Looking for Drone Laws in Ireland? Well, you’ve found them! You’re in luck because that’s exactly what we do. We keep our eyes on the latest and most updated drone laws in Ireland. We do so by researching through various different sources to bring you all of the latest drone laws and legalities that apply here in Ireland.
Drone laws in Ireland, just like those of the UK are somewhat vague. The Remotely Piloted Aircraft (Recorder) Regulations, 2016 is the document which governs the operation of drones within Ireland.
There is a lot of advice on using drones outdoors that most people ignore though this guidance is worth discussing as well as practically implementing them.
Unlike most other countries, Ireland has become a hotspot for drone-related activity. The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has to enforce laws relevant to drones and since they’ve started doing so, they haven’t done it by halves.
Fly A Drone As Long As You Follow Civil Aviation Authority Rules.
If you plan to fly a drone in Ireland, you must follow Irish aviation regulations.
In Ireland, there are no rules against flying recreational drones in Irish airspace. Rules only apply to drones that weigh more than 1 kg (2.2 pounds).
However, rules also apply to an unmanned aircraft weighing less than 1 kg if it’s flown in a dangerous manner or if it’s equipped with a camera and flown within 50 meters of any person or building not under the control of the pilot.
Do Not Fly Your Drone Above 400 Feet.
The first and most important thing to note is that the maximum height for flying a drone in Ireland (or anywhere else in the EU) is 400 feet .
If you’re not using a drone professionally and it weighs less than 5kg, you are legally allowed to fly your drone at an altitude of up to 400 feet. But, in order to fly your drone higher than 400 feet, you will have to obtain permission from the Irish Aviation Authority.
The reason why drones need permission to go above 400 feet is because drones can interfere with airplanes or helicopters.
Do Not Fly Your Drone Within 120 Metres
You cannot fly your drone within 120 metres of any congested area or large group of people. This includes sporting events and festivals.
You cannot fly your drone within 120 metres of people or property unless you have consent from the owner to do so. This includes farms, car parks and industrial sites, as well as commercial and residential areas.
You Must Only Fly Your Drone During The Day
You must only fly your drone during the day, and not in bad weather or clouds.
Flying at night is dangerous because you can’t see anything (including the drone) and because there’s more air traffic. Flying in bad weather is dangerous for similar reasons.
It’s easy to identify night time: it’s dark! Bad weather can be identified by checking out the forecast and looking out of a window. If you see lots of rainclouds or wind, then it’s probably bad weather!
Never Fly Your Drone Near An Airport
You must never fly your drone near an airport, aircraft or military base, and stay well away from other aerial traffic. This includes people flying model aircraft.
Flying near an airport can be very dangerous. It could cause a catastrophic accident, and it’s likely to result in the police being called.
If you see any of these in the vicinity, do not fly there:
- police helicopters; or
- emergency response helicopters
You Must Keep Your Drone In Your Line Of Sight
When flying outdoors, you must keep your drone in your line of sight at all times. This means that:
- The drone is kept within 5km of the operator at all times;
- The pilot maintains direct unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions; and
- The pilot can see the aircraft with his or her unaided vision (this does not include the use of binoculars).
Drones Are Fun If Flown Safely!
Drones can be great fun to fly. But they are not toys; they are serious pieces of equipment that can cause serious accidents.
If you’re using your drone for commercial purposes, you should also check out the rules and regulations on our commercial drone’s page. The key to enjoying your drone is to follow some simple rules when flying it.
- Always fly safely: don’t get so caught up in what you’re filming that you forget about everything else around you, including other people and obstacles. Fly below 400 feet and stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields
- Keep your drone in sight: if your drone weighs more than 250g, it must always be kept within visual line-of-sight (VLOS). This means being able to see your drone with the naked eye at all times (not through binoculars or similar)
Are Drones Allowed In Ireland?
The Civil Aviation Authority Has A List Of Rules.
The question of whether drones are allowed in Ireland has a simple answer: yes. However, this doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want with them. If your drone weighs more than 1 kg or is being flown commercially, the Irish Aviation Authority has a set of rules for its use.
