Global Drone Regulations for Hobbyists

Global Drone Regulations for Hobbyist

Global Drone Regulations for Hobbyist

It seems like there’s no end to the increasing popularity of drones around the world. With the growing numbers of drone pilots, laws and regulations are also on the rise in an attempt to ensure safety with this evolving technology.

With the summer holiday season near, we’ve begun to create a comprehensive list of the global regulations for hobbyist drone pilots to increase understanding when travelling with your drone. We’ve started with some of the most popular holiday destinations for UK residents in 2018 and will be adding to the list.

Keep reading to see the drone laws and regulations for hobbyist pilots around the world.


Please Note – Laws and regulations are subject to change. All included countries in this post were written as understood at the point of publishing.


Europe Drone Regulations

Hobbyist Drone Regulations - Europe

Hobbyist Drone Regulations – Europe

The European drone regulations are overseen by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency). EASA is currently reviewing drone regulations with any changes to come into effect in the final quarter of 2018.

United Kingdom

UK drones

Civil Aviation Authority

Regulatory Body: CAA (Civil Aviation Authority)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Don’t exceed 400ft (120m)
  • Maintain VLOS (Visual Line of Site)
  • Don’t fly further than 1640ft (500m) away from yourself
  • Don’t fly within 1 mile of an airport
  • Don’t fly within 150ft (50m) of people or property
  • Don’t fly within 500ft (150m) of congested areas
  • Legal responsibility is with the pilot

If you’re interested in becoming a commercial drone pilot, head to our drone PfCO training page here.


Republic of Ireland

Ireland drones

Irish Aviation Authority

Regulatory Body: IAA (Irish Aviation Authority)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Don’t fly within 100ft (30m) of people or property
  • Don’t fly further than 990ft (300m) of yourself
  • Don’t exceed 400ft (120m)
  • Don’t fly over urban areas
  • Don’t fly in civil or military controlled space
  • Drones over 1kg must be registered

Spain

Spain drones

Dirección General de Aviación Civil

Regulatory Body: DGAC (Dirección General de Aviación Civil)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Maintain VLOS
  • Stay away from people, animals and objects
  • Don’t fly over 400ft (120m)
  • Don’t fly within 1 mile (8km)
  • Respect the privacy of others
  • Don’t fly at night
  • Don’t operate in clouds, industrial sites, urban areas and restricted areas
  • Minimum age of 18 years old

France

France drones

Directorate General for Civil Aviation

Regulatory Body: DGAC (Directorate General for Civil Aviation)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Don’t fly over people
  • Don’t fly over 500ft (150m)
  • Maintain VLOS with the drone
  • Don’t fly over congested areas
  • Never fly over restricted and sensitive sites
  • Always respect people’s privacy
  • Consent is required for media of people
  • Don’t fly at night

Turkey

Turkey drones

States Airport Administration of Turkey

Regulatory Body: SAMA (States Airport Administration of Turkey)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: Yes

Drones Permitted: Only with approval

Italy

Ente Nazionale Per l’Aviazione Civile

Regulatory Body: ENAC (Ente Nazionale Per l’Aviazione Civile)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Maintain VLOS with your drone
  • Don’t exceed 230ft (70m)
  • Keep your drone within 650ft (200m)
  • Do not fly over crowds, houses or transport links
  • Do not fly within 5km (3 miles) of an airport
  • Don’t fly over schools, hospitals or sensitive areas

Portugal

Portugal drones

National Civil Aviation Authority

Regulatory Body: ANAC (National Civil Aviation Authority)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Don’t fly over 400ft (120m)
  • Maintain VLOS
  • Don’t fly over crowds
  • Do not fly at night
  • Drones must be flown at least 100ft (30m) from people
  • Don’t fly over crowds or densely populated areas
  • Don’t fly toy drones over 100ft (30m)

