So theres a lot being said out there at the moment regarding sea label drones, but there is also some vital information which is often lacking if youre purchasing a dji, mavic 3 or any drone in the uk, with the understanding that it will be c1 labeled retroactively. Come 2023, you need to watch this video. Hopefully we can bring some clarity to it, just very quickly to explain for anyone new to this particular story. The eu adopted drone rules here in the uk, mean that, should you purchase a c label drone such as an a1 or c2 drone youll, get lots of extra benefits and freedoms about where you can fly that drone in the uk airspace recently, geeksvana has spoken to The ukcaa several times regarding the status of sea label drones. The first was within an interview with jonathan nicholson of the caa. At dronex. Here is a short clip of what he said. Can you give us any kind of update on how things are going with c labels, so the rules of eggs are in and have been for a while? We know that january 23 is when manufacturers have to produce. If you like um, i dont have a particular update from manufacturers. I mean really its up to them. You know its kind of like saying when a ford bringing out a new model of car, so so dji hotel, etc. They they have those standards available to them. Now then yeah, so if if, if dji wanted to produce their mavic 3, which is coming with uh a uk compliance uk ca c1 c0, whatever the mavic 3 will be under hopefully c2, please that could happen as far as the caa is concerned.

Yeah, so i mean yeah the the rules and legislations: are there its pretty much the same as the us rules and legislation, so it will be the same for for europe, um and yeah its i mean they have to do it from january 23 if they want To do it before then thats purely a commercial decision by the manufacturers as to when they start stamping things. Okay, sea label. Drones could, in theory, be produced to the standards of c labels right now, however, that is only in terms of the regulator, the caa one key aspect of producing sea label. Drones is still very much missing the standards body. This is something we put to the caa in a follow up to the interview and delivered during a live show here on geeksvana. Here is the clip from that show clarifying the position, the interview we did discuss sea labels and the fact that the standards are available to drone manufacturers – and i said okay, its time to put the pressure back on on dgi. Then, and after some reflection on that, i felt okay theres some more questions that need to be asked from that point of view. So we did ask: how does a drone manufacturer get their products cleared to have a sea label because of course, just the fact that the standards are there and the drone makers here thats able to make a drone to that? We need to bring the two together and whats in the middle is a standards agency that says okay.

This is this is how you get. This is this: these are the tests you have to go through. This is who has to oversee those tests to be able to say c1, c2, c3 see through and c0 mark drones, and the response from the caa from from jonathan nicholson was the government and in brackets, department for transport will be appointing a standard body to oversee The class mark the class marks and everything around them. They havent yet announced who it will be, but it wont be the caa, as as you would expect, manufacturers declare their products meet the standards and that will be overseen by that standards body. In reality, the idea is that users can simply look at the drone and see the mark, which, of course is is 100 correct. However, slightly different from the impression i felt that was given in the interview from the point of view that actually now its down to dgi because dji yes, they can make the drone up to that level, but and and and to those specifications. But at the moment they cannot put a c1 c2 uk logo on there because the standards body has not been announced. Yet the key question for you know, is at what process or what point of the process are. The uk government yes appointed the standards body and all that malarkey, which is the next thing, which is the next thing that im i am now on uh digging with with the department for transport etcetera as well.

So we will be coming back to you guys on this, but so this shows us that the sea labels cannot yet be placed on any drone from any manufacturer, because there is no standards body. We also need to keep in mind that once a standard body is appointed, they will go through the process of developing final tests and checks. Manufacturers need to go through to gain a c label mark for their drone. So, although the guidance is out there for manufacturers to follow until the standards body is in place and until that standard body confirms the requirements to gain a label, there will be no c1 label, mavic 3s or any other drone. Frankly, this is similar to the news. Ukca label. You now see on drones and tech products, giving new uk approval for a product which would have been approved for the uk under the ce mark. When the uk was, of course, part of the eu, that is a great point to talk more about retroactive. Labeling and why it is potentially a huge job in terms of being able to retroactively label drones already sold when the new sea label drones are formally available to manufacturers the same as the ce and ukca stamp of approval. The c label is intended to be placed on the drone at the point of manufacturer in such a way that it is not easily removed or copied by those looking to apply c1 labels on a dji inspire.

