Drones: New regulations in France for 2016

FPV-RacerFrench legislation on drones will evolve in France 1 January 2016.

The professional of the Drone Federation Civil published on its site orders which will come into force next year. Despite the efforts of the legislature to simplify the French rules, the text remains particularly indigestible. Few major changes for the dronistes that currently escape the mandatory registration of their flying machines.

Simple for the amateur flight conditions more constraints for the “pros”

New French drones regulations defines 3 types of uses: “fly” category allows an amateur to fly a drone without prior permission but several conditions are fixed: the aircraft must remain in sight or fly up to a distance of 200 metres and 50 metres above sea level in case of theft out of his sight.DJI Phantom 3The drone should not exceed 2 kg. It is perfect for a racers or drones of shooting light. However, flights programmed on GPS coordinates, the weight limit is 1 kg only for this type of automatic flight is limited to 8 minutes. In all other cases, this is either experimental flights (to try a new model, for example), or robberies of “specific activity”, a classification into which enter including commercial flights. In this case, the drone must have a plaque on which shall be indicated the name of the owner of the drone and contact details.

Of course it is possible to obtain a specific authorization for a particular flight if you can demonstrate an acceptable level of safety. Of course, the services of the State are not subject to these constraints.

As the regulation of 2012, the text defines 4 operational scenarios. Scenario S-1 defines a flight where the drone should not fly more than 200 metres from its telepilote and only above out of populated areas. The scenario S-2 door on a flight out of area inhabited by a distance which can reach up to 1 km, therefore potentially out of direct sight of the telepilote. Fly over a populated area involves flying scenario S-3. Then, the maximum distance cannot exceed 100 meters. Finally, the S-4 scenario corresponds to a flight outside the populated area which does not fall within the criteria of S-1 and S-2 scenario.

Telepilots must be skilled

Airbus DS ZephyrThe text stresses that the telepilotes must have a theoretical fitness certificate and a pilot of aeroplane or helicopter licence needed to operate a drone in the context of scenario S-4. You need at least 100 hours in that Commander time to edge on his logbook. And it must have flown at least 20 hours on the last 6 months the drone with which must be flight “Scenario S – 4”. Experience that the telepilote must power justify at any time to the authorities.

For take command of a drone over 25 kg, it is even more complicated because the telepilote must demonstrate their mastery of the device via a skill demonstration. In particular, tests to pass must demonstrate how the telepilote will react to potential failures of his drone.

To become operator of drones for a “specific activity”, the operator shall make a statement of activity with the DGAC. There again, this is the scenario 4 flight which is more complex to manage. The operator and the client must carefully prepare the flight. Security measures to take, the sharing of responsibilities must be defined, similarly experimental flights should be arranged prior to the flight.
For scenario 2 and 4, the operator must be able to communicate the flight data to the authorities for analysis after an incident or accident.

A fall arrest system mandatory for certifying a drone

A drone can fly in France, its constructor must have won a certificate of design with the Ministry of civil aviation. If it is a kit, the operator must have a certificate of conformity of his aircraft.

Parachute antichute

A parachute for drone designed by Opal Paramodels. (Credit: Opal Paramodels)

In addition to performance testing and operating and maintenance records that the manufacturer must provide the operators of its drones, the drone must be equipped with a safety device to limit the force of any impact to 69 joules in case of fall. If this device is a parachute fall arrest, must be deployed prior to 15-metre fall.

Meanwhile, the telepilote must have an altitude or height provided by a barometric sensor information. an automatic device must allow the drone to remain under a maximum altitude. An “emergency landing” mode must be activated at any time, even an automatic landing procedure must enable breach of binding between the drone and its telepilote. Finally, the drones more than 25 kg must pass a number of additional tests, as tests of structural strength of its flight characteristics, its controls of flights with tests to pass.

A drone to fly in scenario S-2 must also communicate its coordinates in real time to the telepilote so that it can ensure it remains within the maximum limits for the flight. The drone must observe these limits automatically and a flight recorder must store the coordinates, the flight altitude and the quality of the signal of the last 20 minutes of flight.

Flights in S-3 and S-4 scenarios involve more sophisticated devices to ensure the safety of flights, especially for the drones more than 4 kg.

Translation : Bing Translator

Source : “Le cadre réglementaire régissant nos activités professionnelles évolue“, Communiqué Fédération Professionnelle du Drone Civil

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