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Open Category - Civil Drones

The ‘open’ category isection is the main reference for the majority of leisure drone activities and low-risk commercial activities. 
As a drone operator, remember to check if you need to register yourself. See the registration FAQ.

The ‘open’ category is in turn subdivided in three sub-categories – A1, A2, A3 -- which may be summarised as follows:

  • A1: fly over people but not over assemblies of people
  • A2: fly close to people
  • A3: fly far from people

Each subcategory comes with its own set of requirements. Therefore, in the ‘open’ category, it is important to identify the subcategory of operation your activities will fall under, to determine which rules apply to you, and the type of training the remote pilot needs to undertake. See the FaQ ‘Which training I need to fly my drone in the open category’

Start by identifying the type of drone you own. A transitional period applies until 31 December 2022. Until that date, you do not need a special drone to operate in the ‘open’ category provided it weighs less than 25 kg.

Depending on the actual weight of the drone, different requirements apply according to Table 1 below: 

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Table 1 — ‘Open’ category, applicable until 31 December 2022

* A State may lower the remote pilot minimum age to 12. In that case, the lowered age limit will apply only in that State.

Drones with a class identification label (i.e. C0, C1, C2, C3, C4) are expected to become commercially available by 2022. You can find additional information on drones with a class identification label in the Drones Information Notices webpage.

Provided you have a drone with a C0 to C4 class identification label, you may operate it as described in Table 2 below. Be aware that ‘privately built’ means that you built the drone for your own personal use; it does not refer to UASs assembled from sets of parts placed on the market as a single, ready-to-assemble kit.
 

DroneDrones1

Table 2 — ‘Open’ category using drones with a class identification label

* A State may lower the remote pilot minimum age to 12. In that case, the lowered age limit will apply only in that State.

After 1 January 2023, if you have purchased a drone before that date without a class identification label, you will still be able to fly it in subcategory A1 if it weighs up to 250g or in subcategory A3 if it weighs is up to 25kg.

You are invited to consult the Provisions applicable to both ‘open’ and ‘specific’ category FAQs  as well as Understanding the ‘open’ category FAQs for more details. These FAQs take you through all the steps you need to take to be fully compliant and help you identify the regulations that are applicable to the drone operations you intend to conduct.

For all our amateur drone pilots, Paul and his new drone Donnie will help you see how easy it is to become a safe and responsible drone pilot.