From 1 July 2020, already this summer, it was thought that new rules would get introduced for drones – but due to the corona outbreak, the Swedish Transport Agency has now announced that the laws will instead be introduced from 1 January 2021. And then it is the intention that the following shall apply: To be able to fly a drone that has a camera and weighs more than 250 grams, you must be at least 16 years old, but at the same time a driver’s license will be required – and a responsible operator who must be at least 18 years old. That will mean that if you are under 18 years of age and, for example, have to fly a DJI Mavic Mini (the smallest from DJI that weighs 249 grams), you must bring someone who is 18 years old who has registered as an operator to fly drones, and you as a remote pilot must have a driving license for drones. Even though the DJI Mavic Mini weighs less than 250 grams, it has a camera, and if you are going to drive a drone with a camera, you must register as an operator you are required to be 18 years old. The principle is that the mother, brother, or father must accompany you if you are under 18, and she must register as an operator.
Every time you fly a drone, a registered and responsible operator must be appointed, a so-called drone operator. The person in control of the drone is called the remote pilot.
The operator must obtain an operator ID and register with the Swedish Transport Agency. The remote pilot must have a driving license and take a theory course and be approved. The operator is responsible for ensuring that the remote-pilot meets the requirements and that it takes place correctly.
It will be an annual record-keeping fee to be an operator, how high it will be, the Swedish Transport Agency has not yet agreed.
It is also unknown what it will cost to get a drone driver’s license.
It gets even more complicated; the drones will divide into categories: the open class, the specific, and the certified.
And the hassle of rules does not end there. Let us try to outline what applies in the first category, the so-called open category that corresponds to the current regulations (before 1 July 2020). You can fly a maximum of 120 meters, and you must be within sight. The drone must not weigh more than 25 kg.
But then the open category is further divided into three different so-called competencies – A1, A2, and A3.
In A1, you can fly near people, but you are limited to drones classified according to C0 and C1. According to the Swedish Transport Agency, drones sold must have gotten marked in which class they belong.
In A2, you must be at least 30 meters from people and can then fly C0, C1, and even C2 drones.
In A3, you must be at least 150 meters sideways from homes, industries, recreation areas, and, for example, shops – you can then fly C0, C1, C2, C3, and C4-rated drones.
In the specific class, you may fly over 120 meters. Out of sight, you may drop objects from drones, and it may weigh over 25 kg. One can reasonably assume that this category hardly applies to the hobby photographer who films his summer cottage.
In the certified category, you can fly people and over crowds of people – we are talking here about more like transporting people with much larger machines. That requires a certificate and registration and training with the Swedish Transport Agency at an entirely different level.