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Flying in STS with non-certified drones

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As of 1 January 2024, drone operators will be able to submit declarations of conformity to fly under European standard scenarios.

It’s great news about the possibility of drone flights across Europe under STS-01 and STS-02 scenarios, but is it really all good news? Let’s analyse it!

Current National Scenarios for Drones

In some European Union countries, national standard scenarios have been defined and could be used to help the drone industry move forward while the EU standard scenarios were not activated.

Taking the case of the standard scenarios in Spain, Italy, Belgium, and other countries as an example, the aircraft requirements are different from those of the European STS scenarios in one very important detail: no Class 5 or Class 6 certified drones are required.

This generates a number of limitations and a number of advantages. Let’s analyse them:

Advantages of using a Class 5 or Class 6 Certified drone

As drones that have undergone a rigorous certification process, the flight operator does not need to adapt any aircraft parameters to comply with the requirements of the standard.

For example, C5 and C6 aircraft will have a safe termination system, corresponding maximum speed limitations, etc. One of the most relevant advantages is that in the case of STS-01 scenarios drones can weigh up to 25 kg, while in other cases this is not the case (e.g. in Spain or Italy they are limited to 10 kg).

To put it simply, if you want to operate on STS-01 or STS-02, all you need to worry about is buying a drone labelled Class C5 or C6, as appropriate.


If we have drones that are currently allowed to operate in the national scenarios defined in some EU countries, it is very interesting to register before the end of the year, as:

  • They may continue to be used until 31 December 2025

  • They shall not be C5 or C6 certified, but shall comply with the requirements of the national scenarios.

If we have these aircraft and we do not carry out the registration, we will find that:

  • You will need to buy a drone with a C5 or C6 class certificate.

  • The drones we currently have will only be able to fly in Open Category A3, unless we use them within a PDRA, although this will involve a longer and more complex procedure based on an operational authorisation.

In addition to the aircraft and pilot training requirements, the requirements for the completion of flight manuals are virtually the same in the national and European scenarios, except for some operational requirements that differentiate them.

Therefore, starting with the national scenarios is a way to ensure that the drones we already have can continue to operate until the end of 2025, and it will be very easy to modify the documentation to adapt it to the EU scenarios when the time comes.

At EU Drone Port 🇪🇺, we take care of modifying the various national STS scenario documents of our customers to the new European versions, at no extra cost. Ensure the continuity of your drones for two more years, what are you waiting for?