Jessica Schulz | 01/12/2021
EU certificate of competence for drones is mandatory – what you need to know
The topic of drone licenses has become hot again, especially since the announcement of the new EU drone regulation. Under certain conditions a drone license is required to fly a drone. Depending on the weight of a drone, a certificate of competence is required – regardless of the drones use (private or commercial).
The regular EU proof of competence, i.e. the “small drone license”, will be required most often. With the new EU Drone Regulation coming into force from 1/1/21, a license is required if the drone weighs more than 250g.
However, depending on the drone, transitional rules apply until 1/1/23:
- Drones over 250g and under 500g do not require a drone operator’s license
- For drones over 500g and under 2kg, the large EU drone license is required if flying closer to humans (Open A2 category), a small drone license is sufficient if flying only in the Open A3 category
Details can be found here: EU Drone Regulation
Drone license by country
Each European country has its own process for obtaining a drone operator’s license. Here you find a list with all websites per country: National Aviation Authorities
Once the drone license is obtained, regardless of the country, it is valid for the entire European Union. This means you should get the drone license in your home country to be on the safe side. Inform yourself about the possible options in your home country.
In Germany for example there is an online test to obtain the small drone license. This consists of different questions from various subject areas. If 75% of questions are answered correctly the test is passed. If you fail you can repeat the test.
By the way, all drones, regardless of size, also require liability insurance. We have summarized all the information on this here: Drone Insurance.
A drone license is required in most cases. The regulations for this are clearly regulated with the new EU Drone Regulation and apply to the entire European Union.