EU drone regulation: a risk-based method

The EU drone regulations define three categories of operations: “open”, “specific” and “certified”. There are subdivisions within the three major categories.

Lowest risk: “The“ open ”category deals with operations in the lower risk class, for which safety is guaranteed, provided the drone operator meets the relevant requirements for the intended operation. This category is broken down into three more sub-categories called A1, A2, and A3. Operational risks in the “open” category are rated as low. Therefore, no approval is required before the flight, ”says EASA.

Advanced operation: “The“ specific ”category includes higher-risk operations for which it is guaranteed that the drone operator will obtain an operating license from the relevant national authority before the operation begins. In order to obtain approval, the drone operator must carry out a safety risk assessment which sets out the requirements necessary for the safe operation of the drone (s). “

“In the ‘certified’ category, the security risk is so high that certification of the drone operator and the aircraft is required in order to ensure the security and licensing of the remote pilot (s).”


Categories have specific training requirements. In addition, drone operators must register their drone in the European country in which they live or have their main place of business. Drone operators receive a unique registration number that is valid in all other EASA member states. Drone insurance is also required.

The following is a list of useful links for European drone operators:

Simple access rules for drone operators

European national aviation authorities

EASA: Frequently Asked Questions

EASA has released this short video for new drone owners.

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