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Air 3 in the UK - checking prerequisites and limitations

PickleFish

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Jul 31, 2023
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Age
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North Yorkshire
Hi all.

First up apologies as I know there are a good number of posts about UK drone rules. After a week of heavy reading and attempted research I am just want to make sure I have my facts straight. I’m posting in the Air 3 forum as this is the drone I currently plan on getting, but happy to have mods move it elsewhere if more relevant.

Have I got the following points correct…?

To be able to fly an Air 3 here in the UK all I need is to get a UK Flyer ID, UK Operator ID and do the online A2 CofC (which can be done within an hour or so online?).

From now (Aug 2023) until Jan 2026, the Air 3 will be in the A2 category here in the UK meaning I can fly it within 50m of uninvolved people (and residential areas?). Does this mean if people are involved and know the drone is there filming, I can fly much closer if needs be, even over their property?

Before the Air 3 was announced I was initially looking at the Mavic 3 Pro, but was confused when I saw a few YouTube videos saying that as it’s over 900g it can’t be used legally in most places in the UK. However, I can’t see anything on the Civil Aviation Authority website about a 900g limit - A2 goes up to 2kg. I think I’ll pass on the Mavic Pro 3 anyway as the Air 3 seems more than capable for my needs, but why the fuss about being over 900g? Would obtaining A2 CofC not negate most flight limitations anyway?

Some more context: I have previously borrowed and flown my friend's Mini 2 for a few months. While I enjoyed it I found myself unable to use it in many scenarios simply because of the wind (moorland, hilltops, other exposed places etc). I hike a lot and I wanted to use the Mini 2 I borrowed for (mainly) landscape photography and videos, but it more often than not couldn't cope with the wind speeds. I also found the wide-open field-of-view of the camera a little restrictive for the more close-up shots I personally wanted to achieve (tighter crops of landscapes).

The Air 3 seems to solve both these issues - I've seen reviews of it handling much higher wind speeds and the additional 3x camera is something I wished for every time I flew the Mini 2.

Price is not an issue as I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford anything up to a Mavic 3 Pro, and I even have a few work projects coming up shortly that I may be able to use a drone on.

The Air 3 will mostly (initially at least) be used for personal projects as I am not a full-time photographer/videographer, but I do have a gig coming up that I will be able to make good use of a drone on.
 
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@PickleFish reference to the 900g weight was removed from the A1 category here in the UK but is still relevant in many EU countries
yes having the A2 C of C certificate will allow you to fly the Air 3 in the A2 open category till 1st Jan 2026 if you look at Cap 2012 from the CAA site, this will give you all the info you need
 
@PickleFish reference to the 900g weight was removed from the A1 category here in the UK but is still relevant in many EU countries
yes having the A2 C of C certificate will allow you to fly the Air 3 in the A2 open category till 1st Jan 2026 if you look at Cap 2012 from the CAA site, this will give you all the info you need
Thanks for this. Do you happen to know what happens with the Air 3 after 1 Jan 2026? Will it be resigned to the A3 category only?
 
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