Drone regulations in the Netherlands

Flying drones in the Netherlands

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

The rules for private drone pilots are quite straightforward, the procedure for commercial pilots is a little bit more complex. No matter what kind of pilot you are, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the regulations. In the following, you will find an overview of the most important things to remember.

Please note that the Netherlands, as a member of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), adopt the EU drone regulation, which will enter into force on 31 December 2020. Information about the new rules can be found in our overview article and on the pages linked there.

Overview: Drone rules in Netherlands

Recreational use of drones allowed? Yes, without further requirements
Commercial use of drones permitted? Yes, after registration or approval
Maximum Altitude:120 Meter (393,7 Foot) in uncontrolled airspace.
Is drone insurance mandatory? No. Learn more about drone insurance here.
Does the drone need a badge?No.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? No.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people

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Further rules for drone pilots in the Netherlands

Privately used drones can weigh up to 25 kilos in the Netherlands.

The use of copters is only permitted within the line of sight. FPV flights are only allowed with a spotter.

Currently, to my knowledge, it is not mandatory to have a liability insurance policy. Nevertheless, I recommend you cover your drone.

Safety distances and flight bans

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

You have to maintain a minimum distance of 50 meters to persons, populated areas, and moving vehicles.

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

Drone flights can only be carried out in daylight in the Netherlands.

You always have to give way to other aircraft. That means you have to land immediately when a plane or helicopter approaches.

Rules for commercial pilots

Commercial pilots need an “RPAS pilot’s license,” and their copter 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 is 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 is 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: Drone 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 their size, the controlled airspace extends over the entire islands. Therefore, it is easier to leave the Copter at home.

Special case Curaçao: Even though the island belongs to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Curaçao has its own rules for drone flying. A distinction is made between private and commercial use. All drones must be registered, otherwise, they will be confiscated upon entry.

Hobby pilots are only allowed to fly in the Curaçao Radio Control Club Field and on private land. You need the consent of the owners.

Commercial pilots can fly anywhere, but not in restricted airspace. They also need liability insurance.

These general safety regulations apply:

  • Keep the drone within sight
  • Stay below 120 meters (400 feet) high
  • Don’t fly over people
  • Keep a distance of 50 meters from buildings, facilities, vehicles, and people
  • Only start in good weather and visibility conditions
  • Pay attention to the privacy of others
  • Ensure the equipment is safe and ready to fly

Two authorities are responsible for registering the drone: the civil aviation authority CCAA and the BTP (Bureau Telecommunicatie en Post), which coordinates the radio frequencies. Accordingly, both should get the registration form. Contact at CCAA: Michael Llanes, Aviation Safety Inspector Operations ([email protected]), contact at BTP: [email protected]

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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