DJI Air 3 C1 label

C marked drones and classification of drones

The new European drone regulations will require all drones on the market to be marked with a C-classification by 2024. This marking serves as evidence that the drone meets specific requirements, and will be applied by the producer.

What are C Marked Drones?

The new EU regulation enacted on 1 January 2024 classifies all drones with seven different markings, “C-marked” drones, ranging from C0-C6. C-marked drones include all newly produced drones and many legacy drones (manufactured prior to 2024). These drones have a Class Identification Label shown on the drone product chassis; labels 0-4 (C0-C4).

The C-marking certification is a requirement for drone manufacturers, but drone operators should also ensure that they are maintaining compliance with the regulation if their drone is a legacy drone, for example. Many legacy drones already bear the C-marked label, whereas many others require the operator to download and print a declaration of conformity from the product manufacturer’s website.

In the open category, you can fly drones marked from C0 to C4.

  • C0 drones will weigh less than 250 grams and are flown in subcategory A1.
  • C1 drones are less than 900 grams and are flown in subcategory A1.
  • C2 drones are less than 4 kg and are flown in subcategories A2 or A3.
  • C3 and C4 drones are less than 25 kg and are flown in subcategory A3.

The marking will look like this:

Please note the following information: After December 31st, 2023, all drones that weigh between 250 grams and 25 kilograms and do not have a C-class label must fly in subcategory A3.

If your drone does not have this marking, it is considered a “legacy” drone. From 2024, all “legacy” drones that weigh between 250 grams and 25 kilograms must be operated in subcategory A3. However, drones that weigh less than 250 grams may still be operated in subcategory A1.

It’s possible for “legacy” drones to be given a C-marking, but the producer must apply for it.

Drones With Class Identification Label

Here are the drones that already have the Class Identification Label, their respective labels, and their manufacturers:

LabelDrone ModelManufacturer
C0Mini 2 SE
Mini 3 & Mini 3 Pro
Mini 4 Pro
DJI
DJI
DJI
C1Mavic 3, Mavic 3 v2.0, & Mavic 3 Cine v2.0
Air 3
DJI
DJI
C2Mavic 3E EU, Mavic 3T EU & Mavic 3M EU
Matrice M30 EU & Matrice M30T EU
DJI
C3Inspire 3
Matrice 350 RTK
M350 RTK
DJI
DJI
DJI
C5M350 RTK (through kit developed by Flyingeye)DJI

As shown in the table, these drones have different weights, capabilities, and potential risks, which are the basis for their classification. The C0 Label is the lightest and the least risky, while the C6 Label is the heaviest and the most capable.

As of 1 January 2024, drones in the European Union will require a C-classification denoting compliance with new regulations for safety and security. The new legislation seeks to overcome the lack of trust that has long been an obstacle to drone operations in Ireland and elsewhere in the EU.

Drone classification according to the new C-class system will standardise drones according to their weight, potential risk, and capabilities. Drone operators in Ireland and the EU must ensure that their drones are compliant with the EU regulation.

Classification of Drones

The C-marking drone classification system is in line with the current classification system of open and specific drones. All drones must now be classified in seven different categories ranging from C0 to C6. The classification is as follows:

CategoryClass ID LabelSub Category

Max

Max Mean Take-off Mass 

Intended Purpose 

Open 

C0 

A1 

 

250 g 

Not over assemblies of people 

C1 

A1 

 

900 g 

Not over assemblies of people 

C2 

A2 

 

4 kg 

Fly close to people 

C3 

A3 

3 m 

25 kg 

Fly far from people 

N/A 

C4 

 

 

25 kg 

Aeromodelism 

Specific 

C5 

STS-01 

3 m 

25 kg 

Direct remote identification 

C6 

STS-02 

3 m 

25 kg 

Direct remote identification 

The C-marking system generally correlates to the existing A1-A3 system for open category drones and the STS-01 and STS-02 classifications for specific drones. The C4 drone category is similar to the A3 classification, although it is not intended to be classified in the open category.

The category system can generally be thought of as containing recreational and lightweight drones in the first categories, C0-C1, followed by heavier drones used for commercial use in the C2-C3 categories. The C5 and C6 categories require operational authorisation from the National Aviation Authority from the state where the drone was registered, much like the STS-01 and STS-02 classifications already in existence.

Note that C0 drones may require no drone operator registration at all (e.g. toy drones) nor do they have an age limit for use. All others, however, require drone operator registration and a minimum age of 16 to operate.

Regulations and Requirements for C Marked Drones

Drone regulations in the EU are under the remit of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The regulation pertaining to drone operations and C-marked drones is EU Regulation 2019/947. 

To operate C-marked drones in a legally compliant manner, it is important to identify whether your drone is categorised as open category (low-risk, civil drones) or specific category (civil drones), be identified with one of the seven C markings (Class Identification Labels) on the drone itself. If unsure or your drone is a legacy model, you must have a valid declaration of conformity from the manufacturer, e.g. DJI Euro declaration of conformity 

 These regulations were conceived to improve the safety and security of drone operations as well as for authorities to clearly identify drones and their operators.

Benefits of C Marked Drones

C-marked drones can greatly increase safety for drone operators and others, although this does not necessarily correlate with changes in manufacturing. Indeed, many older legacy drones are already compliant and have valid Class Identification Labels. The safety benefits instead come from standardising and better categorising and identifying various drones whilst requiring manufacturers to adhere to the new C-marking regulation. 

This improves quality assurance and compliance and allows consumers to make clear and informed purchasing decisions when looking for a drone product. Moreover, the C-marking system itself helps drones to overcome the obstacles of trust and credibility. This may, in turn, help spread adoption of drones and a widening of the market.

Munster Drone Services

Is your drone compliant with the new EU regulation? Consult with our expert team at Munster Drone Services for compliant, C-marked drone sales, buying drones and equipment, trade-ins, rentals, repairs, training courses and more. At Munster Drone Services, we provide a wide range of professional drone surveys and drone inspection services like confined space drone inspection, wind turbine blade inspection, roof & building inspection, 2D mapping & 3D modelling, pylon inspection and more. Get in touch with us at info@munsterdroneservices.com or call us at  029 62100.

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What You Need to Know About C1 and C2 Labels for DJI Drones 

DJI Enterprise’s Winter Drone Guidelines 

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