Model flying in the European Union
The "Implementing Regulation 2019/947" of the EU Commission of May 24, 2019 on the rules and procedures for the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles is effective as of Jan. 1, 2021 and requires the registration of pilots as of Jan. 1, 2021 within the EU.
According to the above mentioned DVO there is a registration obligation for model pilots from January 1, 2021. Every model aircraft pilot must apply for a registration ID number (e-ID). The registration number must be affixed to all model aircraft weighing more than 250 grams. For scale modelers still very important : The e-ID number does not have to be visibly attached from the outside. It is sufficient if it is also placed under the hood or in the battery compartment. There are no regulations on the material and size of the ID number (the German requirement to attach a fireproof placard with name and address no longer applies).
What does this mean for us?
Be sure to register before you fly in the EU!
According to the DVO, you must register in the first EU country you fly to. In practice, it is recommended to register in one of our neighboring countries, or in an EU country where you speak the local language. Attention: in many countries the systems are not yet switched on, or not yet released for the registration of pilots who are not resident in this EU country.
The link for registration in Germany is FOND HERE . Here you can open an account and then register.
For the registration you need the following documents:
- a scan with a photo of the ID or passport (format .jpg or .png)
- Insurance number (AeCS Membercard)
After a few minutes you will receive a confirmation email. ( be sure to print it out and take it with you as proof of registration if you fly abroad before receiving the number).
Flying at local clubs in the EU
When flying in local clubs in the EU, nothing will change in most EU member states until 1.1.2023. In most member states, the previous rules will be applied until 1.1.2023 at the latest.
Flying outside local clubs and events in the EU (e.g. slope flying)
- For Germany this means e.g.: A certificate of knowledge or competence is required at the model airfield if no flight director is designated, i.e. if e.g. a member of the local club wants to fly together with a guest from Switzerland. According to the ascent permit, flight director is obligatory for three or more members. Or the other way round: Without flight director and without proof of knowledge, the weight restriction of 2kg and the height restriction of 100 meters also apply on the approved model airfield.
Since the new EU legislation has not yet been implemented in many member states, you are often flying in a legal gray area here.
To protect yourself it is recommended, to make the application for a certificate of competence A3 Open Category (up to 25kg). This certification can be done online (training and exam) in an EU country of your choice. The certification is valid throughout the EU, and is even offered free of charge in some member states.
For Germany, the test can be FOUND HERE . Attention:The test for Germany needs relatively much time. Is not easy to make so on the fast times!
Non-German speakers can also complete the training and test in English or French in another EU country.
In some member states, the previous national certification will suffice for the time being. In Germany, for example, the previous proof of knowledge is still valid until at least the end of 2021.
New National Regulations
In several EU countries, the new EU legislation has been used to significantly tighten the existing national regulations. This is e.g. the case in France, where in addition to the pilot registration also each model must be registered, and furthermore each model aircraft must carry an e-identification.
What does it all mean for competition pilots
All competition pilots must register in an EU country and affix this number to their models before the competition. If you do not have a registration number yet, it is worth asking if this is done by the organizer. (According to the EU regulation, associations/organizers have the possibility to register all participants together).
In addition, it is worthwhile to ask the organizer about additional national regulations before the competition, and to find out how best to comply with them.
It is essential to note the following:
In case of non-compliance with laws and regulations, an insurance company can reduce the benefit or cancel it altogether! (This is a principle with all insurance companies)
This applies not only to Allianz (SMV), but also to private liability insurance.
(For those who now think «oh I have my own insurance, do not need the Allianz of SMV…»)
Before flying in the EU:
- Register and apply for the e-ID number and put it on your models
- A3 Competencies Acquire proof if you want to fly outside of local club sites or events.
- Inquire with the national federation or a local association about national additional regulations
The homepage of the European Model Flying Union under Implementation has a summary of national model aviation legislation for various EU countries and provides links to national associations and other sources of information.