The aviation industry is a highly complex industry. The Unmanned Aircraft (UA or drone) sector as a newcomer in the aviation world has important economic and social relevance, expected to greatly increase in the future. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a specialised agency within the United Nations (UN), which sets standards and recommended practices for the aviation industry. This body will also set standards for the drone industry.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is an agency of the European Union (EU) which helps the EU to develop laws and regulations for safe and efficient aviation. To ensure the free circulation of drones and a level playing field within the European Union, EASA has developed common European rules. These regulations are expected to be in effect from July 2020 or January 2021 latest.
In the Netherlands companies and professional pilots may only operate drones if they have a permit or an exemption from the Dutch CAA (Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport (ILT), Dutch Civil Aviation Authority).
EASA published the rules for using drones in European airspace in regulations EU 2019/945 and EU 2019/947. People must meet requirements before using a drone and there is no difference between hobby and professional flying. EASA drone rules define three distinct risk levels or categories: category A, B and C. The categories are also called the Open Category (A), the Specific Category (B) and the Certified Category (C).