DJI Mavic 3 receives C1 label – first drone with eu-drone class
It took a long time, and it was unclear for a long time when this would happen. But now the wait is over, because the DJI Mavic 3 is the first drone worldwide to officially receive the C1 drone class label according to the current EU drone regulation. What are the consequences?
Since the EU Drone Regulation came into force on December 31, 2020, we have been waiting for the drone classes defined there to be put into practice. There is still not a single drone on the market that has undergone such a test and been classified. Until now. As TÜV Rheinland has now officially announced, the DJI Mavic 3 is the first drone in the world to be tested according to the current requirements of the EU Drone Regulation and to receive the C1 label. This brings some advantages for drone pilots. But beware: The adjustment is not yet immediately valid and requires a firmware update. You can find out the details below.
What are the advantages of C1 classification?
So what are the advantages of the C1 label for the DJI Mavic 3? A lot! Through the classification, the drone no longer falls under the stock drone regulation. This means that the drone can now be flown in the designated Open A1 category – previously this was only allowed with drones under 250g! Flights in the Open A2 category are then also possible without the A2 drone license (EU remote pilot certificate) being necessary. For all categories, only the smaller EU certificate of competence is then required. Information about the EU drone licenses can be found behind the link.
Thanks to C1, the Mavic 3 will also be able to fly close to people without having to maintain the previously required minimum distance of 50 meters (5m in slow flight mode). It also eliminates the mandatory minimum distance of 150 meters from residential areas.
Also of particular importance is the point that the inventory drone regulations will place further restrictions on drones without a C classification from Jan. 1, 2024. These will also now no longer apply to the Mavic 3.
For details and specifics on the different drone classes, see our article The Drone Classes – EU Drone Regulation.
How and when will my Mavic 3 get the C1 label?
As mentioned, a firmware update is necessary for the C1 label of the DJI Mavic 3. Only then will the drone finally be compliant with the regulation and can be flown under the conditions of C1 drones. DJI announces the update for the 4th quarter of 2022.
To obtain the label, DJI must be provided with the drone’s serial number and confirmation that the appropriate update has been applied. The update will be voluntary and applying for the label will be free of charge. Details on the exact procedure will be announced in the coming weeks.
What does the firmware update change?
According to DJI, the firmware update will adjust the following features of the drone to meet the necessary C1 classification criteria:
- When the ActiveTrack Intelligent Flight Mode is used to film people or objects, the distance from the person/object will be limited to 50m. Beyond 50m, ActiveTrack will be disabled.
- The 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.
These changes will be activated as soon as a C1-certified DJI Mavic 3 series drone is flown in the EU, Norway, Iceland as well as Liechtenstein after the firmware update.
Übersicht über Regelungen mit und ohne C1 Label
With C1 – Flying in open category A1 from now and after December 31, 2023.
Without C1 – Flying in open category A2 until December 31, 2023; or in open category A3 after January 1, 2024.
With C1 – no overflying of uninvolved persons (if this does happen, it should be kept to a minimum), no overflying of crowds.
Without C1 – no flying over uninvolved persons, maintaining a minimum horizontal distance of 50 m from persons until December 31, 2023. After January 1, 2024: flying in areas free of people and maintaining a minimum horizontal distance of 150 m from properties.
With C1 – read the user manual and acquire the A1/A3 drone driving license “EU proof of competence” by taking an officially recognized online theoretical exam with no limit on the number of attempts.
Without C1 – Read the user manual and acquire the A2 “EU Remote Pilot Certificate” by taking an officially recognized online theoretical exam and making a declaration of practical training. In case of failure, the drone pilot must re-register for the exam, which may involve additional costs.
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FAQ about the C1 classification of the Mavic 3
The test procedure has been completed, and the approval is given. However, a firmware update is necessary, which is expected in the 4th quarter of 2022.
In Q4, DJI will unlock the firmware update and allow any Mavic 3 user to apply for the C1 label by providing their serial number and confirming the necessary firmware update. Information will follow soon from DJI.
It will be possible to apply for the C1 label free of charge.
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