Design and production of UAS/drones

    European legislation lays down different requirements and operating possibilities for UAS depending on their manufacture. The first distinction it makes defines the manufacturers of commercial UAS and, on the other hand, those of private construction:

    Definition of manufacturer

    Manufacturer is any natural or legal person who manufactures a product or has a product designed or manufactured and marketed under his name or trademark.

    The manufacturer is an ‘economic operator’ and is subject to obligations as defined in Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945.

    They shall be considered as manufacturers and shall therefore be subject to the obligations of the manufacturer, importers or distributors who place a product on the market under its trade name or own brand, or modify a product that has already been placed on the market in such a way that its conformity with the requirements of the standard may be affected.

    Definition of private construction UAS

    It is a UAS assembled or manufactured for the manufacturer’s own use, excluding UAS mounted from assemblies of components placed on the market in the form of a single ready-to-assemble kit.

    In the context of this definition, the terms “assembled” or “manufactured” by the operator refer to the complete manufacture of the UAS, or at least most of it; or the assembly of the UAS from parts or subassemblies sold separately.

    Since it is not intended for commercialisation, the builder of a private building UAS is not considered to be a ‘manufacturer’ within the meaning of the previous paragraph, that is to say, there is no offer or agreement (written or verbal) for the transfer of his property or any other right of ownership.

    A change not described in the manufacturer’s instructions for one or more components of a UAS bearing a class identification label does not qualify it as a privately constructed UAS.

    Amendments to UAS which infringe compliance with the requirements for the CE marking are those affecting weight or performance, so that they fall outside the specifications or instructions provided by the manufacturer in the user manual. The replacement of a piece with the same physical and functional characteristics (e.g. the replacement of one propeller by another of the same design) is not considered non-compliance with the requirements for the CE marking. The UA user manual must define instructions for maintenance and implement changes that do not infringe compliance with CE marking requirements.

     

    Applicable legislation

    In general, the standard applicable to the design and production of UAS is Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945.

    For those aspects which do not regulate European legislation, or which delegate its development to the national authorities of each country of the union, the national legislation developed for that purpose shall apply.

    For operations in the ‘specific’ category that are not declaratory, the technical requirements of the operational safety objectives (OSOs) resulting from the relevant operational risk assessment shall be taken into account. They are published in the section “Annex E to AMC1 to Article 11” of the following document:

    https://www.easa.europa.eu/document-library/easy-access-rules/easy-access-rules-unmanned-aircraft-systems-regulation-eu

    The requirements for the ‘certified’ category are in the process of being defined by EASA.

    Transitional EASA

    From 1 January 2021 UAS used in ‘open’ category should belong to one of Classes C0, C1, C2, C3 or C4 laid down in Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 or be privately constructed as set out in Annex (Part A) to Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 or be adapted to the transitional periods and special requirements defined in Articles 20 and 22 of this Regulation.

    UAS used in ‘specific’ category shall comply with the following:

    • As of 31 December 2020, UASs used in operations under operational declaration in accordance with a national standard scenario shall comply with the requirements to be established by EASA.
    • From 3 December 2023, the operational declarations submitted shall use in their UAS operations class C5 or C6 laid down in Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945, depending on whether the operation is carried out in the standard scenario ‘STS-01’ or ‘STS-02’ respectively set out in Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947.
    • In the remaining cases, an operational authorisation shall be requested in accordance with Article 12 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947.

     

    Procedures for uncertified UAS

    In the case of UAS placed on the market both in ‘open’ category and in declaratory operations in ‘specific’ category, they shall comply with the requirements laid down in Chapter II of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945. That Chapter lays down the procedures for the manufacturer to demonstrate the conformity of his product with the requirements of the standard:

    • By internal production control, as set out in Part 7 of the Annex, only for Class C0, C4, C5 and C6 UAS.
    • By EU-type examination followed by conformity with the type based on internal production control as set out in Part 8 of the Annex.
    • By conformity based on total quality assurance, as set out in Part 9 of the Annex, except where the conformity of a product which is a toy within the meaning of Directive 2009/48/EC is assessed.

    Both the type examination and the total quality shall be assessed by a conformity assessment body.

    Accreditation of notified bodies

    The delegated regulation in its Annex, Parts 7, 8 and 9 sets out the applicable conformity assessment modules (A, B+C and H respectively). Modules B and H require the selection of a reference standard for conformity assessment. The standardisation standard selected by EASA as the notifying authority is EN ISO/IEC 17065, both for module B and module H, according to the options available under Annex B of document EA-2/17 M:2020 ‘EA Document on Accreditation for Notification Purpose’ reflecting the agreement of Member States on the reporting purposes.

    This decision should be taken into account by any body applying for accreditation to ENAC, as accreditation using any other standard will not be acceptable for the purposes of the notification process.

    For further information on conformity assessment bodies, please refer to the following link on the ENAC website:

    https://www.enac.es/

     

    Requirements for Private Construction UAS

    Privately constructed UAS can be found in one of the following scenarios in relation to design and production:

    • The requirements laid down in the geographical areas of UAS covered for this purpose,
    • From 1 January 2023 under an authorisation granted to a modelling club or association,
    • The requirements laid down in Article 22 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947.
    • According to the conditions of category ‘open’, subcategory A1, if the MTOM of the aircraft is less than 250 g and a maximum operating speed of less than 19 m/s, or ‘open’ category, subcategory A3, if the MTOM of the aircraft is less than 25 kg.
    • Design and manufacturing requirements arising from an operational authorisation in a specific category.
    • Design and manufacturing requirements arising from a national standard scenario in specific category.

     

    Additional information for UAS design

    Information report prepared within the AESA UAS Advisory Committee (Cauas) by sub-working group 1.3 on the requirements and specifications of “Security” with which the core equipment of a UAS system should comply to ensure continuity of communications links, especially in the event of deliberate interference.

    In case of doubt or special situations, you can direct your inquiry to the drone mailbox(drones.aesa@seguridadaerea.es ) or from 10:00 to 13:00 at 91 396 84 50.

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