Drones are all the rage in 2016 as the technology improves and prices fall. They’re constantly being used in movies and TV shows to bring an epic new perspective and their controls are simple to use for just about anybody.
However as these little guys are essentially aircraft there are also some rules to keep in mind before you start to have fun. We had a look at this area in a previous post but Ireland has since ushered in a new set of regulations so we’re breaking down the details here.
First things first – if you just got your new drone and want to take it for a spin around your living room, go for it! There are no rules governing your personal use at home so enjoy it and get used to the controls. Just make sure not to crash into anything too delicate!
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The rules for drones mostly stem from common sense. This includes 11 new easy to understand guidelines, check them out on this poster from the Irish Aviation Authority.
Basically you you should not endanger other people who are in an aircraft or on the ground and you should maintain control at all times. We would also add that you should respect the privacy of others; of particular importance for drones fitted with cameras.
These rules cover all drones of any size and also radio controlled planes and rockets. If you graduate to a larger machine, new regulations come into effect.
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These extra conditions cover all drones which weigh over 1kg, including the battery and any payload. The drone has to be registered with the IAA and Ireland is presenting a world first with a sophisticated system called ASSET. This allows for drone use to be tracked around the country with ease, there’s more in this video.
You must be 16 or over to complete the process, a parent or guardian has to sign in the event of a child looking to register their machine, and it costs €5. Read all about how to to register your drone here.
Finally you must be aware of other restrictions if you’re planning on using the drone for commercial purposes – say filming aerial footage for a video which you’re being paid to create.
In the case of commercial drone use, you’ll have to complete an aircraft training course – you’ll find a list of approved trainers here.
You’ll also need an ‘aerial works permission’ and ‘permission to operate an RPAS in Irish airspace’ certificate from the IAA. On top of that, your drone will have to be insured in the event of damages. In fact, the IAA recommends all drones are insured, regardless of their size or use.