EU Drone License

The new EU drone regulation, effective from January 1, 2021, introduced two primary types of EU drone licenses for all drone pilots:

  1. EU Proof of Competence: Also known as the small drone license (EU) A1/A3.
  2. EU Remote Pilot Certificate: Often referred to as the large drone license (EU) A2.

The following common questions arise among drone pilots:

  • When is an EU drone license required?
  • What is the difference between the large and small EU drone license, or the EU Proof of Competence and the EU Remote Pilot Certificate?
  • Which EU drone license is necessary for which drone model?
  • How and where can I obtain this drone license?
  • Can I acquire the drone license online?
  • What is the cost of an EU drone license?

This article will address these questions.

For additional information, guidelines, and laws concerning the EU drone regulation, refer to the following articles:

Note: In Germany, insurance is required for all drones. Legally, a valid drone liability insurance must be obtained. It is available for a few euros per year. Visit the following link for our comparison of drone insurance: Comparison of Drone Insurances


Online Training and Examination for Drone License

Format: Compact online training and examination

Goal: Ensuring the drone pilot possesses the necessary basic knowledge for safely operating a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)

Test Procedure:

StagesDescription
Stage 1Training test with multiple-choice questions, can be repeated online as often as needed
Stage 2Online examination after successful completion of Stage 1

Number of Questions: Approximately 40 multiple-choice questions

Success Rate: At least 75% of the questions must be answered correctly

Validity and Renewal:

  • Drone license validity: 5 years
  • Renewal: Must be refreshed or repeated after 5 years

License Issuance:

  • Upon passing the examination, the license is provided as a PDF for printing
  • It is recommended to order a drone license in credit card format

Cost:

  • The EU Proof of Competence is not free, a fee is charged
  • Can be completed directly at the Federal Aviation Office (LBA) or an online examination center

Important Links:

For more information on who needs this license and when, see below.


EU Remote Pilot Certificate / EU Drone License

Format: EU Remote Pilot Certificate (EU Drone License A2), an extensive license for drones

Prerequisite: Completion of the small drone license

Training Process:

StepsDescription
Self-TrainingPractical training in an open field, which needs to be confirmed in writing
Theory ExaminationConducted at a certified examination center, partially available online

The theory examination consists of 30 multiple-choice questions from three subject areas.

After successfully passing the examination, the EU Remote Pilot Certificate can be applied for at the LBA.

Validity and Renewal:

  • Drone license validity: 5 years
  • Renewal: Must be refreshed or repeated after 5 years

Cost:

  • The examinations are not free
  • The cost for training and examination varies between providers, ranging from €89 to €449
  • Compare prices and services of different providers!

Certified Examination Centers:

A list of certified examination centers for the EU Remote Pilot Certificate (EU Drone License A2) can be found here.


EU Drone License: Requirements and Necessity

The obligation to possess a drone license came into effect from December 31, 2020.

Here, only the “Open Category” is described, as it covers almost all drone pilots and common use cases.

Until January 1, 2022, old knowledge certificates are still valid in parallel to the new EU drone licenses.

Drone License Requirements by Drone Type

Drone TypeRequirement
Drones under 250 grams (Existing drones and classified C0)No license required
Existing drones over 250 grams, but under 500 gramsSmall EU drone license (EU Proof of Competence) required
Existing drones over 500 grams and under 2 kg (only in OPEN A3 category)Small EU drone license is sufficient
Existing drones over 500 grams and under 2 kg (closer to people or buildings)Large EU drone license additionally required
Classified drones in the EU Class C1 (over 250 grams and under 900 grams)Small EU drone license required

Note:

  • Details on EU drone regulations can be found here
  • As of now, there are no drones that have received a class rating according to the new EU drone regulation

Examples of Drone Models:

  • DJI Mini 3 Pro
  • DJI Mini 2
  • DJI Mavic Mini
  • DJI Mavic Air
  • DJI Mavic 3
  • DJI AIR 2S
  • DJI FPV
  • DJI Mavic Air 2
  • DJI Mavic Pro / DJI Mavic Platinum
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro
  • DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
  • DJI Phantom 4 and other DJI Phantom Models

Large EU Drone License: Requirements and Necessity

The large EU drone license (EU Remote Pilot Certificate) requires completion of the small EU drone license.

There is a temporary additional exemption for the commercial use of drones in the A2 category in 2022: National exemption A2 in 2022

Currently, there are no drones that have received a class rating according to the new EU drone regulation

Drone License Requirements by Drone Type

Drone TypeRequirement
Existing drones over 500 grams, but under 2 kg (in OPEN A2 category)Large EU drone license required
Classified drones in the EU Class C2 (over 900 grams and under 4 kg, in OPEN A2 category)Large EU drone license required

Note:

  • In the A2 subcategory of the OPEN category (closer to people or within a distance of less than 150 m to residential, commercial, industrial, or recreational areas), a minimum distance to humans of 50 meters applies for existing drones
  • Class C2 drones can fly up to 5 meters close to humans when in slow mode

Examples of Drone Models:

  • DJI Mavic 3
  • DJI AIR 2S
  • DJI FPV
  • DJI Mavic Air 2
  • DJI Mavic Pro / DJI Mavic Platinum
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro
  • DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
  • DJI Phantom 4 and other DJI Phantom Models

Insurance Requirements for Drones in Germany

All drone operators in Germany are legally required to have valid drone liability insurance.

These insurances are available for a nominal annual fee.

Further Resources:

Disclaimer for Drone Information:

The information provided on this platform regarding drones and related regulations is sourced based on my personal research and enthusiasm for the subject. While I strive to offer accurate and up-to-date information, regulations and best practices can change frequently and may vary by country, region, or even municipality.

Therefore, I strongly advise all drone users and enthusiasts to consult the official regulatory websites or agencies specific to their country or region before making any decisions or taking actions related to drone usage. This will ensure that you have the most current and authoritative information available.

Remember: Safe and responsible drone use always starts with being informed and compliant with the prevailing regulations.

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