The last month or so has had me more active again on the drone front. I finally went through the A2 Certificate of Competency examination process, which now allows me to fly the Mavic 2 in subcategory A2 (i.e. closer to people, primarily). I also had my first flight in a restricted area, after going through all the necessary procedures to obtain permission. It’s a good thing the weather in summer is predictable here, as all this needed a fair bit of advance planning. Any of my readers who also pilot drones will likely be familiar with all this, which came into being at the start of this year with the new EU legislation. It added a lot of bureaucracy, but in my view it’s a very useful normalisation of the process needed to obtain permission to fly and register drone flights across Europe. At least, now, the authorities concerned (the Civil Aviation Directorate, part of Transport Malta, locally) should have a full view of all drone flights on the island. That is, of course, assuming that all pilots follow the rules.
All of which makes me wonder, of course, how many flights happen without the necessary authorisations. A few weeks ago we were out for a walk on Dingli cliffs when I heard the unmistakable drone of a UAS being operated in the area. It didn’t take long to spot the thing and point my camera in that direction.