Drone users asked to register on new EU system as new rules come into effect

New European safety regulations for the use of drones are now being implemented, from January 2021 onward, according to the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).

The new European regulations (EU 2019/947 and 2019/945), which will replace existing Irish laws, will require the owners of most drones to register with the IAA.

Only the owners of a small drone weighing less than 250g with no camera or sensor will be exempt from registering.

There are over 14,000 drones currently on the IAA register and the owners of those on the current register will be required to re-register under the new EU system.

Such drones include devices which can be used to assist in agriculture, with drones being used for farming in innovative manners in other countries.

Commenting, Peter Kearney, chief executive of the IAA, said that, with the increased use of drones, it is important that owners operate them safely and the new regulations will help to achieve this.

“The new drone regulations have been developed to ensure a consistent approach across Europe to the registration and regulation of drones,” he said.

“The IAA will be transitioning over to the new regulations which apply from January 1.

“We have a user-friendly online registration process to make it easy for owners to register and to carry out the necessary training on the use of drones,” the chief executive added.

The organisation also outlined 10 drone safety tips:
  1. Fly your drone no higher than 120m (400ft);
  2. Make sure you can see your drone when flying (no more than 300m away);
  3. Do not fly your drone over an assembly of people, for example, at a parade, a concert or sports event;
  4. Do not fly your drone within 5km of an airport or military controlled airspace;
  5. Do not fly within 120m of a person, vehicle, vessel or structure not under your direct control;
  6. Do not operate your drone outside of your direct line of sight;
  7. Do not fly your drone in a restricted area such as a prison or military installation;
  8. Always seek permission from the landowner for take-off and landing;
  9. Make sure you register as an operator at iaa.ie/drones. It’s the law;
  10. Drone safety is your responsibility. Never operate your drone in a negligent or reckless manner to endanger life or property of others.

For those interested, further details on drone safety regulations can be found on the IAA website.