EASA STS theory certificate

This blog is brought to you by Drone Class, your drone trainer for flying in the open and specific category.

From now on, it is possible to apply for the EASA STS theory certificate if you passed the Specific category theory exam at Drone Class.

Flying in the specific category

To fly in the specific category, you need permission as an operator (company/organisation). This can be arranged through:

  • STS (standard scenario)
  • PDRA (pre-defined risk assessment)
  • SORA (specific operations risk assessment)

The drone pilot must be competent to perform flights in the specific category. This is checked by a NAA during an audit.

EASA STS theory certificate

Based on regulation (EU) 2020 639, the pilot is required to demonstrate competency if a European STS-01 or STS-02 is declared. Therefore, this certificate has been introduced by EASA. Currently, you cannot declare STS yet. This will only be possible from December 2023. Please note, a C5 or C6 label drone is mandatory.

Your EASA STS theory certificate:

  • is issued in the Netherlands by the RDW
  • is valid for five years, in all EU countries
  • is an upgrade of the A2 certificate

To apply for this certificate in the Netherlands, you must hold an A2 certificate.


Based on the current possibilities and limitations, we advise operators to opt for a SORA as a means of authorisation in the specific category. Although the EASA STS theory certificate is not specifically designed for this, we believe it is wise to obtain it.

Sem van Geffen

Co-owner Drone Class B.V.

About the author

Sem is an experienced trainer/developer, with drones as his main interest. He holds the Dutch RPA-L license and the EASA STS theory certificate. His specialism is EU aviation law and he enjoys flying the DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise.

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