This means that having a process of retroactive labeling would have to include returning the drone to the manufacturer for stamping, as well as the financial issues, behind this, the cost to return your drone to the manufacturer, to inspect it and stamp it compliant. There is also the problem that the manufacturer would need to check the drone fully in terms of add ons or changes that the owner has made to ensure the drone still complies with the standards because theyre checking it at that point. Will manufacturers be willing to put such a process in place that exposes them legally for drones? They have already sold dji have previously stated retroactive labels would be possible for their enterprise level drones, but i wonder if they will be so willing for consumer drones when it actually comes to it. During our interview with jonathan nicholson from the caa actor dronex, he confirmed the retroactive label system would have to be more than simply sending labels to a drone owner here is a short clip from that interview. Dgi about 18 months ago, now put out a um, a blog post on their enterprise blog talking about the fact that there might be the opportunity, or certainly they felt, that their current drones were already at the easer regs for c1c2, and there might be some kind Of option to be able to retroactive is retroactive, something which, which, as far as youre aware, is possible under the current regulations, so again keep everything under review.

Um its too early to say really, we did have some people come to us at photo show going. What about stickers, i could put a sticker on um and and yeah, but you could stick around the problem. Is that yes, exactly if you start to allow it, then where does it start the whole ebay by your c2 sticker here exactly and the whole idea of having it printed and marked on at manufacturer is? Is it doesnt come off and its kind of there and its the manufacturer, thats declared it and put it on so wed need to look and see how you got that confidence? Absolutely you know somebody who wasnt necessarily as informed say a police person stopping or a local authority inspector could have that confidence that somebody hasnt got a 20 year old, joan and just put a seat thats right exactly its following on from our interviews and the subsequent Feedback jonathan then appeared live on geeksvana where he provided another sea label update in this clip. So what is the news on on sea labels at the moment? So uh, not a huge amount, different, really um. You know it comes back to the for the retro stuff. It comes back to making if, if that is going to happen – and i dont want to get peoples hopes up because its going to be its probably difficult to make it happen. But if it is going to happen its got to be something way more than somebody putting a sticker on um its got to be something that the manufacturer makes happen.

If you like, because to be frank, its its supposed to be something like its burnt into the plastic on your youre molding by the manufacturer, when they do it, so you cant sort of scrape it off with your fingernail or something like that. You know its. If you pick up a current drone and and you look at the ce labels and the ukca label and that type of thing, they are very difficult to remove for precisely that reason that they need an official standards mark to say that this this product is safe And yeah you the last thing we want, although of course we all want to see retroactive labeling. The last thing we also want is that system to be watered down? Frankly and and and to be, you know, ebay, specials, to be out there of his heres. Your c1 label for your inspire one yeah yeah thats, that yeah were not gon na. Do that so uh. You know that that it really has to be something that can guarantee to people that they that what theyre holding is what it says, if you like, and and with all of the class marking stuff as well, were in a kind of bit of a interim position Where, actually, the government is going to appoint a body to oversee and run the class marking system? We were kind of trying to fill the gap at the moment and help people and give what advice we can, but we wont be running the class marking system.

It will be this other body and we are saying to the government: please set it up as soon as possible, because obviously time is ticking and you know people want things and want to know things um. So there are some things we obviously know um, but it will be this other body that actually runs it on a day to day basis the manufacturers taking on that responsibility as well. So you know theyre theyre, the people that are declaring that that particular product meets that particular specification. So theyve obviously got a sort of responsibility back on them that they they need and want to make sure that that is done properly, because you know theyre going to be in serious trouble if, if thats, not yes exactly so, what does all of this information tell Us in terms of the ukc labeling issue, the summary of my thoughts, which comes from discussions with the uk airspace regulator, the fda, my inquiries to dft and other parts of government and countless discussions with industry and manufacturers. Is that if youre purchasing a drone at the moment in the hopes, you will be able to retroactively label? That drone be aware? It is just that at the moment, a hope, a probable hope, but a hope – and even if were lucky enough to be able to retroactively label our drones, then it will cost you more money and will almost certainly involve the drone being sent back to the manufacturer.

To be labeled, even for drones, like the mavic 3, which appear to only need a software tweak, this process will need to be carried out by the manufacturer and locked suitably for them to stamp the drone as c1 compliant. So my advice at the moment with any drone you are considering purchasing for use in the uk, is to keep in mind that if retroactive labeling can happen, which is still a big, if from both manufacturer and regulators, right now, then be prepared for that to cost. You money, but also be prepared for it to not be possible as well from the conversations i have had. There seems to be a reluctance to, as some would see it, water down the sea label system by allowing retroactive labels at all. So id expect. The hurdles put in place by the final uk standards body appointed to be multiple and potentially costly. We will, of course, keep you fully update on what is happening.