UK CAA Extends The Open Category

Last updated on

December 9, 2022


Following a consultation by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and an official decision by the Department for Transport (DfT), the transition and legacy provisions for drones operating in the open category will be extended until 1 January 2026.


  • The Transitional and Legacy provisions for UK drones in the Open category will now last until January 1, 2026.


  • As of December 23, 2022, there will be no UAS in the UK which are class marked, as required by UK Regulation (EU) 2019/945.


  • UAS in the Open Category can continue to be used as they have been so far if the legacy and transition provisions and the basic open category limits are met.


This will enable the CAA and DfT to review unmanned aircraft laws, including the open category, before 2026.

From the 23rd December 2022, the DfT will also withdraw automatic recognition of EU class marks as equivalent to UK class marks in The Aviation Safety and Air Traffic Management (Amendment) Regulations 2022.

No specified standards, Market Surveillance Authority, or conformance assessment organisations have been established in the UK under UK Regulation (EU) 2019/945, hence manufacturers cannot meet the class marking criteria of this regulation.

There won’t be any UAS that can utilise the Open Category class mark requirements of UK Regulation (EU) 2019/947 as a result.

Any UAS operated in the Open Category, whether it has an EU class mark or not, must follow the ‘non-class mark’ Open Category limits and criteria. Most Open Category operators can continue to operate under the existing regulations.

Holders of an A2 Certificate of Competence with Transition and Legacy period dates of 31st December 2022 may continue to utilise these rights until the certificate expires or the new transition/legacy period ends (1st January 2026). No reissue is needed.

To make sure that the UAS regulatory framework remains adequate and fitting for the UK, the CAA is collaborating with the Department for Transport on a review of the UAS regulatory framework with emphasis on the Open Category.


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