Below we explain a little more about the A2 certificate of competency (A2 CofC)
What is it, and what are the benefits of it to me?
The A2 CofC is a remote pilot competency certificate primarily intended to assure safe operations of drones close to uninvolved persons.
Anyone who wishes to take their A2 CofC will first need to complete the Drone and model aircraft registration and education service. This will provide you with your remote pilot (RP) competency.
More information on this can be found here - DMARES.
Once you have completed the DMARES examination, you can book on to the A2 CofC training course. The course covers all the essential modules and includes a theory test which is conducted by a Recognised Assessment entity (RAE).
The theory test will consist of answering 30 questions within a time frame of no longer than 75 minutes. There is no requirement to complete a practical flight test or to have an operations manual, however, the operator will need to demonstrate that they have completed a period of practical flight training as well as declaring in writing they have completed the DMARES remote pilot competency.
As soon as you pass the written exam, you will be qualified to fly in the A2 category with a C2 aircraft without having to apply to the CAA.
Your qualification will last for five years before you will be required to renew it.
What are some of the main benefits?
The A2 subcategory will let you fly a C2 aircraft down to a maximum distance of 30m horizontally from uninvolved people.
Up to 5m in 'low-speed mode
No horizontal take-off restrictions for aircraft in the A1 category.
Allow you to fly your drone for commercial gains (as long as the necessary insurance is in place.
The certificate lasts for five years.
What drones can I fly within the A2 Category?
Interesting question, there are currently NO aircraft on the market that have been certified and stamped with a C0 to C4 class. There are, however, provisions in place for existing legacy aircraft to fly in this category; the transitional phase is due to come to an end in June 2022 all Unmanned aircraft on the market at this time must comply with the classes C0 to C4.
We have listed below some of the drones that can be flown within the A2 category during the transitional period:
The A2 CofC certification will provide clarity and remove confusion around commercial and non-commercial drone operations; instead, operators will follow three basic concepts that are based around the type of operation, the level of risk, and the level of performance.
In short, the A2 CofC is a positive step and demonstrates the speed in which the UAV industry as a whole is developing.