DJI Mavic 3

DJI has announced some great news for European drone users. The company’s Mavic 3 series of drones has been granted C1 EU-type examination certificate under the new European Drone Regulations. This is the world’s first C1 drone certificate.

So, what does this actually mean?

European drone regulations

The European Drone Regulations set out the controls for the safe operation of drones in the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA includes all of the European Union countries as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The European regulations apply to both leisure and commercial drone activities, based on the weight and specifications of the drone. Many drones have restrictions on flying near people, and users must pass a remote piloting exam.

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C1 drone certificate

The C1 drone certificate for the Mavic 3 has been issued by the German testing body, TÜV Rheinland. Certification means that you won’t have to pass the remote piloting exam to fly your Mavic 3. You will also be able to fly in environments restricted to users of non-certified drones.

Summary of changes

The table below summarizes the benefits of C1 certification:

Operating areaOperational restrictionsPilot competence

With C1 certificate and C1-compliant firmware (flying in the A1 Open Category from now on and after December 31, 2023) 

– No flying over uninvolved people; if it happens, should be minimized

– No flying over assemblies of people
 

– Read the user manual

– Obtain A1/A3 “Proof of Competence” basic drone certificate by taking an officially-recognized theoretical online exam with no limitations on attempts before passing
 

Without C1 certificate and without C1-compliant firmware (flying in the A2 Open Category until December 31, 2023; or in the A3 Open Category after January 1, 2024)

– No flying over uninvolved people
– Keeping a minimum 50 m horizontal distance from people until December 31, 2023
– After January 1, 2024, flying in areas free from people and 150 meters horizontal distance or more away from properties  

– Read the user manual

– Obtain A2 “Remote Piloting License” by taking an officially recognized theoretical online exam and declaring self-practical training. If failed, you have to reapply for the exam with possible additional costs involved
 

Other changes

C1 certification under the European Drone Regulations also means that the Mavic 3 meets the new noise reduction level of 83 db. In addition, when the ActiveTrack Intelligent Flight Mode is used to film people or objects, the distance from the person or object must be less than 50 meters. If the drone is further away, then ActiveTrack will be disabled. The Auxiliary LEDs will also be turned on or off automatically during use, and the LEDs on the front arms of the Mavic 3 will blink whenever the drone is powered on.

Verdict

The Mavic 3 is already a best-selling drone and will become even more popular now it has C1 certification. DJI has also confirmed that it’s working to achieve certification for more of its drones in the future.

Availability

DJI will be making the application process for obtaining the new C1 class identification label for the Mavic 3 series available to all customers from quarter four of this year. You will have to provide your drone’s serial number and confirm that you have updated to the C1-compliant firmware. The process will be free of charge.

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.