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UAS Class Label

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After several years and various drone regulations, the Class Identification Label is here. The main obstacles regarding drone operations growth has been the lack of trust of the aircraft. Without a certification system in place, there is no way of ensuring that the aircraft complies with regulation and its specifications.

By January 1st of 2024, all UAS will have to be certified with a Class Identification Label in place. According to their Class Identification Label, they will be able to fly in one scenario, guaranteeing at any time the compliance with the Delegated Regulation

Below are listed the main characteristics of the UAS according to each Class.

UAS Class Label in Open Category

It is the category with fewer UAS requirements, but at the same time with more operative limitations. Depending on the operative scenario, we will need different UAS classes.

UAS Class Label C0

In order to fly in Open Category, A1 subcategory, we can use C0 drones.

Low MTOM means low-impact energy. Thus, reduced risk and less UAS technical and operative requirements. These are the main characteristics:

It shall have an MTOM of less than 250 g, including payload.

The maximum speed in level flight shall be limited to 19 m/s.

The maximum attainable height above the take-off point, shall be limited to 120 m

The UAS shall be safely controllable regarding stability, manoeuvrability and data link performance, by a remote pilot following the manufacturer’s instructions. The easier, the better.

The UAS shall be designed and constructed in order to prevent injury to people during operation. Sharp edges in the structure and the propellers will be not recommended.

The UAS shall be powered by electricity and have a nominal voltage under 24 V

Optional. If equipped with this mode, the UA shall be in range of 50 m from the pilot. The pilot must be able to regain manual control of the UA.

The UAS shall count with a detailed user’s manual that reflects MTOM, class, and general characteristics. Additionally, the operative behaviour and limitations must be described.

The UA shall include an information notice published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) about limitation and obligations within the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947.

UAS Class Label C1

To fly in Open Category, A1 subcategory, C1 drones can also be used. These are the requirements in order to fall under C1 Class:

It shall have an MTOM of less than 900 g, including payload.

The UAS shall have kinetic energy, at terminal velocity, less than 80 J (without any parachute system).

The maximum speed in level flight shall be limited to 19 m/s.

The maximum attainable height above the take-off point, shall be limited to 120 m

The UAS shall be safely controllable regarding stability, manoeuvrability and data link performance, by a remote pilot following the manufacturer’s instructions.

The UA shall resist the resulting forces and stress from the flight.

The UAS shall be designed and constructed in order to prevent injury to people during operation. Sharp edges in the structure and the propellers will be not recommended.

The UA, in case of a loss of a data link, shall a) recover the data link, or or b) terminate flight in order to reduce risk to air and ground third parties.

The UA shall not exceed sound levels detailed in Part 13.

The UAS shall be powered by electricity and have a nominal voltage under 24 V

The UA shall display a unique physical serial number compliant with CTA-2063.

The UA shall allow the pilot to upload the operator registration number and broadcast telemetry information.

The UA shall be able to upload airspace information by the operator. Additionally, the system shall be able to warn the pilot when a breach in an unauthorised airspace takes place.

The UA shall not be able to enter determined airspace. This limit shall be imposed smoothly, without adversely affecting the flight operation. Additionally, the UA shall notify the pilot trough warnings.

The UA shall notify the pilot when reached a certain battery level. Such level shall be defined so that the pilot has enough time to land in a safe manner.

The UA shall be equipped with a light system that ensures the control of the aircraft from the ground during the night. The control lights shall comply with aviation standards. The visibility lights shall be intermittent and green.

Optional. If equipped with this mode, the UA shall be in range of 50 m from the pilot. The pilot must be able to regain manual control of the UA.

The UAS shall count with a detailed user’s manual that reflects MTOM, class, and general characteristics. Additionally, the operative behaviour and limitations must be described.

The UA shall include an information notice published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) about limitation and obligations within the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947.

UAS Class Label C2

To fly in Open Category, A2 subcategory, C2 drones must also be used.

It shall have an MTOM of less than 4 Kg, including payload.

The maximum attainable height above the take-off point, shall be limited to 120 m

The UAS shall be safely controllable regarding stability, manoeuvrability and data link performance, by a remote pilot following the manufacturer’s instructions. The easier, the better.

The UA shall resist the resulting forces and stress from the flight.

In case of a tethered UA, the manufacturer shall guarantee that the tensile strength, with a security factor, is under certain value.

