European Commission Adopts Drone Operations Rules 2019.05.31
On 24 May 2019, the European Commission adopted EU rules to ensure increasing drone traffic across Europe is safe and secure for people on the ground and in the air.
The rules will apply to all operators of drones – both professionals and those flying drones for leisure. Following the technical requirements for drones, this is another key deliverable under the Commission’s Aviation Strategy for Europe whose core objectives are to maintain the highest level of safety and to support the competitiveness of the EU’s aviation industry.
These rules, which will replace existing national rules in EU Member States, not only address safety, but also contain important building blocks to mitigate drone related security risks. Through operators’ registration, remote identification and the definition of geographical zones, all national authorities will have means to prevent misuse or unlawful drone activities. As of 2020, drone operators will have to be registered with national authorities. In principle, the rules apply to all drones regardless of weight. However, the majority of the drones concerned will belong to the market of mass-produced drones, which merely need to meet a minimum set of requirements such as registration and electronic identification.
Operators of drones weighing less than 25 kg will be able to fly those without prior permission under a certain number of conditions. Among others, such conditions are that the drone must not fly higher than 120 meter and that the operator always keeps the drone in his/her visual line of sight and flies it far away from people.