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Drones Regulations 2023

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Several years have passed since the date on which Regulations EU2019/945 and EU2019/947 were published. These established a roadmap defining transition periods and dates for the incorporation of new possibilities for UAS users, which, unfortunately, have not been met.

In general terms, we can indicate that most of the progress and transition periods are determined by not having been able to meet the requirements of having certified drones with an assigned class.

In order to provide a transitory solution to this problem, two different approaches have been taken:

Open Category

In the Open Category, some characteristics have been established for those aircraft that do not have an assigned Class, and in this way it has been possible to work recently.

Specific Category

Unlike the Open Category, there has been no transition for those aircraft designed to work in the European Standard Scenarios (STS), leaving to each Member State the possibility of creating national scenarios with their requirements.

This fact has made the movement of drone companies through the countries of the Member States remarkably difficult, since most professional jobs require the ability to fly in STS-01 scenario, finding it difficult to meet the particular requirements of each Member State.

By the end of 2023, it is expected to be able to purchase Class C0 to C6 aircraft. Therefore, the following has been established by IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2022/425 of 14 March 2022:

Transition Open Category


Non-Class drones that are not privately manufactured may continue to be used in the “open” category under operational limited conditions if they have been introduced to the market before January 1, 2024.

These limitations are:

  • in subcategory A1, when that the maximum take-off mass (MTOM) of the unmanned aircraft is less than 250 g.

  • in subcategory A3, when the maximum take-off mass (MTOM) of the unmanned aircraft is less than 25 kg.

The use of UAS in the “open” category that does not have Class will be allowed for a transitional period ending on December 31, 2023, under the following conditions:

  • Drones with a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) of less than 500 g are operated in Open Category A1 by a remote pilot having the level of proficiency defined by the Member State concerned;

  • Drones with a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) of less than 2 kg are used at a minimum horizontal distance of 50 meters from people, and remote pilots have a proficiency level at least equivalent to A2;

  • Drones with a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) greater than 2 kg but less than 25 kg are operated in Open Category A3 by a remote pilot having the level of proficiency defined by the Member State concerned;


In addition, it must always be considered that the flight requirements of each Member State must be complied with.

STS Specific Category Transition


As of January 1, 2024, drone operators will be able to make operational declarations and operate in the European standard scenarios STS-01 and STS-02.


Until December 31, 2023, Member States may accept declarations made by UAS operators according to published national scenarios, and these will be valid until January 1, 2026.


In other words, those operators that have applied for the national scenarios will be able to continue using them until January 1, 2026, but as of December 31, 2023, operators that have not applied for the national scenarios will only be able to do so with the European STS scenarios.


Undoubtedly, this allows drone companies to move and work in the different Member States under unique scenarios, having to comply only with the “drone zones” particularities of each country.

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