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What is the A2 CofC (A2 Certificate of Competency)?

December 16, 2019

As part of the new EU Drone Regulations coming in on 1st July 2020, we will be introduced to 3 new Categories. The Open Category, the Specific Category and the Certified Category.

a2 cofc certificate of competency

The majority of drone users who fly aircraft up to 4 kg will sit inside the Open category which in itself is broken down into 3 subcategories A1, A2 and A3.

 

Each subcategory has a type of aircraft specification ranging from C0 to C4 that will determine how you can fly in each sub-category.

 

What we’ll look at specifically in this article is the A2 ‘close to people’ sub-category and the qualification ‘A2 Certificate of Competency’.

 

 

What is the A2 CofC?

The A2 Certificate of Competency is a new qualification that is being introduced from the 1st July 2020 to allow you to fly certain aircraft within a new set of regulation categories, regardless if you want to fly commercially or for a hobby.

 

The A2 subcategory will allow you to ‘fly closer to people’ if you hold an A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC) in the UK and are flying a C2 class aircraft or if your aircraft is less than 2 kg MTOM (maximum take-off mass).

 

Book an A2 CofC Drone Course

 

 

C2 Class Aircraft with an A2 CofC

You’ll be able to fly down to 30m of uninvolved people, or down to 5m if the aircraft has been switched to a low-speed mode with a C2 class aircraft.

 

C2 class aircraft need to have less than a 4 kg MTOM, be ‘safely made’ as determined by EU manufacturer standards, it needs noise limitations, a remote ID and a form of geo awareness.

 

It also needs a low-speed mode which limits the maximum speed of the aircraft to 3 m/s (approx 6.7 mph). 

 

Please note: There are NO EXAMPLES of a C2 class aircraft on the market at the time of publishing this article

 

 

‘Legacy’ Aircraft with an A2 CofC under 2 kg

If your aircraft is between 250g and 500g MTOM (like the DJI Mavic Mini) then you will need to hold an A2 CofC and then you will be able to fly close to uninvolved people as long as you don’t overfly them.

 

If your aircraft is between 500g and 2kg MTOM (like the DJI Mavic 2) then you will need to hold an A2 CofC and you will have to maintain a 50m separation distance from uninvolved people.

 

You will be able to fly these ‘legacy’ aircraft under these permissions with an A2 CofC between 1st July 2020 and 30th June 2022. After this point, you will only be able to fly these aircraft in the A3 ‘far from people’ category which means you’ve got to stay 150m away from  residential, industrial, business and recreational areas and a minimum of 50m from uninvolved people.

 

 

How do I get an A2 CofC

To get the A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC) that will allow you to fly C2 class aircraft down to 30m, or 5m in a low-speed mode or ‘Legacy’ aircraft in an A1 and A2 transitional provision, you firstly need to do the DMARES online examination to get the basic RP competency, and then you will need to take an additional theory test with an RAE (Recognised Assessment Entity).

 

Please note: RAE is what NQE’s (Nationally Qualified Entities) will transition over to after 1st July 2020 to teach A2 CofC courses and General Visual Line of Sight (GVC) courses.

 

This will mean learning a syllabus and then sitting a 30 question closed book examination which you will have a minimum of 75 minutes to complete.

 

There is no practical flight test or operations manual required as part of the course, however, the student will need to have completed a period of practical flight training, either under the guidance of an RAE or under self-monitored circumstances.

 

The student must declare in writing that they have completed the DMARES and flight training before taking the A2 CofC written examination.

 

As soon as you pass the written exam you’ll be instantly qualified to fly in the A2 category with a C2 aircraft without having to apply to the CAA.

 

You’ll also be able to fly ‘legacy’ aircraft under 2 kg MTOM under the permissions summarised below:

  • 250g - 500g MTOM - Fly close but not over uninvolved people
    • From 1st July 2020 until 30th June 2022
    • This includes the DJI Mavic Mini and DJI Spark
  • 500g - 2kg MTOM - Maintain 50m separation distance from uninvolved people.
    • From 1st July 2020 until 30th June 2022
    • This includes the DJI Mavic, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Phantom 4

 

Your qualification lasts for 5 years, after which you’ll have to renew it.

 

Book an A2 CofC Drone Course

 

What happens if I have a PfCO or I’m doing a PfCO course?

We have an article ready to answer this very question, please click here to find out more.

 

You can also use our helpful form below to determine what your best course of action is.

 

 

 

Please note: For ICARUS students who joined us AFTER 6th December 2019 we will be offering you the chance to get your A2 CofC for FREE as soon as we can offer the A2 CofC course as a Recognised Assessment Entity.

 

 

 

Conclusion

From 1st July 2020, the delineation between recreational and commercial drone flights disappear. If you are happy to fly your aircraft that is over 250g MTOM 150m away from uninvolved people and property then you will only need to do the Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Services (DMARES).

 

If you wish to fly your drones ‘closer to people’ in the A2 subcategory with a C2 class drone or a ‘legacy’ drone between 250g - 2kg then you will need to do the A2 CofC.

 

To further summarise, with an A2 CofC you can fly legacy aircraft:

  • 250g - 500g MTOM - Fly close but not over uninvolved people
    • From 1st July 2020 until 30th June 2022 
    • This includes the DJI Mavic Mini and DJI Spark
  • 500g - 2kg MTOM - Maintain 50m separation distance from uninvolved people.
    • From 1st July 2020 until 30th June 2022 
    • This includes the DJI Mavic, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Phantom 4

 

With an A2 CofC you can fly C2 class aircraft down to 30m of uninvolved people, or down to 5m if the aircraft has been switched to a low-speed mode.

 

If you are still unsure of what you need to do, please contact the team on 0800 033 4400 or email hello@uavhub.com

 

Book an A2 CofC Drone Course