The A2 CofC is a competency certificate that that allows you to fly certain aircraft in the Open Category.
The A2 Certificate of Competency is a certificate that allows you to fly certain aircraft within the Open Category regardless if you want to fly commercially or for a hobby.
The A2 subcategory allows you to ‘fly closer to people’ if you hold an A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC) in the UK and are flying a C2 class aircraft or if your aircraft is less than 2 kg MTOM (maximum take-off mass).
C2 Class Aircraft with an A2 CofC
You’ll be able to fly down to 30m of uninvolved people, or down to 5m if the aircraft has been switched to a low-speed mode with a C2 class aircraft.
C2 class aircraft need to have less than a 4 kg MTOM, be ‘safely made’ as determined by manufacturering standards, it needs noise limitations, a remote ID and a form of geo awareness.
It also needs a low-speed mode which limits the maximum speed of the aircraft to 3 m/s (approx 6.7 mph).
Please note: There are NO EXAMPLES of a C2 class aircraft on the market at the time of publishing this article
‘Legacy’ Aircraft with an A2 CofC under 2 kg
If your aircraft is between 250g and 500g MTOM (like the Parrot Anafi) then you will need to hold an A2 CofC and then you will be able to fly close to uninvolved people as long as you don’t overfly them.
If your aircraft is between 500g and 2kg MTOM (like the DJI Mavic 2) then you will need to hold an A2 CofC and you will have to maintain a 50m separation distance from uninvolved people.
You will be able to fly these ‘legacy’ aircraft under these permissions with an A2 CofC until the 31st December 2022. After this point, you will only be able to fly these aircraft in the A3 ‘far from people’ category which means you’ve got to stay 150m away from residential, industrial, business and recreational areas and a minimum of 50m from uninvolved people.
(Please note: there is currently a consultation happening with the CAA to EXTEND the legacy aircraft transition period from 31st December 2022 to an undetermined date).
How do I get an A2 CofC
To get the A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC) that will allow you to fly C2 class aircraft down to 30m, or 5m in a low-speed mode or ‘Legacy’ aircraft in an A1 and A2 transitional provision, you firstly need to do the DMARES online examination to get the basic RP competency, and then you will need to take an additional theory test with an RAE (Recognised Assessment Entity).
This will mean learning a syllabus and then sitting a 30 question closed book examination which you will have a minimum of 75 minutes to complete.
There is no practical flight test or operations manual required as part of the course, however, the student will need to have completed a period of practical flight training, either under the guidance of an RAE or under self-monitored circumstances.
The student must declare in writing that they have completed the DMARES and flight training before taking the A2 CofC written examination.
As soon as you pass the written exam you’ll be instantly qualified to fly in the A2 category (an audit may be required before the certificate is released) with a C2 aircraft without having to apply to the CAA.
You’ll also be able to fly ‘legacy’ aircraft under 2 kg MTOM under the permissions summarised below:
- 250g - 500g MTOM - Fly close but not over uninvolved people
- until the 31st December 2022
- This includes the DJI Spark and Parrot Anafi
- 500g - 2kg MTOM - Maintain 50m separation distance from uninvolved people.
- until the 31st December 2022
- This includes the DJI Mavic, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Phantom 4
Your qualification lasts for 5 years, after which you’ll have to renew it.
You can book onto an A2 CofC course by visiting the link here > https://www.uavhub.com/products/online-a2-cofc-drone-course-a2-certificate-of-competency