The UAS shall be designed and constructed in order to prevent injury to people during operation. Sharp edges in the structure and the propellers will be not recommended.

The UA, in case of a loss of a data link, shall a) recover the data link, or or b) terminate flight in order to reduce risk to air and ground third parties.

This requirement affects all UA configurations except the fixed-wing. The UA shall have a selectable low-speed mode of 3 m/s.

The UA shall not exceed sound levels detailed in Part 13.

The UAS shall be powered by electricity and have a nominal voltage under 24 V

The UA shall display a unique physical serial number compliant with CTA-2063.

The UA shall allow the pilot to upload the operator registration number and broadcast telemetry information.

The UA shall be able to upload airspace information by the operator. Additionally, the system shall be able to warn the pilot when a breach in an unauthorised airspace takes place.

The UA shall not be able to enter determined airspace. This limit shall be imposed smoothly, without adversely affecting the flight operation. Additionally, the UA shall notify the pilot trough warnings.

The UA shall notify the pilot when reached a certain battery level. Such level shall be defined so that the pilot has enough time to land in a safe manner.

The UA shall be equipped with a light system that ensures the control of the aircraft from the ground during the night. The control lights shall comply with aviation standards. The visibility lights shall be intermittent and green.

The UAS shall count with a detailed user’s manual that reflects MTOM, class, and general characteristics. Additionally, the operative behaviour and limitations must be described.

The UA shall include an information notice published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) about limitation and obligations within the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947.

UAS Class Label C3

To fly in Open Category, A3 subcategory, C3, C2, C1 and C0 drones can be used.

As the flights will be far from urban and industrial areas, roads or people, the risk will be lowered, and thus, the MTOM can be increased up to 25 Kg.

It shall have an MTOM of less than 25 Kg, including payload.

The UA shall have a maximum characteristic dimension under 3 m. All UA configurations shall be considered.

The maximum attainable height above the take-off point, shall be limited to 120 m

The UAS shall be safely controllable regarding stability, manoeuvrability and data link performance, by a remote pilot following the manufacturer’s instructions. The easier, the better.

In case of a tethered UA, the manufacturer shall guarantee that the tensile strength, with a security factor, is under certain value.

The UA, in case of a loss of a data link, shall a) recover the data link, or or b) terminate flight in order to reduce risk to air and ground third parties.

The UA shall not exceed sound levels detailed in Part 13.

The UAS shall be powered by electricity and have a nominal voltage under 24 V

The UA shall display a unique physical serial number compliant with CTA-2063.

The UA shall allow the pilot to upload the operator registration number and broadcast telemetry information.

The UA shall be able to upload airspace information by the operator. Additionally, the system shall be able to warn the pilot when a breach in an unauthorised airspace takes place.

The UA shall not be able to enter determined airspace. This limit shall be imposed smoothly, without adversely affecting the flight operation. Additionally, the UA shall notify the pilot trough warnings.

The C2 link from the pilot to the UA shall be protected to unwanted third parties.

The UA shall notify the pilot when reached a certain battery level. Such level shall be defined so that the pilot has enough time to land in a safe manner.

The UA shall be equipped with a light system that ensures the control of the aircraft from the ground during the night. The control lights shall comply with aviation standards. The visibility lights shall be intermittent and green.

The UAS shall count with a detailed user’s manual that reflects MTOM, class, and general characteristics. Additionally, the operative behaviour and limitations must be described.

The UA shall include an information notice published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) about limitation and obligations within the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947.

UAS Class Label C4

The C4 Class is not intended for the Open Category, A3 subcategory. This class is similar to C3, but it is intended to Aeromodelism.

It shall have an MTOM of less than 25 Kg, including payload.

The UAS shall be safely controllable regarding stability, manoeuvrability and data link performance, by a remote pilot following the manufacturer’s instructions. The easier, the better.

The UA shall not be capable of autonomous flights. The only allowed aid is the flight stability assistance.

The UAS shall count with a detailed user’s manual that reflects MTOM, class, and general characteristics. Additionally, the operative behaviour and limitations must be described.

The UA shall include an information notice published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) about limitation and obligations within the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947.

