO Competence up until the 30th June 2020. If you allow your PfCO to lapse or you do not apply for your PfCO then it will be invalid and no longer recognised by the CAA.

If you have previously trained with us make sure you RENEW!

What are my options to retrain?

We will be Transitioning from NQE to RAE status. This means that we will definitely be offered the A2 CoC and GVC Training packages.

We will be offering upskill courses for those who currently have or have previously held a PfCO Competence. 

A2 CoC will be an online based course and you will be able to undertake the examination from the comfort of your own home. 

GVC Courses will replace the current PfCO Courses we run now.

GVC Module 1 courses will be available later in 2020. This will allow flights out to 2KM in certain circumstances.

Remote pilot decision tree