Global Drone Regulations for Hobbyists

Global Drone Regulations for Hobbyists

Heliguy Insider have created this guide to global drone regulations for hobbyist users looking to fly their drone on holiday. Read our guide to see the drone laws in the top holiday destinations.

10 minute read

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 Sight)
  • 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 0191 296 1024 or email us at info@heliguy.com.
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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