Rules for recreational use of drones

Anyone flying a drone is using airspace. Airspace is subject to air traffic regulations. For example, you are not permitted to fly at altitudes over 120 metres. Nor are you permitted to fly over groups of people or connected buildings.

The government sets down requirements for hobby drones

If you fly a drone for personal purposes, you must abide by the Model Aeroplanes Regulations. For example, you are not permitted to fly over groups of people or connected buildings. Your drone must be in sight at all times. As soon as you see an aeroplane or helicopter approaching, you must land as quickly as possible.

Where may I fly and where not?

For reasons of safety, you may not fly your drone just anywhere. For example, you are not permitted to fly over groups of people.

The government has also set down requirements regarding the conditions under which you may fly. For example:

  • You must be able to see the drone at all times.
  • You may not fly in the dark.
  • You must always give priority to all other aircraft, such as aeroplanes, helicopters, gliders, et cetera. This means that you must land immediately once you see an aircraft approaching. 

Weight requirements for drones

The maximum weight for private drones is 25 kilogram. In the very near future, this rule may be amended to a lower maximum weight.

Making films and photographs with a drone

You may use your drone to make aerial films and photographs for your own personal use. This is regarded as recreational use. However, you must observe the privacy rights of others. For example, you are not permitted to secretly film someone. If you film or take pictures of someone, you must inform the person concerned.

Insurance for damage by drones

Have you caused damage with your drone? Then you are liable for damages or injuries you caused. For that reason, it is important for you to verify whether your liability insurance covers any damage your drone inflicts on others. Not all liability insurances do so. In some cases, the damage may run up to a substantial sum (up to thousands of euros).

Fine for drone pilot

If you fail to abide by the rules, you may be given a warning or a fine. Your drone may also be confiscated. The amount of the fine or the punishment depends on the type of violation. For example, the judicial authorities will consider whether you were using the drone professionally or for hobby purposes, and whether you have endangered people.

Professional use of drones

If you use your drone to make money, the rules for commercial use of drones apply.