Are the UK issued certificates for Unmanned Aircraft Systems accepted in the EU after December 31, 2020?
The United Kingdom (UK) withdrew from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) system as of January 01, 2021. As of that date the EU law does not apply anymore in the UK which is considered as a third country.
This means that, in accordance with Article 41 of Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/945, Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operators that have their principal place of business, are established, or reside in the UK shall comply with Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/947 for the purpose of operations within in the single European sky airspace. The competent authority for such a third country UAS operator wishing to operate in the EU is the competent authority of the first Member State where the UAS operator intends to operate.
As a derogation to the above provisions, in accordance with Article 41 of Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/945 a certificate of the remote pilot competency or the UAS operator’s certificate issued by a third country may be recognised by the competent authority of the EU Member State provided that all of the following conditions are met:
- the third country asked for such recognition,
- the certificate of the remote pilot competency or the UAS operator`s certificate are valid documents of the State of issue; and
- the Commission, after consultation of EASA, has ensure that the requirements on the basis of which such certificates have been issued provide the same level of safety as the Regulation (EU) 2019/945 does;
The UK has not yet initiated the above recognition process, so as things stand the UK certificates cannot be recognised yet for the purpose of UAS operations within in the single European sky airspace.