Germany

German Drones

Luftfahrt-Bundesamt

Regulatory Body: LBA (Luftfahrt-Bundesamt)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Maintain VLOS
  • Hobbyist drones must weigh under 2kg
  • Drones over 250g must have a sticker/badge with the owner’s name and address
  • Drones over 250g cannot be flown in residential areas
  • Drones shouldn’t exceed 330ft (100m)
  • If fitted with a camera, do not fly over houses
  • Do not fly over crowds, emergency services or sensitive areas
  • Do not fly at night

Netherlands

Netherlands drones

De Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport (ILT)

Regulatory Body: ILT (De Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Do not exceed 400ft (120m)
  • Do not fly over groups or built-up areas
  • Stay 50 meters away from people, buildings, vehicles etc.
  • Maintain VLOS
  • Do not fly at night
  • You’re liable for any damage or injury caused by your drone

Russia

The Federal Air Transport Agency

Regulatory Body: FATA (The Federal Air Transport Agency)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Drones over 250g must be registered
  • Registration document must be fixed to the drone
  • Don’t fly over people or crowds
  • Do not fly over sensitive areas
  • Don’t fly at night

Please be aware, network jammers are occasionally used in Russia which will affect the operation of your drone.

Greece

Greece Drones

Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority

Regulatory Body: HCCA (Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Do not fly over people of crowds
  • Don’t fly over 400ft (120m)
  • Do not fly closer than 170ft (50m) to anything outside your control
  • Don’t fly further from yourself than 1640ft (500m)
  • Don’t fly within 6km of airports
  • Don’t fly at night
  • Don’t fly over sensitive areas including archaeological sites

Africa Drone Regulations

Hobbyist Drone Regulations - Africa

Hobbyist Drone Regulations – Africa

South Africa

South Africa

South African Civil Aviation Authority

Regulatory Body: SACAA (South African Civil Aviation Authority)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Don’t fly closer than 160ft (50m) to people
  • Don’t fly closer than 160ft (50m) to property without permission
  • Don’t fly closer than 10km to an aerodrome
  • Don’t exceed 150ft (45m)
  • Maintain VLOS
  • Inspect your drone before each flight

Kenya

Kenya Drones

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority

Regulatory Body: KCAA (Kenya Civil Aviation Authority)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: Yes

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Drones use must be approved by the KCAA and Kenyan Ministry of Defence

Morocco

Morocco drones

Moroccan Aviation Authority

Regulatory Body: MAA (Moroccan Aviation Authority)

Drones Permitted: No

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Drones not permitted and confiscated on arrival

The Americas Drone Regulations

Hobbyist Drone Regulations - The Americas

Hobbyist Drone Regulations – The Americas

USA

Federal Aviation Administration

Regulatory Body: FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes – with registration

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Drones must be registered with the FAA ($5.00 fee)
  • Don’t exceed 400ft (120m)
  • Maintain VLOS
  • Respect people’s privacy
  • Don’t fly near airports or aircrafts
  • Don’t fly over crowds
  • Don’t fly near emergency services
  • Don’t fly while under the influence of alcohol

Canada

Canada Drones

Transport Canada

Regulatory Body: Transport Canada

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Maintain VLOS
  • Remain under 300ft (90m)
  • Affix name, address and contact number to the drone
  • 250g to 1kg – stay at least 100ft (30m) away from people and vehicles
  • 1kg to 35kg – stay at least 250ft (76m) away from people and vehicles
  • Stay 5.6km away from aerodromes
  • Stay at least 1.9km from helicopter aerodromes
  • Stay at least 9km from natural hazard or disaster sites
  • Avoid flying where you could interfere with emergency services
  • Only fly in the day when there isn’t cloud coverage
  • Don’t exceed 1640ft (500m)

Mexico

Mexico Drones

Directorate General of Civil Aeronautics

Regulatory Body: DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aeronautics)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Drones weighing over 2kg require a permit
  • Maintain VLOS
  • Only fly during the day
  • Don’t fly over people or crowds
  • Don’t fly over 400ft (120m)

Argentina

Argentina drones

Aviación Civil Argentina

Regulatory Body: ANAC (Aviación Civil Argentina)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: Yes – Must be registered

