NSTS drone operator! Do it by the end of the year
New year 2024 means more big changes for drone industry. The period of transitional regulations is coming to an end and the actual regulations will soon take effect. The Civil Aviation Authority gave important information at a seminar held on 9.11.23.
- End of opportunity for operators to submit statements to NSTS
- Beginning of EU STS scenarios
- New training courses to obtain credentials and the possibility of extending NSTS to STS
- Start of flights in the full open category
NSTS operator statement
Anyone who plans to do or has NSTS training - no later than the end of the year should submit an operator's statement to the selected NSTS. Even if your NSTS statement is valid, you must submit it again. By submitting your NSTS statement before 31/12/2023, you extend your right to fly under NSTS rules for another two years from the date you send your statement, and you have the option to join NSTS training in 2024-2025.
Sending a statement on or after 1.01.2024 WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE! Don't delay getting your NSTS credentials, the later you do it, the less time you will be able to use it. This is because the national NSTS scenarios will be in effect until the end of 2025, but will make sense for those who make statements to the NSTS as an operator before the end of that year.
What happens to your NSTS entitlement in 2024 if you don't send in a statement by Dec. 31, 2023? As of the expiration date of the last statement, you will not be able to use your NSTS entitlements.
How to make such a statement?
1. Log in to the ULC system.
2. Go to the operator's profile.
3. Click on the button: "Generate Special Category Operation Statement".
4. The statement, once completed, can be sent to the ULC electronically via the ePUAP platform or sent by snail mail after signing it by hand.
5. After successful verification of the document, the BSP operator will receive an acknowledgment of receipt and completeness of the statement for the operation in the declared NSTS located in the operator's profile.
You can find more information here.
Extension of authority from NSTS to STS
NSTS holders (NSTS-01, -02, -03, -04) will be able to extend their competencies to the European STS- 01 rating, and BVLOS pilots (NSTS-05, -06, -07, -08) will be able to extend to STS-02. The training and exam will be free and available on the ULC website. A practical exam will also be mandatory.
What will the extension of STS entitlements look like for those with a qualification certificate conversion?
To confirm your STS qualification, you must complete the free theory exam, which will be available on the ULC website on your profile until 31/12/2024. The exam will consist of 80 questions, 75% correct answers to pass, and there will be no approach limit. After passing the theory, you must undergo practical training at a training center on a C5-rated drone, regardless of your previous experience and flight hours. This also applies to instructors providing training.
As of today, on my pilot profile, I have STS-01/ STS-02 ratings or do I need to do anything else?
This is the situation for those who have done conversions of the qualification certificate. There will be an opportunity to fully extend STS entitlements in a simplified form by the end of 2024. This applies to all those with NSTS entitlements as of 31/12/2023. Regardless of whether or not they had an STS assigned previously.
Flights in the open category
A1- the maximum weight of the drone in this subcategory increases from 500 to 900 grams. Flight conditions remain unchanged, i.e., the ban on flying over gatherings of people. You can fly C0 class drones ( e.g. Mini 3/3PRO, Mini 4/4PRO) and drones weighing less than 250 grams that were launched before 01.01.24 (e.g. Mini 2 SE).
A2- flight conditions remain unchanged, i.e., no flying over bystanders and maintain a distance of 50 m. Only C-rated drones can be flown.
A3- flight conditions remain unchanged, i.e., you can't fly over people and keep a distance of 150 m from buildings. This subcategory includes all drones above 250g that do not have a class and will not get one, as well as drones of our own design.
If you have an NSTS qualification or plan to do so, be sure to submit an operator's statement to the NSTS of your choice by the end of 2023. Be prepared for the possibility of performing an entitlement conversion next year. Keep an eye on developments and sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss any important information.