In general, if you’re flying your drone for recreational purposes in an area away from airports or airfields and it’s not being used commercially, you don’t need to ask permission to fly it: simply fly below 120 metres (400 feet) and keep at least 30 metres (100 feet) away from people not involved in flying it.
When flying near to urban areas (defined as “any town with a population of 1,000 or more inhabitants; any town with a population between 500 and 1,000 inhabitants where there is significant air traffic; any city or major industrial or commercial area; or any aerodrome which handles scheduled air services on at least 15 days per annum”), the rules change slightly: fly below 50 metres (165 feet) and keep 30 metres (100 feet) away from people who aren’t flying it.
Rules Apply To Drones That Weigh Over 1kg
It doesn’t matter what you are using the drone for, whether it’s for business or for fun. If your drone weighs over 1kg and you fly it in a public place, then you’re breaking the law.
When applying these rules, please keep in mind that:
- Drones that weigh over 1kg are not allowed to be flown within 50 metres of any person, vessel, vehicle or structure that is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft.
- Drones that weigh over 1kg must not fly higher than 120 metres above ground level.
Rules Do Not Apply To Toys Drones.
The rules do not apply to toys drones.
Toy drones are covered by toy safety standards in Ireland therefore you don’t need a Permission for Commercial Operations (PCO) or an insurance policy.
Toy drones are typically small, lightweight, and inexpensive models that should be flown in daylight and used for recreational purposes only. Toys are also not required to be registered in Ireland. If the drone is a toy, it should have no camera attached to it whatsoever.
Rules Do Not Apply To Drones That Are Flown Indoors
The rules apply to all types of drones, including small, medium and large drones. The rules do not apply to drones that are flown indoors or when they are being used in a safe manner by a competent user.
It is important that you follow these rules at all times so as to avoid endangering yourself and others in the air, on the ground and at sea.
When flying your drone:
- You must keep it within sight at all times (even if you use binoculars)
- You must always fly your drone below 120m (400ft) above ground level (AGL)
- You must fly your drone away from airports and airfields unless permission has been given by the relevant authority
- You must not fly your drone over or near crowds, people or built-up areas unless permission has been given by the relevant authority
- You must keep a distance of 30m from people/vehicles/property
Drones Must Be Kept 30 Metres Away From People
You must not fly a drone over people or property.
You must not fly a drone more than 120 metres above the ground.
In rural areas, you must keep your drone no higher than 120 metres above the ground, and no further than 30 metres away from people or property.
Drones Must Be Kept 50 Metres Away From Property
In urban areas, drones must be kept 50 metres away from people or property and must be no higher than 120 metres above the ground.
Drones Are Allowed In Ireland But There Are Restrictions
Yes, a drone can be flown in Ireland, but Ireland does have regulations for drone use. Some of these regulations are as follows:
- Drones must be kept 50 metres away from people or property and must be no higher than 120 metres above the ground in urban areas.
- Drones must be kept 30 metres away from people or property and must be no higher than 120 metres above the ground in rural areas.
- The maximum speed at which a drone is allowed to travel is 65 kilometres per hour.
How To Register Drones In Ireland
Irish Aviation Authority (iaa) Has Set Up A Registration Form
To register your drone, simply go to the IAA website and follow the instructions on the registration page.
You will need to provide a brief description of your drone and also fill in personal details like name, home address and email address. The certificate will be sent by email as soon as you have completed the registration process.
If you do not have access to a computer or internet connection at home, you can use any public library or internet café to register your drone online. It is recommended that you carry out the registration process in person if possible.
This will ensure that all information entered into the system is correct and reduce delays in receiving the certificate of registration for your drone on time.
If you choose not to register online, then send all relevant details about yourself, such as name and contact information, along with a written description of what type of drone it is via post or fax instead.
Must Register If You Are Planning On Flying A Drone
You must register if you are planning on flying a drone or an unmanned aircraft that weighs between 1kg and 25kg (including payload).
