DJI Granted World’s First C1 Drone Certificate

DJI has been granted the world’s first C1 drone certificate for it’s Mavic 3 Series.

This represents quite big news in the drone world. Until now it looked like the end of 2022 would see the transitional period deadline pass without a single C-marked drone hitting the market.

In fact, following a public consultation, the UK CAA recently recommended that the department for transport extend the transitional period ‘indefinitely’. Because with no C-marked drones available, people were put in a tricky situation when trying to decide whether to purchase new equipment. Would new non-C marked drones purchased now be obsolete in a few months?

C1 compliance available as a firmware upgrade.

DJI’s press release implies that C1 certification can be retrofitted to existing Mavic 3 series aircraft with a firmware upgrade. This seems to fly in the face of previous advice from regulators and the Police, which said that only aircraft factory produced, and correctly labelled, drones would be eligible. This may open the door for other existing drone models becoming eligible with firmware upgrades.

What about the UK?

Whilst the UK changed to drone rules harmonised with the EU on 31st December 2020, Brexit means the UK now stands separate. DJI’s Mavic 3 series C1 certification is valid across the European Economic Area (EEA, i.e. EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). This doesn’t include the UK.

We can only hope the UK will either recognise the TÜV Rheinland C1 certification that DJI’s Mavic 3 series now holds, or give DJI a way to meet the UK’s own requirements very soon.

What changes in the Mavic 3 series firmware to make it comply with the C1 certification?

  • It meets the new noise reduction level of 83db.
  • When the ActiveTrack Intelligent Flight Mode is used to film people or objects, the distance from the person/object must be limited to 50 m. Beyond 50 m, 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.

C1 drones (up to 900g) can be flown in the A1 ‘Fly Over People’ category, without the remote pilot having to hold an A2 CofC certificate. See our infographic which explains each of the sub-categories within the Open Category here.

Read the full news release on DJI’s website here:

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