It will take about a year before the first drones with a Cx label can appear on the European market. In this blog more information.
What is a Cx label?
According to EU legislation each drone should have a special label that states the aircraft (within a weight class) meets technical requirements. There are five labels for the open category: C0, C1, C2, C3 and C4. For flying in subcategory A3 a C2/C3/C4 label is required. For flying in subcategory A2 a C2 label is necessary. Subcategory A1 requires only a C0 or C1 label. The higher the label, the higher the requirements are.
Why is it taking so long?
However legislation is ready, further requirements have still to be formulated into specific standards. Subsequently, these standards must be officially published by the EU, in the Official Journal (OJEU). The deadline for creating the standards for class C0 to 4 is June 30, 2022. Standards for two special, extra labels, C5 and C6 (necessary for STS operations in the specific category), will be released in the second half of 2022.
Until then, all aircraft without a Cx label fall under the current transition period. This periode will end after December 31, 2023. In 2023 so-called legacy drones from 250 grams fall under subcategory A3.
Assigning Cx labels to existing models?
It is possible that manufacturers register certain existing models for a Cx label in 2022, but this is not compulsory.
Does it make sense to obtain the additional certificate A2?
If you want to fly in built-up areas with your legacy drone, from 500 grams to 2 kilos, this is the most obvious reason to get A2. Even if you want to operate in the specific category, you need the additional certificate A2. Of course the A2 upgrade is a great preparation for the nearby future.