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All Drone Laws in Ireland in 2023 (Ultimate Guide)

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea
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height flight limit 1

120m max height

cant fly over crowds of people 1

30m from crowds

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3 miles of any airport

line of sight law 1

Only line of sight

Ireland does not have a distinct drone license. What is the legal position of drone users in Ireland? Drones are mainly used for a variety of industries spanning from rescue operations to aerial surveying. The adoption of drones has gained a lot of popularity across the country. 

The drone industry is slowly evolving and the laws are playing catch up in Ireland. The Ireland Aviation Authority clearly regards these unmanned aerial vehicles as aircraft. 

Are drones legal in Ireland?

Any drone flying over land or property raises privacy concerns. It also depends on where you plan to fly the drone. In national heritage areas such as monuments, you are not permitted to fly a drone. You can find out more information from them here 

Who do I contact?

You can get in touch with the Irish Aviation Authority through:

Email: fod@iaa.ie 

Tel: +3531671 8655

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What are the rules on drone use in Ireland?

The legal framework governing the use of drones in Ireland order is less complicated than its European competitors.  Any drones weighing over a kilogram need to be registered with the IAA. Drones weighing less than a kilogram is free to fly.

For more information on drones, check with the IAA.

  • 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
  • No flying near airports
  • Don't fly closer than 3 km from any aerodrome.
  • Don't fly over crowds
  • Drones should not exceed 30 meters from any crowds, vehicles, people, or buildings.
  • 150 meters height limitations
  • Do not fly your drone above 150 meters. Fly within the airport control zone but maintain a 3 Km distance away from the runways. The maximum distance of flight is 50 meters. Do not fly your drone above a crowd of people. Always maintain a 50-meter gap.
  • Registration past 15m flight
  • Register your drone if you'll be flying past 49 feet (15 meters). Also, register your drone if it weighs more than 1kg.
  • Don't fly over national monuments
  • Limit operations to daytime hours

Is there a minimum age for flying a drone?

The IAA is guided by the drone age specified by drone manufacturers. However, you must be over 16 years old to register a drone. For those under 16, a guardian or parent can do the registration on their behalf. 

How are drones classified in Ireland?

Drones are generally classified as unmanned aerial vehicles.

How can I register my drone in Ireland?

Drone registration is mandatory for all unmanned aircraft that fall under the Small Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) and Rockets Order passed in 2015.

Can I fly a drone in Ireland without applying for authorization?

If you own a drone less than 25 Kg, you must seek authorization for flying the drone.

What happens if my drone isn’t licensed?

The laws in Ireland are quite lax given a 2017 publication of only one prosecution since the introduction of the new laws back in 2015. The IAA considers the judiciary to be the sole issuer of penalties after prosecution and examination of the argument of the prosecution.

Can I travel with my drone to Ireland by Airplane?

Yes, however, you must abide by the laws stated in the Small Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) and Rockets Order.

What are the interdictions of flying a drone?

According to the 2015 order a drone should not be operated under the following conditions:

  • Poses a threat to other oncoming aircraft
  • Over a dozen people are assembled
  • A distance of over 300m from the person operating it
  • 30m from any person, structure, or vessel involved in its operations.
  • A distance of 5 Km from an aerodrome.
  • A dangerous or negligent manner that can harm others
  • A distance of 120 m off the ground
  • Flight over urban areas
  • In military and civilian-controlled airspaces
  • A demarcated restricted area
  • The drone operator has permission to land or takes off

If anyone flies the drone outside the prescribed regulations, they get a special Operating Permission (SOP) from the IAA. This is conducted by IAA registered training facilities.  

To get the special operating permit, the pilot must have attended a drone safety training course and presented an operational manual that meets the IAA standards. 

The Special Operating Permission also requires a pilot competency certificate. 

Privacy is treated with utmost importance in Ireland. The drone operator must get permission from the persons whose private data will be captured before.

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What are my top drones to fly safely in Ireland?

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 Mini 2- The best international travel drone (under 250g)

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

31 min

range-icon-spec

10 km

drone-icon-spec

No follow-me

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DJI has surprised us with this incredible camera drone under 250g, which is legal to fly in most countries without registration.

It comes at a very cheap price for its incredible specs.I have covered it much more in-depth in my article review and even compared it with the Mavic Air 2.

2. DJI Mavic Air 2 - My favorite drone overall

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4k 60p

battery-icon-spec

34 min

range-icon-spec

10 km

drone-icon-spec

Follow me

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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 its price since it was first released.

Restricted Areas and Geofencing (Drone Flying map)

The best way to figure out what areas you can fly in, while you're here is by consulting DJI's official map.

They do a great job mapping the places that one should avoid while flying in every country:

  • airports
  • military bases
  • prisons
  • power plants
  • any high-risk areas

These would be the current updated drone laws for Ireland. I suggest checking my full map with all the countries' drone laws to see where it's best to travel.

Conclusion 

If you are going to visit Ireland, make sure you’ve learned all the dos and don’ts of flying drones in this country. This will help you have a safe journey and enjoy flying your drone without getting yourself into trouble.

Also, keep in mind that, commercial and recreational drones are treated differently in most countries therefore you will need to prepare yourself accordingly. Last but not least, always follow rules and regulations and make sure to respect the laws of every country.

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.
paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.

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