Current DJI drones could receive retrospective class markings to enable pilots to enjoy greater freedoms under UK drone regulations.
Indeed, the DJI Mavic 3 has just become the first drone in the world to become C1 class marked in Europe, with a retrospective class-marking procedure, while the Mavic 3 Classic was released with a C1 class mark.
However, pilots operating in the UK cannot currently take advantage of class-marked aircraft.
The wording from the UK CAA states:
'A set of product requirements has been introduced within UK Regulation (EU) 2019/945.
'Currently, it is not possible for manufactures to comply with these requirements in the UK, due to the lack of designated standards, or Conformity Assessment Bodies, established under this regulation.
'As such, there are currently no UAS in the UK which are class marked in accordance with this regulation. For this reason, the CAA has removed class
marking guidance from this document, for simplicity and readability.
'This is subject to a regulatory review to be conducted by the DfT and the CAA in due course.
'UAS which are marked with a class mark, in accordance with the European version of this regulation, are not recognised in the UK as being class marked, and must be flown under the other open category provisions (i.e. transition, legacy or non-class marked).'
This move from the UK CAA came into effect on December 23, 2022.
So, while DJI has managed to get class markings for the Mavic 3 Series, this cannot currently be used in the UK.
Whether this changes in the future remains to be seen. We will also see if DJI is able to retrospectively class mark further drones.
It is worth noting that the Transitional period in the UK has been extended to January 1, 2026, so this does extend the longevity of non-class-marked DJI aircraft (or ones with a EU class mark not recognised by the UK CAA).
It means that they can continue to be operated with greater freedoms, compared to being restricted to flights in the A3 subcategory from the end of December 2022, as was previously planned before the Transitional period was extended.
The official CAA document (CAP 722) stating these changes to the Transitional period can be found here, with the key information on pages 37-39.