belgium-drone-laws
can't fly in city

Keep away from Industrial

Line of sight

plane icon white

3 km from airports

can't fly over crowds of people

Don't fly over crowds

All Drone Laws in Belgium (updated for 2020)

Unlike other countries in the region, Belgium does not have a specific set of rules governing drones and their use. It, however, has three classes of operation, each requiring a special license. 

 Drones are instead put into classes. Rather than categorize the drone under recreational or commercial, the yardstick here is much different. Very strict controls and standards of operation are required of every drone user.

Table of Contents

Are drones legal in Belgium?

Yes. Drone flying is legal in Belgium according to the national travel and aviation authorities. The Belgium Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) and the Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport (FPS) recommend self-awareness with drone regulations. 

 

Contact information

 

The best place to get in touch with the BCAA is by contacting them at:

 

  • Tel: +32 (02) 277.43.07

 

 

Can I travel with my drone to Belgium?

Yes, you can. Start by registering for the Belgian aviation register. If the drone is already registered in another country, there will be no need for that. More rules on how Belgian laws apply to foreigners with drones are available here:

What are the drone laws in Belgium?

Besides these right here, there's specific drone laws depending on what class of pilot and drone there's involved. More on that bellow, to see where you fit.

  • line of sight icon
    Line of sight
    Keep your done within the visual line-of-sight of an observer who is next to you or in direct communication with you
  • crowd icon
    Don't fly over crowds
    You cannot fly over people, whether by a beach, park, sporting oval or a random public event.
  • plane icon
    No flying near airports
    Keep away from restricted airspaces 3km and 1km away from helipads and helicopter training areas.
  • city icon
    Keep away from industrial installations
    Do not operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol

How are drones classified in Belgium?

So where does my drone lie according to Belgian law? In which category? The criteria that determine your drone is dependent on the weight and purpose of use.

 

Private use (Recreation)

  • You should not exceed 10 meters (32.8 ft) high. 
  • Only fly on private terrains such as your farm, backyard or property.
  • The drone must weigh less than 2.2 lbs (1 Kg). 
  • Remain within your line of sight 
  • Fly during the day.
  • Open to all ages

Model aircraft (Recreation)

  • Model aircraft have a take-off weight between 1 Kg (2.2lbs) and 150 Kg (330 lbs)
  • Remain within line of sight. 
  • Open to all ages

 

Class 2  (Commercial)

This is the low-risk category as users:

  • Limit their drone flight to 45 meters (150 ft) outside controlled airspace or residential communities. 
  • Fly the drone during the day
  • Remain within line of sight
  • The pilot must be at least 16 years old.

 

Class 1a operations (Commercial)

This is the moderate risk drone category where users:

  • Fly their drones on controlled airspace up to 90 meters (300 ft).
  • If your flight path comes within 50 meters of goods and people. 
  • The pilot must be 18 years old
  • Need a certificate of competence

 

Class 1b operations (Commercial)

This category is of high risk. That being so, users:

  • Fly their drone 90 meters (300 ft) above ground.
  • Do not go anywhere 50 meters(164 ft) from people/goods
  • Limit operations to daytime. 
  • Weigh less than 150 Kg (330 lbs)
  • Maintain a direct line of sight
  • The drone pilot must be 18 years old.
  • Need a drone pilot license
  • Need a drone conformity certificate

Any other operation missing from this list should be regarded as a class A operation.

Is FPV legal in Belgium?

It's still not clear at the moment given conflicting opinions. 

Can I fly over private terrain?

Yes. This is regarded as private land. However, you must ensure you are in adherence to other BCAA flight requirements. 

Can I drop off an object such as a parcel using a recreational or commercial drone?

Whatever your criteria of drone, the transport of mail, cargo and people is prohibited.

Can a pilot fly a recreational drone over a populated beach, recreational stadium or sporting event?

Unless you have the right authorization and are operating under the right class of drone classification, this is not allowed.

How can I register my drone for commercial use in Belgium?

 Fill out this registration form online and submit it to bcaa.registration@mobilit.fgov.be

How do I get a remote pilot license in Belgium? 

