DJI granted world’s first C1 EU-type examination certificate allowing operations in Europe
By Jim Magill
Shenzhen, China-based DJI, the world’s leading drone manufacturer, has been granted the first C1 EU-type examination certificate allowing drones to operate under the new European drone regulation framework.
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TÜV Rheinland, the international testing service provider charged with certifying civilian unmanned aerial vehicles for operating in European Union-affiliated countries, announced the granting of the certificate on August 18.
The testing agency’s experts “comprehensively tested the Mavic 3 system from manufacturer DJI for compliance with the drone class C1 requirements of the new regulation (EU) 2019/945,” TÜV Rheinland said in a statement.
In a press release, DJI said the C1 certificate, which requires the user to update to C1-compliant firmware, brings a number of advantages to the company.
“Users can fly in the new A1 Open Category and will no longer have to pass the complex and costly A2 “Remote Piloting License” exam. They will have more freedom to fly in environments they have been restricted from without the C1 certificate – unless obtaining special permission after an additional lengthy administrative process,” the company said.
The C1 certificate is valid across the European Economic Area, which comprises the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and applies to all hardware and C1-updated-firmware of the current DJI Mavic 3 series.
In order to comply with the certification, DJI had to prove the Mavic 3 system met strict standards pertaining to mechanical strength and safe controllability in a wide range of flight and operating conditions. In addition, Class C1-certified systems are required to have, among other things, a remote-identification system and a reliable data link as well as a data interface for a geo-awareness system to comply with the EU’s airspace limitations.
Under the European Drone Regulation, C1-certified drones with C1-compliant firmware are also subject to additional mandatory changes. The company said the Mavic 3 series currently meets the EU’s new noise-reduction level of 83db. Other changes, which will be activated whenever any C1-certified DJI Mavic 3 drone is flown in the European Economic Area (EEA) include:
- When the ActiveTrack Intelligent Flight Mode is used to film people or objects, the distance from the person/object will be limited to 50 meters (164 feet). Beyond 50 meters, ActiveTrack will be disabled;
- The drone’s auxiliary LEDs will be turned on or off automatically during use, based on the actual environment, and;
- The LEDs at the front arms of the drone will blink by default for the duration of the UAV being powered on.
“Once the C1 application process has been launched, all future firmware updates of the Mavic 3 series will include the technical changes required by the C1 certificate and cannot be reversed,” DJI said.
The application process for obtaining the new C1 class identification label for the Mavic 3 series is scheduled to be available to all customers the fourth quarter of 2022. Once the application process is opened, users can easily access it on a voluntary basis at no cost. The process will require users to provide their drone serial number and confirm that they have updated to the firmware needed to obtain C1 certification. More details will be announced at the time.
“For TÜV Rheinland, this certification is also special because it is the first time in our 150-year history that we have certified an aircraft for its flight safety characteristics,” said Stephan Scheuer, TÜV Rheinland’s head of the Technical Competence Center of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
The EU regulation divides unmanned aerial systems into classes from C0 to C6. Class C1 devices are those that weigh less than 900 grams (about two pounds) and includes commercial drones most frequently used in photography and filming. TÜV Rheinland is accredited by the German Accreditation Body for all seven classes of drones and is thus qualified to carry out the technical tests, as well as being designated by the German Federal Office of Civil Aeronautics to assess and issue the EU type examinations.
DJI said that in addition to the obtaining the C1 certification for its Mavic 3 series, the company is committed to complying with the new European Drone Regulation for all other existing and future drone models, and it will work with regulatory agencies to obtain additional drone certificates over the coming year.
Read more about DJI, and the Mavic 3:
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- The Latest Drone from DJI: Super Small, Super Powerful DJI Mini 3 Pro [IMAGES!]
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Jim Magill is a Houston-based writer with almost a quarter-century of experience covering technical and economic developments in the oil and gas industry. After retiring in December 2019 as a senior editor with S&P Global Platts, Jim began writing about emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robots and drones, and the ways in which they’re contributing to our society. In addition to DroneLife, Jim is a contributor to Forbes.com and his work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, U.S. News & World Report, and Unmanned Systems, a publication of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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