Drone laws Northern Ireland is a website that offers wide range of information about the drone laws and regulations for Northern Ireland. It has been designed to help drone users about the law and to use drones responsibly. We at the website want to create awareness among the people who want to learn about the drone laws from Northern Ireland.

Drone Laws Northern Ireland

Drone Laws Northern Ireland

The regulations surrounding the use of drones in Northern Ireland are more stringent than in the United Kingdom as a whole. This is due to their proximity to the Irish Sea and their position near some of Europe’s busiest airspaces.

The rules governing flying unmanned aircrafts are enforced by the Policing and Community Safety Partnership, who govern them according to what’s outlined in The Air Navigation (Northern Ireland) Order 2007.

Who Can Fly And Where?

The CAA rules for Northern Ireland are as follows:

  • Drone pilot license: You must be at least 16 years old to fly a drone, and you have to have a full or provisional driving license or some other form of photo ID on you while flying.
  • Registration: You can register your drone online. There’s no fee or limit on the number you can register at once; however, they do recommend that if your drone weighs more than 20 kg (44 lbs.), it’s best not to register it right away—you should wait until after your first flight so that you can get an idea of how much weight is being added by the battery and other components.
  • Age limits: The minimum age for getting a drone pilot’s license varies from country to country; in Northern Ireland, it’s 14 years old, but with parental consent only! If your child is under 12 years old, they’ll need someone over 18 present when they’re operating their craft outdoors or above 400 feet above ground level (AGL). And remember that even if they’re flying indoors within line-of-sight range—say around their house—they still need some sort of visual contact with their craft via camera feed etc., otherwise serious consequences could occur if something were suddenly needed like an emergency landing site!

Drone Flying Rules

The law says that you must keep your drone in sight at all times. You also need to make sure that you don’t fly within 150 metres of a congested area, or within 50 metres of any person, vessel, vehicle or structure not under the control of the pilot.

Drone Weight

You are required to register your drone if it weighs more than 250g, and you must be 16 years old to fly a drone of any weight.

How does Dronesafe apply?

If the flight is for commercial purposes, the operator must hold an appropriate licence issued by the CAA and comply with all conditions attached to their licence. If you intend flying for hobby or recreational use then you may need to consider whether any other permissions are required such as those in relation to privacy/data protection laws or public safety/security considerations.

Drone Proximity To Airports Etc

The law states that any drone pilot who wishes to fly a drone within 5 miles of an airport must first obtain permission from the airport manager. The drone must also be visible at all times, and must not exceed 400 feet in height. Furthermore, it is illegal for drones to be flown within 50 metres of congested areas or people or property (including livestock).

Pilot Registration

  • You must be 18 years or older to fly a drone.
  • You must register your drone with the government.
  • Your drone must be registered (this applies even if you are not flying it).
  • Your drone must be kept in sight at all times. If you can’t see your drone, you can’t operate it!
  • The pilot of a small unmanned aerial system (UAS) may only fly within visual line-of-sight of the UAS. This means that if you’re flying your UAS in Northern Ireland, it has to remain within sight at all times and cannot exceed 500 meters away from your person or vehicle unless specifically authorized by CASA or another competent authority under national laws relating to aircraft registration requirements for Northern Ireland residents operating remotely piloted aircrafts/drones with sub 400 gram weight limits which only require registration through local authorities rather than CASA itself since they aren’t considered aircrafts under UK law

Permission Needed From The Airport Etc

  • You must contact the airport or airfield before flying your drone.
  • You must not fly within 5km of an airport or airfield, even if you are outside of their airspace.
  • You must not fly within 2km of a helicopter landing site.
  • Do not fly directly over people or vehicles and structures no matter how far away they are from you (50m).

Things To Be Careful About

  • Flying too high. The maximum height for a drone is 150 metres or 500 feet. If you’re flying a drone that is above these heights, there are very specific rules on how to do it (and they aren’t easy).
  • Flying too close to people, buildings and the sea: A drone cannot fly within 50 metres of any person or property without the operator’s permission. If you have permission from someone to fly your drone near them, it must stay at least 15 metres away from them at all times – except when taking off or landing where no contact is needed due to their size!

If you fly your drone over water, it should not be more than 120 metres above sea level unless otherwise instructed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This limit also applies if you’re flying over any road or railway underpasses where clearance obstacles could cause damage if struck by an aircraft which makes good time through these areas (such as those found along motorways)

Penalties For Breaking The Rules

The rules around drone flights are very strict in Northern Ireland, and breaking them could result in a fine of up to £2,000.

  • Illegal flight: Flights that don’t comply with the law can result in a fine of up to £1,000.
  • Endangering aircraft: Illegal flights that endanger the safety of an aircraft can result in a fine of up to £2,000 and 5 years’ imprisonment.