Class Label in Specific Category

Class Identification Label is also compulsory in the Specific Category. So far, it is only used in the published scenarios by EASA: STS-01 & STS-02. Thus, to fly in these two standard scenarios, these two Class Identification Labels will be required:

UAS Class Label C5

To fly in Specific Category, STS-01, C5 UAS shall be used. C5 drones, can consist of a C3 one, with a certified accessory kit.

It shall have an MTOM of less than 25 Kg, including payload.

The UA shall have a maximum characteristic dimension under 3 m. All UA configurations shall be considered.

The UAS shall be safely controllable regarding stability, manoeuvrability and data link performance, by a remote pilot following the manufacturer’s instructions. The easier, the better.

Any configuration type, unless non-tethered fixed-wings.

The UA, in case of a loss of a data link, shall a) recover the data link, or or b) terminate flight in order to reduce risk to air and ground third parties.

The UA shall not exceed sound levels detailed in Part 13.

The UAS shall be powered by electricity and have a nominal voltage under 24 V

The UA shall display a unique physical serial number compliant with CTA-2063.

The UA shall allow the pilot to upload the operator registration number and broadcast telemetry information.

The UA shall not be able to enter determined airspace. This limit shall be imposed smoothly, without adversely affecting the flight operation. Additionally, the UA shall notify the pilot trough warnings.

The C2 link from the pilot to the UA shall be protected to unwanted third parties.

The UA shall notify the pilot when reached a certain battery level. Such level shall be defined so that the pilot has enough time to land in a safe manner.

The UA shall be equipped with a light system that ensures the control of the aircraft from the ground during the night. The control lights shall comply with aviation standards. The visibility lights shall be intermittent and green.

The UA shall be equipped with a low-speed mode (except for tethered drones), selectable by the pilot, limiting horizontal speed to 5 m/s.

The UA shall be equipped with an independent system that allows to finish the flight safely.

The UA shall broadcast in-flight information.

The UAS shall count with a detailed user’s manual that reflects MTOM, class, and general characteristics. Additionally, the operative behaviour and limitations must be described.

The UA shall include an information notice published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) about limitation and obligations within the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947.

UAS Class Label C6

To fly in Specific Category, STS-02, C6 drones must be used. C6 drones, can consist of a C3 one, with a certified accessory kit.

It shall have an MTOM of less than 25 Kg, including payload.

The UA shall have a maximum characteristic dimension under 3 m. All UA configurations shall be considered.

The UAS shall be safely controllable regarding stability, manoeuvrability and data link performance, by a remote pilot following the manufacturer’s instructions. The easier, the better.

Multirotors, fixed-wings, flying wing, lighter-than-air & VTOLs.

The UA, in case of a loss of a data link, shall a) recover the data link, or or b) terminate flight in order to reduce risk to air and ground third parties.

The UA shall not exceed sound levels detailed in Part 13.

UA shall be powered by electricity or fossil energies.

The UA shall display a unique physical serial number compliant with CTA-2063.

The UA shall allow the pilot to upload the operator registration number and broadcast telemetry information.

The UA shall not be able to enter determined airspace. This limit shall be imposed smoothly, without adversely affecting the flight operation. Additionally, the UA shall notify the pilot trough warnings.

The C2 link from the pilot to the UA shall be protected to unwanted third parties.

The UA shall notify the pilot when reached a certain battery level. Such level shall be defined so that the pilot has enough time to land in a safe manner.

The UA shall be equipped with a light system that ensures the control of the aircraft from the ground during the night. The control lights shall comply with aviation standards. The visibility lights shall be intermittent and green.

The UAS shall count with a detailed user’s manual that reflects MTOM, class, and general characteristics. Additionally, the operative behaviour and limitations must be described.

The UA shall include an information notice published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) about limitation and obligations within the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947.

The maximum speed in level flight shall be limited to 50 m/s.

The UA shall broadcast in-flight information.

The UAS shall be programmed in order to execute a pre-defined trajectory in an autonomous manner.

The UA shall be equipped with an independent FTS that provides the ability to end the flight in a controlled manner. Additionally, the UAS shall count with means for reducing the impact energy such as parachute systems.

This is only the 1st list of UAS Class Labels published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Soon, we will see more classes and scenarios.

This will make the drone industry more standardised, and therefore, mature. If you are a drone operator willing to conduct a flight, you will only have to worry about complying with the scenario requirements, and carrying the right drone for that scenario.