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The Latest News From the IAA

Drone safely this Christmas

17 Dec 2020

IAA says ‘Know the Drone Safety Rules Before You Fly’

New European regulations will apply to drone owners in 2021

If Santa is bringing a drone to your house this Christmas, make sure you know the rules to fly it safely. That’s the advice from the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) as drones are set to be a popular Christmas gift this year.

The IAA, which was the first aviation regulator in the world to introduce mandatory drone registration and regulations in December 2015, said that it is important that we all adhere to the regulations, so families can enjoy drones safely.  Drone owners must be aware of their responsibilities and ensure they operate their drone within safety rules at all times.

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is set to implement new European safety regulations for the use of drones from January 2021.

The new European regulations (EU 2019/947 and 2019/945), which will replace existing Irish laws will require the owners of most drones to register with the IAA. Only the owners of a small drone weighing less than 250grams with no camera or sensor, will be exempt from registering.

Mr Peter Kearney, Chief Executive IAA, said that with the increased use of drones, it is important that owners operate them safely and the new regulations will help to achieve this.   

“The new drone regulations have been developed to ensure a consistent approach across Europe to the registration and regulation of drones.  The IAA will be transitioning over to the new Regulations which apply from 1st January. We have a user-friendly online registration process to make it easy for owners to register and to carry out the necessary training on the use of drones,” he said.

There are over 14,000 drones currently on the IAA register and the owners of those on the current register will be required to re-register under the new EU system. Full details are available on

10 drone safety tips from the IAA: 

  1. Fly your drone no higher than 120 metres (400 feet).
  2. Make sure you can see your drone when flying (no more than 300 metres away).
  3. Do not fly your drone over an assembly of people, for example, at a parade, a concert or sports event.
  4. Do not fly your drone within 5 kilometres of an airport or military controlled airspace.
  5. Do not fly within 120 metres of a person, vehicle, vessel or structure not under your direct control.
  6. Do not operate your drone outside of your direct line of sight.
  7. Do not fly your drone in a restricted area such as a prison or military installation.
  8. Always seek permission from the landowner for take-off and landing. 
  9. Make sure you register as an operator at It’s the law
  10. Drone safety is your responsibility. Never operate your drone in a negligent or reckless manner to endanger life or property of others.  

For more information on Drone Safety Regulations, visit or