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Specific Category - Civil Drones

The ‘specific’ category caters for riskier operations not covered under the ‘open’ category. To operate in this category, you, as drone operator, need an operational authorisation from the National Aviation Authority where they are registered, unless the operation is covered by a Standard Scenario.

Standard Scenario (STS) is a predefined operation, described in an appendix to EU regulation 2019/947. To date two STSs have been published, STS 1 and STS 2,  and they require use of a drone with class identification label C5 or C6 respectively. If the operation falls under the STS and your drone bears this class identification label you are allowed to send a declaration to the NAA where you are registered and just wait for the confirmation of completeness and receipt.

If your operation is not covered by a STS and does not fall in the open category, then you need to have an operational authorisation before starting the operation. This provides flexibility and caters for the many types of operations Two alternative approaches are provided for:

  • Risk assessment of intended operation : You as drone operator are required to conduct a risk assessment of the intended operation by using the methodology known as SORA (see AMC1 to Article 11 to Regulation 2019/947), or an equivalent methodology accepted by the NAA, and submit the risk assessment and all identified means to mitigate the risk and comply with the operational safety objectives to the NAA. If the NAA is satisfied with the information you provided, it NAA will issue an operation authorisation.
  • A predefined risk assessment (PDRA) : this is a form of simplification for the UAS operators. EASA publishes PDRA as AMC to the UAS regulation. For a list of PDRAs published so far, please refer to GM1 to Article 11 to Regulation 2019/947 . It is EASA’s intention to publish several PDRAs catering for the most common operations in Europe in the coming years. If the operation you intend to conduct is covered by one of the published PDRAs, instead of conducting a full risk assessment you can follow the instruction in the PDRA and prepare the documentation in support of the application to be submitted to the NAA accordingly.

The Regulation offers also another alternative: the Light UAS operator certificate (LUC) . You as UAS operator may decide to ask the NAA to assess your organisation and show compliance with the requirements defined in subpart C to Regulation 2019/947. The NAA may, in varying degree, grant you the privilege to self-assess the risk of its operation and self-authorise it.

We encourage you to consult the FAQ dedicated to the specific category. It will take you through all the steps you need take to be fully compliant. It will also help you understand the rules that will apply to you.