What are the Irish Drone Rules?


the main reference document for drone

rules in Ireland is called a statutory

instrument now this document is law and

it's important that we remember what

it's called it replaces an old statutory

instrument that was written back in 2000

and was designed from model aircraft and

rockets the small type the full name of

the document is statutory instrument

number 563 of 2015

Irish Aviation Authority small unmanned

aircraft drones and rockets order 2015

to put the statutory instrument in

context this is secondary legislation

which allows the Irish aviation

authority to develop rules which we must

abide by from this secondary legislation

which takes a lot of effort to change

they've also issued aeronautical notices

which they update regularly and contain

much more detailed information about how

operators and pilots must act on a day

to day basis we will look at those after

the statutory instrument you will find

the statutory instrument below this

video and we invite you to download the

statutory instrument starts by giving us

a string of definitions so if you ever

want to check out the legal definition

of some of the terms in the document

this is where you can go next it talks

about applicability telling us that it

applies to all small unmanned aircraft

under 150 kilograms although it then

lists one exception the statutory

instrument does not cover drones less

than one kilogram

provided that the drone does not have

any substantial parts this is led to a

misconception that there are no rules

for drones less than one kilogram and

this is not the case

drones like the DJI maverick are less

than one kilogram but they clearly have

substantial parts although you could

argue this one if you wanted to either

way for this exemption to apply you also

have to remain below 50 meters or 50

feet and you must fly in a manner that

doesn't cause any harm to

people or property this exception was

designed so that everyone can enjoy

flying light drones in their back garden

or wherever they want to fly and at the

time it was written you couldn't get

commercial drones less than one kilogram

if you want to go both fifty feet or 15

meters then you should treat your drone

as if it's between one and four

kilograms and follow those rules which

we're going to look at shortly section

7.1 tells us that we should register our

drone but we will discuss this a little

bit further on in more depth Section

seven point two tells us that we shall

not permit our drones to be operated so

the cause a hazard to any other aircraft

in the vicinity of aircraft manoeuvring

in an aerodrome traffic circuit or in a

negligent or reckless manner so as to

endanger life will cause damage to the

property of others it also tells us to

give way to manned aircraft which seems

fair because they're going to find it

hard to give way to us okay so let's get

a little bit more specific then the

following rules for all drones from one

kilogram to 25 kilograms or for drones

less than one kilogram

if you want to fly them in both 50 feet

or they have any substantial parts there

are certain types of airspace that we

can fly in unless we're qualified drone

pilots and we will look at how to do

that later in aeronautical notice you

zero to these air spaces that we need to

avoid are called prohibited airspace

restricted airspace

and controlled airspace now the obvious

question is how do I know what airspace

I'm in well we've made that really

simple for you just check out the

airspace tab on our website we've

designed an interactive airspace map

designed to be user-friendly and simple

just click or search for where you want

to fly and it will tell you what type of

airspace it is as well as lots of other

useful information there are also some

exemptions which allow everyone to fly

in controlled airspace

these are details an aeronautical

knowledge user of four and we're going

to look at those in a subsequent video

when you were in uncontrol

their space you will still need to keep

at least five kilometers from airfields

like Newcastle and Wicklow and clumb

blog in the Midlands the exception is if

you get permission from the airfield

which they are likely to give you

especially if you're a trained pilot

again check out the interactive airspace

map on our website to find where these

airfields are and to get their contact

details so no matter where we are

operating we must stay 30 metres from

people both cars and buildings which are

not under our control this translates as

we have to stay away unless you get

their permission so you can fly your

drone up to someone or over crowds but

if you're flying with your friends

they're happy to let you fly close to

them then that's fine

just remember to keep it six this

distance is one of the low is published

by a National Aviation Authority

anywhere in the world and just because

it's the legal limit it's certainly not

a terrace a lot of people will be very

intimidated by a drone this close so

please respect that and do everything

you can to keep the public happy and

feeling safe a common misconception is

that if you increase your altitude well

then you can fly closer to people now

this is not the case it's 30 metres

laterally so imagine a cylindrical

column extending vertically if there is

a gathering of 12 or more people then

this 30 metres increases to 120 metres

again laterally this rule was designed

for outdoor concert concerts or events

like the National ploughing match as the

risk should a failure occur on the

aircraft is much higher again an

exemption applies if those people are

deemed to be under your control we have

to keep the drone within 300 metres of

the pilot and always within ornated

visual line of sight this means you can

wear glasses but not use binoculars it

is rare that you will need to fly so far

but again take extra caution the real

risk here is that it gets difficult to

now what you're flying over and also

should a helicopter take off from the

field it could be very difficult to

avoid it the maximum height that we can

fly above the ground or water is 400

feet or 120 metres the reason for this

is that manned aviation extends down as

far as 500 metres this leaves a 100-foot

buffer this is a very important rule as

manned aircraft can sneak up pretty fast

and our drones usually don't descend

very fast both myself and Oshin have

nearly hit drones which were flying too

high when we were flying fast military

aircraft the rule is 400 feet or 120

meters above the position where the

drone is flying so if you take off from

the top of a mountain and climb to 400

feet or 120 meters that's fine but if

you move the drone away from the top of

the mountain then you need to descend

with the slope of the hill

remember your telemetry is unlikely to

have this above ground information it is

likely to only tell you the height above

the take-off location so exercise your

superior airmanship here finally in our

list you can't drop anything from our

drone so there's special permission so

no package delivery or parachuting your

pets into your neighbors guidance just

yet you may have seen on TV that I

completed the Ireland's first drone

package delivery in January 2017 with an

amazing young girl Bellmore to drop the

medical supplies to the boat we need to

get a special permission from the Irish

Aviation Authority as with most things

in life there are exceptions to every

rule to act outside any of these rules

pilots need to complete two days of

ground school training and a flight test

this allows you to fly in any airspace

and get specific exemptions if required

we'll talk more about this when we

discuss aeronautical note as you 0/2 as

such if you follow the above rules no

further permission certificates

insurance or training is required

although we strongly recommend that you

consider an insurance policy if we're

going to operate a drone in public

we're also a big believer in training

but the most important thing first is to

follow the rules which we've just

discussed if your drone is between four

kilograms and 25 kilograms training and

certification is mandatory the majority

of pilots who want to start a commercial

operation will complete the same

training regardless of the weight of

their aircraft as it gives them an edge

and it's a logical step towards running

a professional operation but again it's

only mandatory if you're above four

kilograms or you want to operate in

restricted airspace controlled airspace

outside of the exemptions which we're

going to discuss later if your aircraft

is greater than 25 kilograms a special

permission is required and you can apply

directly to the Irish Aviation Authority

for more information if that's your

intention in all cases if you're taking

off or landing for private property you

need to get the landowners permission

now there is no rule which says you can

fly over someone's property like their

fields for example but remember you have

to stay away from people and buildings

and just because it's legal does not

mean that it's sensible we need to

respect people's privacy and also

endeavour to keep the reputation of

drone pilots intact what we do with our

aircraft is going to affect the whole

community in summary stay below 400 feet

or 120 meters no further than 300 meters

no closer than 30 metres from people

buildings cars 120 metres from

gatherings of 12 people or more outside

of restricted prohibited and controlled

airspace and at least 5 kilometers from

airfields in uncontrolled airspace most

importantly fly safe and have fun