Drone regulations in the Netherlands

Flying drones in the NetherlandsIn this post, you will find the regulations for the use of drones in the Netherlands.

Maximum flight altitude: In the Netherlands, the maximum permitted height of drones is 120 meters above ground.

Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: The use of copters is only permitted within the sight. FPV flights are only allowed with a spotter.

Compulsory insurance: Currently, to my knowledge, it is not mandatory to conclude an aircraft liability insurance policy. Nevertheless, I recommend you to cover your drone.

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): Private used drones can weigh up to 25 kilos in the Netherlands.

Distance to airports: To airfields located in uncontrolled airspace, you have to keep a horizontal distance of 3 kilometers.

Other safe distances: You have to maintain a minimum distance of 150 meters to persons, populated areas, and moving vehicles.

Flight bans: Drones are not allowed to fly over populated areas, industrial facilities, ports, railways, gatherings of people and public roads.

Time of operations: Drones can only be carried out in daylight in the Netherlands.

Regulations for commercial pilots: For commercial pilots, you need an “RPAS pilot’s license,” and your multicopter must be certified. There are two certificates for local commercial copter pilots:

  • RPAS Operator Certificate: Initial costs are around 10.000 euros (without drone). The maximum permitted flight altitude of 120 meters and a maximum horizontal distance of 500 meters is allowed. Drones can be flown up to a weight of 150 kilograms.
  • RPAS Operator Certificate Light: Initial costs are around 600 – 1.500 euros (without drone). The maximum permitted flight altitude of 50 meters and a maximum horizontal distance of 100 meters is allowed. Drones can be flown up to a weight of 4 kilograms.

Phantom models are not allowed because all systems must be redundant. Each flight must then be reported to several authorities.

Foreign drone pilots can obtain an operating license through a special form without having to prove the certificates.

Good to know: Drones flights are permitted only in uncontrolled airspace (airspace G). This means that currently, no flights are possible on the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. Due to the small measurements, the controlled airspace extends over the entire islands. Therefore, it is easier to leave the Copter at home.

Helpful links: Rijksoverheid: Private Use, Rijksoverheid: Commercial Use, Official Map with No-Fly Zones

We have researched the listed drone regulations for the Netherlands to the best of our knowledge. We can not guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, please contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in the Netherlands!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!

Discussions

  • rowan8k | 14.05.2017

    Hey guys! I wanted to share some info for your drone traveller blog about fpv rules in the netherlands. Officialy FPV is not allowed in the netherlands because one of the rules is that we need to see our drone at all times but if you have a spotter then it’s allowed. Most of the times people just fly without a spotter with fpv but none of the police know about these rules.

    • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

      Hi Rowan,
      Thank you for these insights!

  • Alex Sun | 13.05.2018

    Hi Francis,
    I plan to travel to Amsterdam and take my Mavic pro for private purpose not commercial purpose. I checked the website of GEO Map. Is it OK to fly in the warning and enhanced warning zones? thanks a lot.
    https://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-map
    Alex

    • Francis Markert | 29.06.2018

      It depends on the area, but in many cases it is okay. Please also check the official map. You find the link at the end of my article.

      • Jordan | 30.06.2018

        The DJI map with restricted zones is very different from the official map with no-fly zones. I flew over Delft a little bit this week, just to test the DJI Spark and I didn’t have any problem. I’ll test again later today.

        So, which map or rules I should check? Official map is entirely covered by no-fly zones. ????

      • Francis Markert | 02.07.2018

        Hi Jordan,
        The official map represents the rules of the Netherlands. That’s why you should rely on the official map.

  • S | 16.07.2018

    Hi Francis,

    Part of your post reads; ”Phantom models are not allowed because all systems must be redundant. Each flight must then be reported to several authorities.”

    Does this apply to personal use as well? Or is it just for commercial. I currently have a DJI Phantom 3

  • PETER ALLEN | 27.08.2018

    i wish to do a brief flight above the cemetery in groningen in November only over the RND military graves, is this allowed , i am a hobbyist pilot not a commercial one ,
    peter

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