The A2 Certificate of Competency is a new qualification that is being introduced from the 1st July 2020 to allow you to fly certain aircraft within a new set of regulation categories, regardless if you want to fly commercially or for a hobby.
The A2 subcategory will allow 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).
You will be required to learn a set syllabus and then sit 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 (like UAVHUB) or under self-monitored circumstances.
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 EU manufacturer 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).
If your aircraft is between 250g and 500g MTOM (like the DJI Mavic Mini) 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 between 1st July 2020 and 30th June 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.
Holders of a PfCO valid beyond 1st July 2020, can operate under the terms of the permission they were granted by th CAA, until their renewal date.
This means you can still fly your 'legacy' aircraft, such as your DJI Mavic 2 or Inspire 2, under your Standard Permissions.
When you renew after 1st July 2020, the PfCO will become known as an Operational Authorisation, and you will be granted the same Permissions as before.
UAVHUB now also runs the GVC drone course if the A2 CofC is not suitable for your requirements.