DJI Unveils C1 Upgrade for EU Pilots of Mini 4 Pro and Mini 3 Drone

Revolutionizing Drone Operations: The C1 Upgrade

DJI, a leading drone manufacturer, has announced an innovative upgrade for its Mini 4 Pro and Mini 3 drone models. This development is set to significantly transform the capabilities and regulations surrounding these popular DJI mini drones for European drone pilots.

READ MORE: REMOTE ID UPDATE FOR DJI MINI 3 AND MINI 4 PRO

From C0 to C1: The Limitations and Advancements

Initially, in , the Pro was classified under class C0, enabling it to fly over people without needing an A1/A3 pilot license. However, this came with a significant limitation: the drone could not exceed an altitude of 120 meters above the takeoff point. This restriction, imposed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency () for safety reasons, notably hindered operations in mountainous areas.

In response to these limitations, DJI previously allowed users to software downgrade their drones by removing the C0 label. This action permitted the drones to fly above 120 meters, with no operational consequences for legacy drones (those on the market before January 1, 2024, and weighing less than 250 grams).

However, this downgrade had its drawbacks. Legacy drones, like C0 drones, did not need to emit a . If users wanted to operate the Mini 3 or Mini 4 Pro in specific categories, such as controlled airspace, they needed to install a Remote ID add-on, increasing the drone's weight above 250 grams. Additionally, mounting accessories on these drones was discouraged as it could move them outside the operational parameters of Open subcategory A1.

Dji Unveils C1 Upgrade For Mini 4 Pro And Mini 3 Drones: A Game-Changer For Aerial Enthusiasts
DJI Unveils C1 Upgrade for Mini 4 Pro and Mini 3 Drones: A Game-Changer for Aerial Enthusiasts

The C1 Upgrade: A New Horizon

Recognizing these challenges, DJI has offered an upgrade to class C1 for the Mini 3 and Mini 4 Pro. This upgrade eliminates the software-imposed altitude limit and opens new possibilities for users.

Under class C1, the drones:

  • Can fly over residential, commercial, industrial, or recreational areas while observing no-fly zones.
  • Are not limited to a 120-meter height from the takeoff point.
  • Can exceed 250 grams at takeoff, allowing for accessory additions.

This upgrade, however, introduces new requirements, such as the need for electronic identification (remote ID), activation of the zoning system, and, for drones heavier than 250 grams at takeoff, the requirement to pass the A1/A3 exam. Moreover, flying over people should be avoided as much as possible.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of C1

The shift to class C1 offers several advantages. It allows users to fly above 120 meters, which is especially beneficial in mountainous regions. It also enables the addition of accessories to the DJI Mini 4 Pro and facilitates the use of drones under national scenarios in the Specific category, as they must be equipped with Remote ID. Post-upgrade, a Remote ID add-on is not necessary.

However, there are drawbacks. The anonymity of flying is reduced since C1 drones must transmit the operator's number and the takeoff location. Users also have to adhere to the new zoning system, which reportedly varies per member state, and the discouragement of flying over people contrasts with the more lenient approach for C0 drones.

The Upgrade Process

Users wishing to upgrade their Mini 3 or Mini 4 Pro to class C1 must apply through the DJI Fly service menu (from version 1.12.8) or the DJI website. Upon receiving the C1 stickers, users must send photos of their drone with the labels to DJI for final validation. It's important to note that reverting to C0 is not an option, so users should carefully consider the pros and cons before proceeding with the upgrade.

DJI's C1 upgrade for the Mini 4 Pro and Mini 3 is a significant step forward in the . It offers enhanced capabilities and greater flexibility for users, albeit with new responsibilities and regulations. This upgrade marks a pivotal moment for drone enthusiasts and professionals, signifying a new era in drone operations.

Dji Mini 4 Pro Drone True Vertical Shooting - Dji Unveils C1 Upgrade For Mini 4 Pro And Mini 3 Drones: A Game-Changer For Aerial Enthusiasts European

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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