EU-wide drone regulation: Register as an operator

EU-wide drone regulation: Register as an operator

From the end of 2020, thanks to the new EU regulation, most drone operators in Europe will have to register. In this article, you will find out all the important information that is known about the registration obligation so far.

In the future, there will be two types of registration in Europe:

  1. Registration of the UAV operator
  2. Registration of the drone

Since only drones that fall into the Certified category need to be registered, for most pilots only the registration as a drone operator is relevant

This article gives an outlook on the upcoming rules, but not all details for the practical implementation of the EU regulation have been clarified yet. The national authorities have time until the regulations come into force to clarify the open questions. Until then, the article does not claim to be complete. For a better understanding, you should definitely read the overview article on the European drone laws first.

Registration as a drone operator

Registration is required if you want to fly in the Open Category and your aircraft meets at least one of the two conditions:

  • Drone weighs 250 grams or more or achieves kinetic energy of more than 80 joules when hitting a human being.
  • Drone is equipped with a sensor to collect personal data (e.g. camera) and does not comply with the EU Toy Directive.

Therefore, all owners of a camera drone will have to register in the future. In addition, registration is mandatory for pilots who want to fly a drone in the Specific category.

Where does one register as a drone operator?

For registration, each member state of the European Union must create an (online) platform in which operators can register. Currently, these systems do not yet exist in many countries. However, the platforms should enable the exchange of information within the EU.

You must then register in the system of the country in which you have your residence. For legal entities (especially companies), the country with the main place of business is responsible for registration. Multiple registrations in different EU countries are not possible.

Information for non-EU residents: The rules for you are quite similar to those for residents. You will have to register with the Civil Aviation Authority of the first EU country you want to use your drone in. You will then be given a registration number, which you should stick to each of your drones and upload it in the remote identification system. This registration number will be valid in all other member states.

When registering, the following information must be provided:

Natural persons:

Legal entities:

  • Name
  • Identification number
  • Address
  • E-mail address and telephone number
  • Number of the insurance policy, if applicable.
  • Confirmation of sufficient competence level of the remote pilots
  • Operating permits, LUC and acknowledgments of receipt for declarations in the Specific category

After completing your registration you will be assigned a unique registration number. This number must be affixed to all aircraft and loaded into a remote identification system, if available.

Registering a drone in the Certified category

Registration of the drone is only required if the drone is to be used in the Certified category. To register the drone, you must submit the following information to the authorities:

  • Manufacturer and model name
  • Serial number of the drone
  • Name of the operator
  • Address, telephone number, and e-mail address

After receiving the information, the competent authority then registers the certified drone.

It is not yet clear in every country which system will be used to register drone operators in the future. As soon as there is news, we will inform you in the corresponding articles about drone laws in the countries.

Are there any questions left unanswered? Then write to us in the comments and we will try to help you as much as possible.

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Discussions

  • Tobias | 30.11.2020

    If I have obtained (after passing official exam) drone operator license in one EU country but my main place of business/ residence is now in another EU country, which country should I register as drone operator? Isn’t it automatically done already in the country of the authority that gave me the license? If I cannot register twice…, it is a bit confusing.

    • Drone Traveller Team | 04.12.2020

      Hi Tobias,
      Be aware that with the new EU-wide regulations, registration and license are two different things and are not done automatically. You only need to register once, online, usually in your country of residence. You do not have to take an exam for that. For certain types of drones and maneuvers, however, you will also need a qualification certificate. It is possible to take the exam to obtain such a certificate in a country you do not reside in.

  • Tanay | 06.01.2021

    Hi

    Thank you for your helpful article.

    I am a resident of Germany. Unfortunately I have been unable to find a website for drone operator registration. I came across the following website but it seems like this will be replaced: https://www.dfs.de/dfs_homepage/en/Drone%20flight/Rules%20and%20regulations/DFS%20drone%20app/

    Would you happen to know where an operator in Germany can register?

    Thanks in advance
    Tanay

  • Stefanos | 10.01.2021

    good morning , i have the UK A1/A3 Flyer ID registration and i like to know if this is valid in EU.

    • Drone Traveller Team | 16.01.2021

      Hi Stefanos,
      the new UK registration was supposed to be recognized by the other EU countries, but because of Brexit, it could take some time until this is 100 percent clear. There is an official website that will be updated with new info: https://info.caa.co.uk/uk-eu-transition/drones/ Until there is clarity, we recommend contacting the CAA of the country you want to fly your drone in just to be safe.

  • Kevin | 06.03.2021

    The Spanish registration system does not include British as a nationality in the drop down box. Old and bearded or Eel are in there but not British (or variants). I’m keen to use my drone when on holiday so I need to register my drone in Spain. I already have the CAA and EASA certification. Any thoughts?

    • Drone Traveller Team | 13.03.2021

      Hi Kevin,
      This is indeed peculiar and we can only speculate why this might be. We recommend asking the CAA directly.

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