Flying Categories?

On checking the new rules there seems to be a contradiction in the A2 Subcategory and UAS Classes.
For Class C2 < 4kg the area is ‘no closer than 30m’ but for A2 <2kg it is 50m.
My DJI P2V+ weighs 1.2kg so does it fall in category C2 or A2? Or is it A2 until 31/12/23 then C2 beyond that date?
Help please!

There are no C2 drones currently.

So it is the 50m limit, not the 30m limit.

C2 is the drone classification, whereas A2 is the part of the open category of air space.

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OK thanks.
So C2 is not just drones under 4kg? I looked for a clear definition but must have missed it.

I like this explanation of the C2 class of aircraft

https://ired.co.uk/drone-c2-class-aircraft/

“Designed and constructed to minimise injury to people” ?

:grimacing:

That excludes my DJI P2V+ effectively!
No “slow speed mode” and not designed to minimise injury!
This is a bloody nightmare as it means A3 as far as I can see.
Any other views?

C2/C3/C4 etc - these are all types of drone that don’t yet exist, you can’t buy them, no need to worry about them yet.

You have a legacy drone weighing <2kg. See this post:

If you get an A2 CofC qualification, you can fly it anywhere you like but no closer than 50m horizontally to uninvolved people (this is known as subcategory A2). Until the end of 2022.

Without that qualification (and in any case after 2022) you can fly it 150m away from residential, industrial, commercial and recreational areas, and also at least 50m from uninvolved people (this is known as subcategory A3).

You can do better than that if you have a PfCO or get its replacement, an Operational Authorisation. You can also do better if you are a member of one of the model flying associations such as BMFA.

The DJI P2V is excluded by the fact it is not a C2 drone. Only new drones which have been stamped as a C2 drone by the manufacturer will be valid. As a concession the CAA are allowing legacy drones under 2Kgs to operate with a minimum distance of 50 metres. After 2 years (1 Jan 2023) the concession ends and you will only be able to fly legacy drones a minimum of 150 metres from uninvolved people. The exception being legacy drones under 250grams which you can continue to use in the C1 category indefinitely. Now…DJI have implied that some legacy drones may get ‘retro’ gradings as C2, but which when and how is not clear. It’s also possible CAA may extend the concession period if we all play nice too now we are no longer bound to the EU.

Thanks guys, that nicely sets it all out.
I will print it off on case some local yokel or jobsworth tries to tell me different when I am out flying.

… just to be clear - without an A2CofC you have to maintain 150 metres minimum to built up areas and 50 metres to people in “open” areas. With an A2CofC you may operate within built up areas subject to maintaining a minimum of 50 metres separation to uninvolved people.

i.e. DJI P2V without A2CofC is a legacy drone in A3 subcategory. DJI P2V with A2CofC is a legacy drone in A2 subcategory. :+1:

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I am still not 100% sure what benefits this brings - I think I recall @FPVUK saying something about parks - but that is about it.

See:

The key benefits for many people:

  • fly right up to the edge of congested areas, rather than 150m away
  • fly up to a 30m bubble from uninvolved persons, including flying overhead, rather than 50m horizontally
  • that covers any size of drone up to 25kg (rather than 2kg limit for legacy drones in A2)
  • fly in suitable recreational areas (with a risk assessment), such as a park

It doesn’t allow flying in residential, industrial or commercial areas, that still needs a <250g drone, or an A2 CofC.

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It also allows people to:

  • fly FPV in a race environment without individual competent observers (in a ‘sterile area’ - below 50m)
  • fly above 400ft/ 120m (non-multirotor)
  • fly freeflight aircraft

Perhaps these are less relevant on this particular forum - but many of our members fly FPV and fly non-multis as well.

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Thanks!

Any benefit for an A2 CofC holder in residential areas? Or would that still be 50m horizontally in residential areas?

You can’t fly in a residential area with the model flying association OA, full stop, so no, it provides no benefits. The only slight benefit for residential areas is you can fly much closer to the edge of them than 150m (presumably this was aimed at model flying clubs which have their club areas close to housing, but it obviously has wider benefits).

You can do that anyway under the new regs, can’t you? Page 219-220 of CAP722 refer.

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thanks, that’s what I thought - but thought it wise to check :slight_smile:

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True. UAS.OPEN.060(4) allows for an ‘Unmanned Aircraft Observer’. I have edited my post.

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Believe that should be A2 Transitional.

A1 Transitional drones are < 500 grm flying weight. In this case, an A2CofC is required to fly with “No intentional flight over uninvolved people” limits.

The flying limit to fly as close as 5m to people is for C2 Class certified drones only and then only in slow speed mode. No such drones currently exist as the certification criteria is yet to be made available.

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