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Drone pilots are liable for any damage caused by the drone
  • Must be over 18 to fly independently
  • Pilots 16 or 17 must be supervised by an adult
  • The maximum height of 400ft (120m)
  • Don’t fly within 5km of airports
  • Maintain VLOS
  • Don’t fly at night
  • Attach a registration plate to the drone
  • Don’t fly over populated areas or crowds

Asia Drone Regulations

Hobbyist Drone Regulations - Asia

Hobbyist Drone Regulations – Asia

China

China drones

Civil Aviation Administration of China

Regulatory Body: CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: Yes

Drones Permitted: Yes – with registration

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • If your drone weighs over 250g, register your drone with the CAAC and affix their QR code to your drone
  • Don’t exceed 400ft (120m)
  • Maintain VLOS
  • Third-party liability insurance is required
  • Don’t fly in densely populated areas
  • Don’t fly near emergency services or restricted areas

Japan 

Japan drones

Japan Civil Aviation Bureau

Regulatory Body: JCAB (Japan Civil Aviation Bureau)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Don’t exceed 500ft (150m)
  • Don’t fly near airports
  • Don’t fly in densely populated areas
  • Only fly in daylight
  • Maintain VLOS
  • Don’t fly within 100ft (30m) of people or property
  • Don’t transport or drop objects

Vietnam

Vietnam Drones

Ministry of National Defence

Regulatory Body: MoD (Ministry of National Defence)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: Yes – Must apply for a permit

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • A permit is required for drone authorisation

Thailand

Thailand drones

Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand

Regulatory Body: CAAT (Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: Yes

Drones Permitted: Yes – if registered

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Drones with a camera or exceeding 2kg must be registered
  • Don’t fly closer than 100ft (30m) to people
  • Don’t fly near manned aircraft
  • Don’t fly near sensitive areas
  • Don’t fly within 9km of an airport or airfield
  • Maintain VLOS
  • Don’t exceed 300ft (90m)

India

India drones

Directorate General of Civil Aviation

Regulatory Body: DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: Yes

Drones Permitted: Not for tourists

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Must apply for a unique registration number which is only available for Indian residents

Oceania Drone Regulations

Hobbyist Drone Regulations - Oceania

Hobbyist Drone Regulations – Oceania

Australia

Australia

Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Regulatory Body: CASA (CivilAviation Safety Authority)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Only fly in daylight
  • Maintain VLOS
  • Stay 100ft (30m) away from people
  • Don’t exceed 400ft (120m)
  • Stay 5.5km away from aerodromes and helipads
  • Avoid emergency services
  • Respect people’s privacy
  • Only pilot one drone at a time
  • Don’t fly within 1000ft (300m) of marine mammals

New Zealand

New Zealand

Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand

 

Regulatory Body: CAA (Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand)

Permission Required for Hobbyist Flight: No

Drones Permitted: Yes

Drone Laws and Regulations:

  • Only fly in daylight
  • Give way to all manned aircraft
  • Maintain VLOS
  • Do not exceed 400ft (120m)
  • Don’t fly within 4km of an aerodrome
  • Don’t fly over sensitive or restricted areas
  • Only fly over people with their consent
  • Only fly over property with consent

Please Note – In addition to the above rules and regulation, each country will have individual no-fly zones and restricted airspace. Please also adhere to these additional regulations.


Summary

Flying your drone when away on holiday is an exciting prospect. The change of scenery can give you an impressive new subject for your photos and videos that you clearly want to make the most of.

Make sure you respect the rules of the country you’re travelling to in order to avoid fines and the potential loss of your drone. The regulations are increasing constantly and respecting them is the best way to help keep them fair and appropriate for sensible drone pilots.

For advice on travelling with your drone, head to our previous blog post here. If in doubt, check with your airline provider who will be able to give you a definitive answer.


Please Note – Regulations are subject to change and misinterpretation. Heliguy recommends you check the individual guidelines in countries before flight and use the above as a guide for hobbyist drone flying only.


To discuss any information from the above post or any DJI or Freefly product, please give one of our team a call on 862 298 5964 or email us at [email protected].


Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog for more announcements, insights into drones and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.

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