If you’re flying your drone in Northern Ireland and unsure whether it is illegal or not, it’s best to check with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Drones Are Subject To Strict Regulation In Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, drones are subject to strict regulation. To fly a drone in Northern Ireland, you must register it with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The registration process is free and can be completed online in just a few minutes. If you are purchasing your first drone, then do this before flying it at all. Registration lasts for 12 months and is valid until the end of 2019 if not renewed sooner.

Registration numbers must be shown on all drones that have been registered with the CAA when they are used in public places—this includes parks, roadsides or other areas where members of the public might see them. Some drones have small tags that show their registration number but others don’t; if your drone doesn’t come with one, simply write down this information yourself on a sticker that can be attached to your aircraft. Don’t forget: not displaying your registration number could result in fines from £100 up to £1,000!

Registration Of Drone In Northern Ireland

Registration Of Drone In Northern Ireland

Create An Account On The Register Of Drones

To start the registration process, you will need to create an account on the register of drones website. You only need to do this once and then you can use your account to pay for your theory test and registration fee. Once you have created your account, go back to the home page and select ‘register’ from the top menu. Here you will find everything that you need to know about registering as a drone operator in Northern Ireland including:

  • How much does it cost?
  • How long does it take?
  • Do I need any other paperwork?

Read The Drone Code And All Other Related Materials

The site that you use to register your drone should have links to all the relevant documents, including the Drone Code.

  • The Drone Code is a set of rules that must be followed when operating a drone. It’s important that you know and understand these rules before flying your drone.
  • You can find the Drone Code on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website here: [DRONE CODE LINK]

Take The Theory Test And Pass It

You will need to take a theory test. This is an online exam that you can take as many times as you like, but only once every 24 hours. You must pass the test before continuing with the registration process, so make sure you don’t rush through it or skip any questions!

If you want to proceed with your drone registration, all you have to do is answer 70% of questions correctly!

Register With One Of The Approved Flight Schools

There are a number of approved flight schools, and most operate at a local level. You can find an approved flight school by searching online, or by asking around at your local drone store or community center.

The first thing you should ask when choosing one is what their process is for getting licensed to fly. What does the course entail? How long does it take? Do they have any programs designed specifically for beginners? What do I need in order to take the class: drone, camera, etc.?

It’s best if you can visit a class before committing to pay any money. Ask how many students typically participate in these classes—is it just one person or several dozen? Are they done with live instructors or online only? Also make sure that whatever program they offer will get you certified right away; some require additional testing before being allowed out on your own

Documentation Process

Get a passport size photo of yourself and get it signed by your flight school instructor. This will be required for documentation purposes.

You can take your own photo or ask the photographer at the photo studio to take one for you (without flash). The photo should be in line with the specifications of your passport photo such as:

  • The background must be white or light grey
  • The head must fill 85% of the frame width
  • The subject’s eyes should not touch any borders (this is important so that when looking at their face from different angles, they don’t appear to have no eye sockets)

Apply For Registration 

All you need to do is fill in the application form and attach all necessary documents together with your course completion certificate.

You will also be required to attach a passport-sized photo with the application form.

Pay Your Application Fee

  • Pay Your Application Fee and wait for your registration number to become available for use.
  • The cost of registering a drone in Northern Ireland is £35 (€40).
  • It takes approximately 28 working days from the date of submission (21 working days if you have a European Health Insurance Card) to process an application.
  • Your registration number will be generated automatically when you submit your form, and it will not be printed on any document other than the one that comes with your certificate of registration. You’ll receive an email notification when this happens, so keep checking!

Northern Ireland Is Following Suit With Other Countries In Enacting Regulations

With the increasing use of drones, Northern Ireland Is Following Suit With Other Countries In Enacting Regulations governing their use.

In Northern Ireland, the drone registration process is handled by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA’s requirements closely resemble those of other countries such as Australia and New Zealand. You can register online or at any of their offices. If you’re new to drones, it’s a good idea to first familiarize yourself with common questions about getting started with flying your own drone.

Are Drones Allowed In Northern Ireland

There Are Laws And Rules In Northern Ireland

There are laws, regulations and rules in Northern Ireland that contain certain requirements for operating a drone

  • You must not fly your drone above 400 feet (120 metres).
  • Always keep your drone in sight.
  • You must not fly a drone over or within 150 metres of any congested area.
  • Do not fly a drone within 50 metres of any person, vehicle, structure or animal.

License Or Permission From The Civil Aviation Authority (caa)

If you want to fly your drone in Northern Ireland, you may need a license or permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Northern Ireland.

There are different rules for different types of UAVs. You may need a license or permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Northern Ireland to fly your drone if it is:

  • Large and heavy – weighs more than 20kg
  • Carries dangerous goods, such as explosives

Drones Must Be Flown At Least 150 Metres Away From Built Up Areas

You must not fly a drone within 150 metres of uninvolved people, buildings and vehicles. You should also be careful not to fly your drone within the flight paths of manned aircraft.

When flying in Northern Ireland you must ensure your drone is at least 150 metres away from congested areas and large crowds.

