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The Latest News From the IAA

IAA Launch Drone Safety Awareness Campaign

17 Nov 2017

Dublin, 17 November, 2017 – The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) launched a campaign today which aims to raise awareness with drone users of the safe and responsible operation of drones.

The campaign includes a short informative video which can be viewed here: Drone Safety - Irish Aviation Authority

It is neither safe or legal to operate drones in the following circumstances;

  • Near airports
  • Within restricted areas surrounding airfields & aerodromes
  • If a drone is or will be a hazard to another aircraft in flight
  • Drone use in military-controlled airspace or other restricted areas (e.g. prisons)
  • Drone flights 400ft (120m) above ground level or 50ft (15m) in certain airspace
  • Farther than 300 metres from the controller or outside a controller’s direct line of sight
  • Within 30 metres of any person, vessel, vehicle or structure not under your direct control
  • Over an assembly of more than 12 people (e.g. concerts, sporting events, group gatherings, parades)
  • In a negligent or reckless manner so as to endanger life or cause damage to the property of others
  • (Further specific criteria is available at:


The Small Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) and Rockets Order (December 2015) currently governs the use of drones in Ireland. This order requires all drones weighing over 1kg to be registered with the IAA.

Drones weighing less than 1kg are limited to operating at a height restriction of 50 feet, unless registered.

Since the introduction of the Small Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) and Rockets Order in December 2015, the IAA has registered over 8,000 drones and model aircraft.

Ralph James, IAA Director of Safety regulation said; “Drone use is continuing to grow at a rapid rate in Ireland. We want to highlight to all drone users that they must abide by the law and operate their drones in a safe and responsible manner.”

“Ultimately, drone users must understand that they are legally responsible for the safe conduct of each drone flight, so the onus is on the drone user to inform themselves of the rules and regulations surrounding drone use before they take to the skies. Compliance with regulations will ensure that drone users operate their drones in a safer manner. We also strongly encourage people to take a drone user course. Lots of information is available on our website at;

Any unauthorised use of drones may be referred to An Garda Síochána for investigation. Penalties for the illegal operation of drones are entirely a matter for judiciary following prosecution. There may be privacy or trespass laws or other legal issues, which need to be taken into consideration by a person operating a drone.

The IAA has continuously and proactively promoted the safe use of drones and has participated in a number of other safety initiatives across the State, such as, the No-Drone-Zone campaigns at both Cork and Dublin Airport, and participation in drone conferences and exhibitions. The IAA also advises training for all drone operators.