Apply for a remote pilot license from BCAA. You will undergo a test consisting of a theoretical and practical course conducted by a licensed examiner from BCAA. This license is meant for remote pilots within the class 1a and b category.

 

Eligibility criteria are simple. Are you over 18 years old? Have you undergone a medical evaluation from the following facilities? If the answer to both questions is yes, then you can apply for a drone pilot license.

 

What does the drone pilot license comprise of?

A 50 question theory test on Metrology, Belgium Air Laws, Aircraft Technology, General Flight Operations, and Privacy rights. 

You must select a certified RPAS flight school operating in Belgium that offers training. Here are some of the top selections.

As soon as you are ready to register, proceed at rpas.exam@mobilit.fgov.be and pick a suitable exam day. The exams are normally done at DGAS

What is the required pass score?

Score anything above 75 percent and you are good to go. 

How do I get the certificate of competence in Belgium?

A certificate of competence is a license for any pilot within the class 2 category. It is also issued by BCAA and requires the user to pass a theoretical exam and a practical skill test issued by the same body. A certificate of competency comprises of:

  1. Personal theory and basic knowledge of Metrology, Belgium Air Laws, Aircraft Technology, General flight information, and privacy rights.
  2. Practical exam conducted by a registered and certified RPAS flight school
  3. On completion, the school gives you a number which is your certificate.

How long does the certificate of competency last?

The certification lasts for a lifetime. However, if you lose it, you have to repeat the whole process once more. 

For further exam related information, reach out to rpas.lic@mobilit.fgov.be

Do I need to express authorization from BCAA before flying my drone

Not always. For instance, operating a drone on private terrain or model aircraft terrain exempts the user from registering the drone or seeking a flight approval from BCAA.

 

All other cases of drones particularly class 2, 1a and 1b need to adhere to the Royal Decree requirements of:

  • Register your drone at BCAA
  • Have a certificate of competence for class 2 operations 
  • Have a remote pilot license for class 1 operations
  • Have the organization you represent make a declaration that they are in full compliance with national class 1b requirements or 1a of BCAA.

What are the restricted areas for flying drones in Belgium?

Belgium has specific drone exempt areas that have been expressed on a flight map. 

Before flying, run a check to avoid flying your drone in a restricted area. You can find out more about that  by contacting droneguide@skeyes.be 

Get the maps here Apple and Android.

Keep away from:

    As a remote pilot you should ensure:

    Can I travel with my drone to Belgium via plane?

    Absolutely, however, check with the airline to find out that their flight requirements are. For instance, some do not allow carrying a drone on-board if the batteries are not detached and placed in a special fire case.

    If the airline has a battery voltage limit, you will be forced to abide by it. More information on this can be found here 

    What are the rules around recreational drones?

     

    No license required provided your operation falls within the Private use and Model aircraft designations.

    Can I be penalized?

    Absolutely. The severity of the penalty or punishment relayed for contravening the drone laws will depend on just how off you missed the mark. The judge will try to ascertain whether you committed the offense deliberately or within your scope of commercial operation. 

    What are my top drones to fly safely in Belgium?

    My following two recommendations are 2 great compact drones that are quite silent and also small enough to travel with and not stand out as annoying.

    1.Dji Mavic Mini - The best international travel drone (under 250g)

    DJI has surprised us with this incredible camera drone under 250g, which is half of the weight required for registering in the first place.

     

    I have covered it much more in depth in my article review and even compared it with the DJI Spark and Mavic Air.

    Advantages

    DISAdvantages

    2.Dji Mavic Air - A great professional drone under 500g

    If you want more control over things like shutter speed, iso and such, the best professional drone that still falls under the 500g category is the DJI Mavic Air.
     
    It's made mostly for people who want to play around with settings and enter into the pro category.
     

     

    DJI lowered it's price since it was first released.

    Advantages

    DISAdvantages

    Restricted Areas and Geofencing (drone FLying map)

    The best way to figure out what areas you can fly in is by consulting DJI offilicial map.
    They do a great job mapping the places that one should avoid while flying in every country:

    romania flying map dji