Unmanned aircraft systems – design and manufacture requirements

Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 on unmanned aircraft systems and on third-country operators of unmanned aircraft systems

It sets out the features and capabilities that drones (unmanned aircraft and the equipment to control it remotely) must have in order to be flown safely and aims to help foster investment and innovation in the sector. The regulation also addresses the conditions of non-EU country operators of unmanned aircraft systems.

Key Points

The delegated regulation covers three main issues:

the technical requirements for drones and for remote identification add-ons*;
the rules for drones, accessories kits and remote add-ons available on the European Union (EU) market;
the rules for non-EU drone operators conducting drone operations in the single European sky airspace.

Operational categories

The regulation applies to three categories of drone operation in accordance with an implementing act adopted by the European Commission, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 (see summary).

Open operations – do not require any authorisation nor any declaration by the operator before the flight.
Specific operations – require an operational authorisation issued by the competent national authority, with certain exceptions.
Certified operations – require the certification of the drone and the operator and, where applicable, the licensing of the remote pilot.
It does not apply to drones intended to be flown entirely indoors.

Technical rules and requirements

The regulation sets out separate rules for two different classes of drone operation.

1. Open or specific categories of operation with an operational declaration, accessories bearing a class identification label and remote identification add-ons. These rules and requirements cover a number of issues including:

product requirements;
obligations for economic operators, including manufacturers, importers and distributors;
conformity of the product, covering a number of issues including:
conformity assessment procedures,
EU declaration of conformity,
rules and conditions for affixing the CE marking and the drone class identification label,
notifying conformity assessment bodies,

EU market surveillance and control of products entering the EU market.

2. Specific or certified categories, except when conducted under a declaration. These rules and requirements cover:

certification requirements based on a number of factors, including size and purpose;
remote identification system* requirements for ‘specific’ category drones designed to be flown below 120 metres.

Non-EU operators

With certain exceptions, drone operators that are based in a non-EU country must comply with the regulation when operating within the single European sky airspace.

Application & Background

It has applied since 1 July 2019.

For further information, see:

Unmanned aircraft (European Commission)
Drones (European Aviation Safety Agency).


Remote Identification add-ons. A system that is not built into the drone but acquired separately.
Remote identification system. A system that ensures the local broadcast of information about a drone in operation, including the marking of the drone, so that this information can be obtained without physical access to the drone.


Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 of 12 March 2019 on unmanned aircraft systems and on third-country operators of unmanned aircraft systems (OJ L 152, 11.6.2019, pp. 1–40).

Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) 2019/945 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 of 24 May 2019 on the rules and procedures for the operation of unmanned aircraft (OJ L 152, 11.6.2019, pp. 45–71).

See consolidated version.

Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2018 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and amending Regulations (EC) No 2111/2005, (EC) No 1008/2008, (EU) No 996/2010, (EU) No 376/2014 and Directives 2014/30/EU and 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 552/2004 and (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 (OJ L 212, 22.8.2018, pp. 1–122).


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