Regulation: Europe introduces facilities for certain drones weighing more than 25 kilos


The European scenario STS-01, in the Specific category, is interesting for uses linked to agriculture. But it requires a drone with a class C5 indication, one of the requirements of which is a weight of less than 25 kilos. How to operate under European regulations without this class indication? The solution is the PDRA S-01. 

What is it about ?

To put it simply, when it is not possible to fly with the European STS scenarios, you must go through a SORA risk study. It is a demanding procedure that requires spending a lot of time. The alternative is a PDRA, which can be translated as “ a preformatted risk analysis ". In other words, it's a simplified SORA. The PDRA S-01 covers operations similar to those of the STS-01 scenario, but without requiring a C5 class drone. This PDRA is described by the AMC relating to Article 11 of Regulation 2019/947. Amendment 3 to this AMC alleviates certain requirements of PDRA S-01. Some will satisfy operators operating for agriculture – one of them being the abandonment of the weight limitation (MTOM, to be more precise) at 25 kilos! 

  • the weight limitation of 25 kg has been removed, drones operating in PDRA S-01 can therefore be heavier! But they must not exceed dimensions of 3 meters.
  • in the case of spraying pesticides or other chemical products, a note reminding that compliance with Directive 2009/128/EC is required has been added (dated 2009, it establishes “ a use pesticides compatible with sustainable development ").
  • a note specifying that the operating authorization may define the locations where
  • the operation can be carried out in a generic way, provided that the operator has clear procedures on the assessment of compliance with the PDRA.
  • in the table defining the ground risk values, very low height operations were not considered. An additional value applicable to operations at a height of up to 10 m is added.
  • in the case of operations in controlled airspace, the need to develop procedures to communicate with the manager of this space has been added.
  • the addition of the possibility of training other than the STS certificate for the remote pilot, acceptable by the competent national authority.
  • the device can be powered by a source of energy other than electricity.
  • the possibility of not using UAS compliant with the enhanced containment requirement in the case where the operator only plans to conduct operations in areas where the adjacent volume presents a low risk.

The CMA amendment outlines many other changes, please read carefully if you are concerned with the subject.

source: ED Decision 2023/012/R

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1 comment

  1. This seems to be going in the right direction. A little administrative simplification without too much relaxation in security! So, despite what some people say, things are working in terms of regulations.


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