You should also register your drone even if it is not intended to fly, or if any of the following apply:
- you have access to more than one unmanned aircraft
- you have multiple long-range control stations
- you have multiple operators
There is no limit to how many drones you can register with the IAA, including hobbyist drones. All drones must be registered with the IAA, even if they are just being used for recreational purposes.
Cost Of Registering Is €5 Per Annum, Per Drone.
The cost of registration for a drone is €5 per annum, per drone. Registration is free for drones that weigh less than 1kg
You can pay by credit card on the IAA website. You can register as many drones as you like. You can also register up to 5 drones on one form.
Registration Is Free For Drones Less Than 1kg.
Equipment used for flying drones or model aircraft must be registered. You can do this if:
- you’re aged 16 years or older
- the equipment weighs over 1kg, unless you intend to use it indoors only and it is under 2kg
Exemptions From Registering A Drone
There are a number of exemptions from registering a drone, such as if it’s being flown at indoor events or competitions or being used for theatrical productions. Drones using a camera at an indoor event is likely to be exempt from registration but you should check the details of your case with the IAA before operating.
There’s also an exemption for drones being operated under the direct supervision of an expert aeromodeller at model flying clubs as long as the clubs have been approved by IAA.
These are usually marked in maps provided by the authority, and you can use our map showing where you can fly a drone without prior approval.
As for Northern Ireland, it is considered part of the UK, so it follows all rules established there. All drones, even those weighing less than 250 grams and operated recreationally, must be registered with the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).
You Will Be Given A Certificate Upon Registration.
Upon registering, you will be given a certificate. You need to carry this certificate with you whenever you fly your drone or unmanned aircraft in Ireland.
Make sure you have the certificate with you when flying your drone. If a member of An Garda Síochána asks for it, you must show it to them. If you don’t, they can remove your drone and issue a fine.
If convicted of flying an unregistered drone, you could face up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to €250,000 (or both).
Details Of Each Individual Drone Will Be Stored On The Iaa’s Database.
The IAA will store your personal details and the details of each individual drone on its database but will not share this information with anyone other than the Garda Síochána (police) in exceptional circumstances where there is a more pressing legal obligation.
The IAA may also use your personal details to contact you if they have further questions or concerns about your drones.
The registration data of each individual drone is confidential and will only be shared with the Garda Síochána (police) in exceptional circumstances where there is a more pressing legal obligation.
Registering A Drone In Ireland Is Easy And Inexpensive
There are a number of consequences for not following the rules and regulations when operating your drone. Not registering your drone is considered a serious offence.
If you are caught flying your drone without having previously registered it, you may be subject to:
- €250,000 fine
- 5 years imprisonment
Frequently Asked Question (drone Laws Ireland)
When Do I Need A Permission To Fly My Drone?
When you fly your drone over a congested area, it is important to note that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requires that you take into consideration the proximity of the aircraft to people or property.
You must ensure that your drone does not infringe on the privacy of other individuals nearby. The CAA has defined “congested” as an area where there are at least 500 people within 1km2 or 50 metres from any point on its perimeter.
The Irish Aviation Authority also states that if you intend to fly within 150 metres of an airport, military base or other area classed as sensitive airspace then you must seek permission from Air Navigation Services Ireland (ANSIR).
Can I Fly My Drone Near The Airport?
- You must not fly your drone within five kilometres of an airport. This includes any airport and military airbase in the country, as well as all prisons and nuclear facilities.
- You must also not fly your drone within five kilometres of a prison, whether that’s a regular prison or one used by the police to hold suspects while they are being questioned (such as Clonmel Garda Station).
Can I Fly My Drone Near The Military Base?
You can fly your drone in the vicinity of a military base if you get permission from the base. You should be aware that they may have different rules and restrictions than the other places you are flying in.
For example, they might require you to be more than 500 feet away from their perimeter, which is greater than what is considered safe for general airspace and could significantly reduce how much area you can cover with your drone!
We hope that you find the information in this article useful, as we intend it to become a useful resource for commercial and recreational drone pilots alike.
If you have any further questions about drone laws in Ireland, or would like to read up on the upcoming drone regulations in Ireland, please feel free to have a look at our store or contact us. As always, thank you for reading and happy flying!