Great News for all Drone Pilots
It’s Official. The CAA have confirmed that the DJI Mavic Mini meets all of the requirements to be flown in the new A1 Category when the Open Category of drones goes live on 1 January 2021.
What this means is that anyone with a Mavic Mini will be able to fly far more freely than any of us can at the moment. Fly as close to buildings as you like, so long as you can be confident you could not endanger people, including people inside the building, by doing so. Please also bear in mind security and privacy considerations. Fly in congested areas, and over uninvolved people, but never over assemblies of people, who may not be able to move out of the way should something unforeseen happen to the drone. So long as the pilot can show that the flight can be completed safely.
It is no exaggeration to say this could bring a revolution in the extent to which drones are used in the workplace, to replace people working at height, and therefore save lives because fewer people will fall off ladders.
It will also mean that recreational pilots armed with a Mavic Mini and a good understanding of the regulations, will be able to fly in many places, confident in the knowledge they are not breaking the law*.
THIS IS ALL GREAT NEWS.
But note that the Mavic Mini does have its limitations, in terms of coping in the wind, and in terms of the quality of the images and video it can capture. It cannot be used for survey or mapping work either, as it doesn’t have a “brain” onboard to process automated flight routes etc. So there is no way I am saying that we should all throw out our Mavic 2 Pros (still the most complete drone around) in favour of the Mavic Mini. Likewise, there will still be a requirement for commercial drone pilots, trained to a high standard and holding a PfCO, to conduct most commercial work, and to fly larger drones in more complex operating environments.
If you want to know far more about all of this, why not consider joining our Fly Like a Pro, Film Like a Pro Video-Conference Course (see below), where Alan devotes plenty of time to an in-depth look at the changing regulatory landscape, and you can discuss your particular drone goals, and how to achieve them.
*Obviously it helps to know as much as possible about the rules and regulations when flying a drone. No-one should be blasé about them. We’ll have lots more to say about them, to make sure you are properly prepared, in the run up to the changes being introduced on 1 January 2021.