Drone regulations 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. In the following, you will find an overview of the most important things to remember.
Overview: Drone rules in Netherlands
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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.
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!