To start at the beginning, it’s allowed to fly a drone in the Netherlands, YES! However is heavily regulated by the government. To be exact it’s regulated by the department: The Human Environment and Transport which is part of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water management. In Dutch, the department is called the IL&T. For using a drone, officially called RPAS, ‘Remotely Piloted Aircraft System’, the Netherlands makes a clear distinction between recreational and commercial drone flights. On this page, you can read everything about the Dutch drone regulations and laws.
If you don’t feel like reading this whole blog and you are looking for a fully certified drone company for aerial filming, contact us! At kiwi Aerial Shots we know all about the Dutch drone regulations and as we are fully certified we have all the right contacts to get permission where others can’t. Check the Kiwi website for more information about our team and all the drone services we provide or contact us immediately so we can tell you all about it.
Besides the fact that a drone is used recreational or commercial, there are a few basic rules that you always have to keep in mind. The difference in recreational or commercial use is made in the degree you have to follow these rules. Beside that, you need official papers en certifications to fly a drone commercially in the Netherlands. We will get to that later on. For now, the basic Dutch drone rules:
Later on this page, we will get to the specifics of these Dutch drone laws and the exact distances the government dictates. Keep in mind that there are always exceptions to the rule, uncertainties and for certified companies like us the possibility to ask for a dispensation.
The so-called CTR zones are the airspaces in which it’s not allowed to fly a drone under any circumstances. On the map below you can see the Dutch CTR zones indicated by different colors. These colors indicate different reasons for why this specific airspace is a drone no-fly zone. For some of these zones, it’s possible to get dispensation to fly a drone, depending on the drone certificates you and your equipment has as a commercial company. In general, it can be said that the red areas are the CTR zones in which even dispensation is not possible. As you can see areas as Rotterdam and Amsterdam are clear no-fly zones for drones. This is because both cities are right next to an international airport. It also ha to do because of the number of people that live in the city and the consecutive buildings that are located everywhere. Another color that stands out is green. These are the Natura2000 areas and part of a European network of protected nature reserves. Beautiful areas in which it’s not allowed to fly a drone without official permission.
Bij Kiwi Aerial Shots hebben we de papieren en certificaten om volledig legaal drone opnames uit te voeren in deze CTR gebieden. Meer informatie over deze specifieke delen van het luchtruim vind je op onze CTR blog pagina. Hier lees je meer over de CTR gebieden van Amsterdam, Rotterdam en Maastricht. Uiteraard kan je ook direct contact met ons opnemen en vertellen we je direct meer adhv jouw specifieke wensen.
Another digital Dutch drone map to check the CTR zones is the Drone Aeret map. It’s not as up to date as the other map of the Dutch ministry but it gives more information about the reason of the CTR zone, the authority that handles that specific airspace and therefore the one to contact and ask for official permission.
Drone Aeret map: www.drone.aeret.nl
The basic difference between these two is clear. Commercial use of drones is when you make money flying drone. This can be the case when making aerial videos, pictures or when for example you perform industrial drone inspections. In general when you want to use a drone only for recreational use, you can just go to the store, buy one and take off! The only things you have to keep in mind is that the drone can’t be heavier than 4kg and you must follow the rules below:
When you want to use drones commercially there is a bit more to it than just buying the drone and taking off. As a commercial flying pilot you have to get an official certificate and also the drone itself must be fully certified. The certification of the pilot means you have to follow a course and make an exam to get your degree. This can be a course for ROC-Light or a ROC which depend on the amount of weight you want to fly as an official pilot. The ROC-Light is for drones up to 4kg and the ROC licence is for drones up to 150kg. You can write a whole blog about getting this degree which we will leave for others to write but I do want to tell you the financial difference in ROC-light vs the ROC course. For a Dutch ROC-Light certicate you have to calculate something like €1500. For the ROC course you have to invest something like €15.000! This also has to do with the drone itself that has to be officially tested so it can be registered and licensed.
With all these laws and rules always comes uncertainties and exemptions. Although lot’s of people fly a drone and whole businesses are relying on drones in terms of legislation the whole drone phenomenon is relatively new. The result: errors, mistakes and uncertainties in the regulations. For example, as a recreational user, you have to keep a distance of 150 meters from people when flying a drone. This would mean that when taking off, the pilot has to be 150 meters away from the drone, not that safe right? Also, certain terms and concepts are unclear un the Dutch drone regulations. Like keeping a minimum distance of objects. What’s an object? isn’t everything? All these things make unclear laws for drone pilots but also for law enforcements.
As from 2020 there will be official European drone regulations. This will have its effects on the drone market, both for the recreational and commercial use of drones. It is know said that the new European drone regulations will be clear by the end of Q1, 2020. Half a year later the new laws have to be effective with a transition period of 2 years. It’s said that the new European Drone rules will be based on three new drone categories:
1. open category – a low-risk factor
2. specific category – a medium risk factor
3. certified category – a high risk factor
For updates, keep an eye on the following website: European Aviation Safety Agency
For more information about the Dutch drone regulations, it’s best to check the website of the IL&T. If you are searching for a Dutch commercial drone team you can contact us as well. We have contacts at the ministry and can check if we can get permission for specific flights. On our website, you can find more information about our fully certified pilots, drones and check the portfolio we have.
For the latest Dutch drone regulations, check: www.ilent.nl/onderwerpen/drones/nieuws
No rights can be derived from the information provided on this blog page. It’s definitely possible we made a typo or did not update this page fast enough so keep an eye on the official authority websites regarding Dutch drone regulations.