Drones Are Not Allowed In Congested Areas

You must not operate your drone over congested areas or large gatherings, such as concerts and sports events.

Operating a drone near people, vehicles, structures and built-up areas poses a hazard because of the risk of injury from falling or crashing drones.

Drone Code And Caa’s Guidelines On Drones

Commercial drone operators should consult the UK Drone Code as well as the CAA’s guidelines on drones.

The CAA has produced a guide for commercial users of drones, which covers key aspects of flying drones such as licensing requirements and insurance. The UK Drone Code (available online here) is designed to help drone pilots fly safely and responsibly, including rules on how to stay away from airports and other airspace where there are risks of collision with manned aircraft.

Regulations And Laws To Fly A Drone In Northern Ireland

Drones are regulated in Northern Ireland by the Air Navigation Order 2016. This states that you must not fly your drone within 150 metres of any congested area or large gathering of people and you must not fly your drone over 400 feet above ground level (AGL).You can also be fined if you don’t follow these rules.

Frequently Asked Question (drone Laws Northern Ireland)

What Is A Drone?

A drone is an unmanned aircraft. It is a generic term for a class of aircraft that may be remotely operated or can fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans.

However, many people mistakenly use the term ‘drone’ to describe any kind of remote controlled flying device including toy planes, helicopters and quadcopters.

These are not considered drones according to international standards because they do not meet certain criteria such as being able to fly without human intervention for at least 30 minutes or having a maximum take-off weight greater than 250 grams (about half a pound).

How Do I Fly My Drone Safely And Legally?

Follow these simple steps for safe and legal flying:

  • Stay below 400ft (120m) and keep your drone within sight at all times (unless flying in a controlled air space). Some models have altitude limits that can be changed from their original settings. If unsure, check with the manufacturer or retailer before taking off.
  • Make sure you’re not too close to people or property – stay at least 150ft away from buildings and people (outside of built up areas), vehicles, animals or residential properties if possible.
  • Don’t fly near airports or airfields – if in doubt get advice from aviation authorities first or use our app to locate nearby airports and airfields so you can avoid them

Can I Fly My Drone At Night?

Yes, you can fly your drone at night. But you need to be extra careful. As with all drones, you must have a night rating for your drone that enables it to fly in low-light conditions. This is important because flying at night makes it more difficult to control the aircraft and increases the risk of losing sight of it.

In order to comply with this law, some drones come equipped with lights so they can be seen by other aircraft or vehicles on the ground. You should also have visual line of sight (VLOS) so that you can see where you are flying your drone and avoid crashing into objects below.

Can I Fly My Drone Over People?

You can fly your drone over people if they are not in an area where they are likely to be injured. If the person is in an area where they are likely to be injured, you must stay at least 30 metres away.

Additionally, you must keep your drone at least 50 metres from buildings or vehicles. You must also ensure that it does not collide with any other aircraft or come into contact with anyone on the ground.

Can I Fly My Drone Over Roads, Railways And Buildings?

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sets out the following rules when it comes to flying drones over roads, railways and buildings.

  • You must not fly over people. This means that you must keep your drone at least 50 metres away from any persons on the ground or in the air who do not have your permission to be there.
  • You must not fly over roads, railways and buildings. The CAA defines this as including a structure or object that is attached to land permanently or for an indefinite period of time, which is used for passage across water or roadways such as bridges, tunnels and dams; and structures or objects designed for use by vehicles travelling on public land such as bridges/tunnels/flyovers/underpasses etc., but does not include any part of either a building (including its roof) which exceeds 6 metres in height above ground level

How Can I Identify If An Area Is A Danger Area Or If It’s Controlled Airspace?

If you’re unsure whether an area is a danger area, controlled airspace or otherwise restricted, here are some ways to find out:

  • Use the interactive map on our website. Simply zoom in and click on your area of interest to see if it’s a danger area, controlled airspace or otherwise restricted. If so, the type of restriction will be shown on the map.
  • Use our drone safety app which can help you identify all sorts of restrictions including those associated with public events such as sports matches and concerts (please note that this app doesn’t show how an event may affect your flight path).
  • Check out our Drone Safety Rules online (they’re also downloadable if you want to keep them handy). You can use these rules when deciding whether or not it’s safe for you to fly within a particular area. It’s worth noting that even though a location might not appear as ‘controlled airspace’ on our interactive map it could still be designated as such under other legislation such as Section 61(6)(a) of The Air Navigation Order 2016 which prohibits flying above 400 feet over built-up areas unless certain conditions are met


By way of conclusion, it appears that for now, the legal status of how to fly drones in Northern Ireland is somewhat hazy.

As you can see from the legislation we have discussed above there are plenty of restrictions on where and when it is possible to fly a drone. In practice, however, Northern Ireland seems to be a place where drone enthusiasts are aware of the legal limitations on flying drones, but they also seem prepared to challenge those boundaries.

The lack of any prosecutions at this stage suggests that the PSNI and CAA are choosing not to enforce existing legislation right now as well.

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