ROC-light and RPA-L conversion to drone proof A2 starts
Dutch drone pilots who are in possession of a ROC-light exemption or RPA-L pilot license can now have these converted to the European drone ticket A2. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management reports this. Applications for transposition must be submitted before 31 October 2021. There are no costs associated with the conversion.
Transposition of national flight tickets
With the introduction of European regulations for drones at the beginning of 2021, the validity of national licenses, permits and exemptions came to an end in phases. Dutch documents including the ROC-light and RPA-L are still valid until 31 December 2021, after which you must have switched to the new European system.
For a long time, it was unclear exactly where drone pilots with such national air tickets were in place. It was communicated from the ministry that the ROC-light and RPA-L could be converted to the OPEN A2 flight certificate at a good time. In order to manage that process, Koninklijke NLR was taken into the arm. This instance has developed a theory module and a step-by-step plan.
The roclightomzetting.nlr.nl website explains the steps to take to have the ROC-light or RPA-L converted to a European drone ticket A2:
You can choose one via the website of the two options. After that, you need to fill in the correct contact details, as well as the number of your RPA-L certificate or ROC-light waiver. In the latter case, you must also specify which body you have taken the exam at. Finally, you must upload a digital copy of your RPA-L certificate or ROC-light theory proof.
The conversion is basically free of charge (but the RDW does charge costs for issuing the A2 proof). You also don’t have to take another exam. However, you are expected to go through the (additional) theory material properly. That doesn’t hurt anyway if it’s been a while since you’ve taken the teaching material to you.
Open category A2
The OPEN A2 flight certificate gives you the opportunity to fly up to 2 kg recreationally or professionally with legacy drones (without a Cx label) in Open category A2, provided you keep at least 50 meters away from people on the ground. This is allowed until 31-12-2022, then you can only fly with these drones in Open category A3, at least 150 meters away from people and buildings.
As soon as C2 label drones appear on the market, you can fly in this category with devices up to 4 kg, so you can fly closer to people on the ground, especially when low-speed mode is on.
Specific category and ROC
Drone pilots who want to become active in the Specific category will still have to follow additional training courses. Indeed, the A2 drone ticket provides insufficient basis to be allowed to work with the EASA standard scenarios STS01 (VLOS flights above populated area) or STS02 (BVLOS flights above uninhabited area).
Finally, it is still unclear at the moment how ROC permits will be converted to the new system. As soon as the ministry provides more clarity about this, you can quickly read that back on Dronewatch.