Rules for the commercial use of drones

If you use your drone to make money, you must observe the rules for commercial (professional) use. With these rules, the government intends to ensure maximum flight safety. The rules entail that you need to apply for one or more permits. 

Commercial use or personal use

The rules that apply to commercial users differ from those applying to people who fly a drone as a hobby.

Use of a drone is considered commercial if you intend to make money with your drone. For example, video production companies making aerial photographs or films. Some people need a drone for their business operations, such as inspection companies wishing to examine locations that are difficult to reach. This also constitutes commercial use.

Fewer accidents with commercial use

If you use your drone for business purposes, you must apply for a permit: the RPAS Operator Certificate (ROC). Do you fly the drone yourself? Then you must also be in possession of a pilot’s licence.

The rules for commercial use are intended to minimise the risk of accidents. Both in the air and on the ground.

Rules for drones clearer and simpler

New rules came into force on 1 July 2015. Before that, you needed to apply for an exemption for each drone flight. These exemptions have been replaced by a pilot’s licence (for the pilot) and a permit (for the company). This enables you to fly drones on a structural basis. The government thus aims to clarify and simplify the rules for commercial drones. With effect from 1 July 2016, you may apply for a light permit, if you operate a drone weighing no more than 4 kg.

General rules for drones also apply to professional flights

If you are in possession of a ROC permit or a ROC Light permit, you may fly your drones professionally. However, the general safety rules for drones still apply. 

Punishments for unlawful use of drones

If you fail to abide by the rules, you may be penalised, for example with a fine. The police may also confiscate your drone. Repeated violation of the rules is punishable by imprisonment.