DJI receives world's first C1 drone certificate

DJI Mavic 3 series gets C1 certificate
(Image credit: DJI)

DJI, best know for being one of the giants in the tech industry for consumer, prosumer and professional drones, has been granted the world’s first C1 EU-type examination certificate for drones under the new European Drone Regulation.

The C1 certificate for the DJI Mavic 3 series – which requires users to update to C1-compliant firmware, brings a number of advantages. Ultimately, this new C1 means that users can fly in the new A1 Open Category and will no longer have to pass the complex and costly A2 “Remote Piloting License” exam, but it is still mandatory to register your drone and complete the basic "Proof of Competence" certificate.

Users will now have more freedom to fly in environments they have been restricted from without the C1 certificate – unless obtaining special permission after an additional lengthy administrative process. As if to prove this point, recently a DJI Mavic 3 flew from the summit of Mount Everest.

What is C1 certificate?

The C1 certificate has been issued by the officially-recognized notified body of TÜV Rheinland and is testament to the DJI team’s determination and hard work to comply with the new European Drone Regulation as early as possible. It is valid across the European Economic Area (EEA, i.e. EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and applies to all hardware and C1-updated-firmware of the current DJI Mavic 3 series.

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The main differences between flying the Mavic 3 series with or without C1 certificate are:
Operating AreaOperating AreaPilot Competence
With C1 certificate and C1-compliant firmware (flying in the A1 Open Category from now on and after 31 December 2023)No flying over uninvolved people (if it happens, should be minimized) - No flying over assemblies of people- Read user manual - Obtain A1/A3 “Proof of Competence” basic drone certificate by taking an officially-recognized theoretical online exam with no limitations on attempts before passing
Without C1 certificate and without C1-compliant firmware (flying in the A2 Open Category until 31 December 2023; or in the A3 Open Category after 1 January 2024)- No flying over uninvolved people - Keeping a minimum 50 m horizontal distance from people until 31 December 2023 - After 1 January 2024, flying in areas free from people and 150 metres horizonal distance or more away from properties- Read user manual - Obtain A2 “Remote Piloting License” by taking an officially- recognized theoretical online exam, and declaring self-practical training. When failing, the customer has to reapply for the exam with possible additional costs involved

What changes come with C1-certified firmware?

C1-certified drones with C1-compliant firmware are also subject to additional mandatory changes under European Drone Regulation:

These changes will be activated whenever any C1-certified drone of the DJI Mavic 3 series is flown in the European Economic Area (EEA).

The application process for obtaining the new C1 class identification label for the Mavic 3 series is scheduled to be available to all customers from Q4/2022. From that date, users can request it on a voluntary basis - easily and at no cost. The process will require them to provide their drone serial number and confirmation that they have updated to the firmware needed to obtain C1 certification. More details will be announced at the time.

Once the C1 application process has been launched, all future firmware updates of the Mavic 3 series will include the technical changes required by the C1 certificate and cannot be reversed.

In addition to the C1 certification for the Mavic 3 series, DJI is committed to complying with the new European Drone Regulation for other existing and future drone models, and it will work with notified bodies to obtain additional drone certificates over the coming year. This means we could see more of the best camera drones coming under the regulation in future.

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Sebastian Oakley
Ecommerce Editor

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specialising in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound and many more for various advertising campaigns, books and pre/post-event highlights.

He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected in to BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 

He is familiar with and shows great interest in medium and large format photography with products by Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa and Sinar and has used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI and everything in between. His work covers the genres of Equestrian, Landscape, Abstract or Nature and combines nearly two decades of experience to offer exclusive limited-edition prints to the international stage from his film & digital photography.