Drone laws in Ireland (updated for 2020)

irish drone laws
height flight limit

120m max height

can't fly over crowds of people

30m from crowds

plane icon white

3 miles of any airport

Only line of sight

All Drone Laws in Ireland in 2020 (Ultimate Guide)

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 lots 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 areas of national heritage 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 it's European competitors.  Any drones weighing over a kilogram needs 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.

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 generaly 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 on the Small Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) and Rockets Order.

Can I travel with my drone to Ireland by Airplane?

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 the 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 present 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 Mavic Mini - The best international travel drone (under 250g)

 2.7k

30min battery

4km

No follow me

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

  • 30 min battery life
  • under 250g
  • super portable
  • 4km range
  • can edit videos in the app

DISAdvantages

  • no obstacle avoidance
  • no settings for iso and shutter speed

2.Dji Mavic Air 2 - My favorite drone overall

4k 60fps

34min battery

9km

Follow + obstacle avoidance

mavic air 2 package fly more combo
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

  • 3 way sensors
  • 68kph (fastest among the 3)
  • follow me mode(quite a few options)
  • 8gb internal storage
  • ISo & shutter speed settings
  • 6 photo modes
  • takes RAW photos
  • 100mbps bitrate

DISAdvantages

  • battery life ins't that amazing
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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 offilicial 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
romania flying map dji
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Make money with your drone

  • Only if you're serious
  • No experience required
  • I make up to 200$/h after it
  • Yes, it's a course
  • Yes, It's the best I know
  • Everything from A to Z
how-to-make-money-with-drones

How do you make money with your drone, though?

Okay, so you got your new and fancy drone, but how do you stand out from any dad out there who has the same drone and watched some tutorials online?

I did exactly that and barely had any success. 

But now I’m charging 5x as much as before and even have to refuse clients from time to time.

I even bought about 7 online courses… and I didn’t make much progress.

So how did I finally make it to this level?

If you want the short answer, I learned everything from this guy Alex, who’s making $200 per hour with his drone. And he’s even teaching exactly how to do that.

This is pretty much what you need to know:

how-to-make-money-with-drones

1. Make sure you have a proper drone.

If you have any of the latest DJI Drones, like the Mavic Air 2, for example, you’re ready to start making money.

No need to overthink this, but if it’s any help, check this comparison of the best camera drones compared in 2020.

types of drones

2.Learn how to create the best content to stand out

You won’t stand out from the next dad who bought a DJI drone for Cristmass in the eyes of your clients if you don’t do this.

It’s WAY more important to know what you’re doing than the gear you have.

You’ll need to learn and master the following:

  1.  
  • Flying your drone(to stand out from people with basic drone shots)
  • Preparing for the flight and weather in advance
  • Learn the best drone settings (you need a proper setup template)
  • Create the Video Script (it's way easier if you know what to shoot)
  • Have a set of great cinematic shots you know how to do
  • Know how to edit the video so it stands out
  • Learn how to color grade

This is why you HAVE to invest in a proper way to learn things (instead of watching tutorials here and there).

3.Find clients that pay 5x more than regular

But not so fast.

You won’t make a penny if you don’t know how to find your clients.

I have struggled finding clients even when my videos were getting pretty good.

Until I learned a few tricks and how to find and approach them so they won’t be able to say no.

And what’s best, I learned how to get the price I asked for.

How can you do the same?

I have tested quite a few courses online and watched tons of videos on youtube, but frankly, I have learned more from one single course than from everything else… and all that in like a weekend.

Made back the money from this investment in myself in a single week and then much more.

 

How do I learn all of this? From youtube?

You could simply go online and learn everything in terms of video from youtube, forums, facebook groups etc.

However, let me tell you, it’s the worst way to learn all of this(and the slowest).

You won’t have a Complete Step By step guide on how to do everything.

I found myself frustrated, even after I learned how to do most of the video stuff that I still lacked some knowledge and I didn’t know why my shots weren’t standing out.

I got some general promotion ideas from some articles online, but again… I didn’t have much success and was charging too little for my time.

This is exactly where I learned how to make $200 per hour with my drone (From A to Z)

This course is hold by Alex Harris, who’s an international video creator, director, and drone operator with tons of experience.

And I had a great time stealing his know-how(and greatly profited from it, lol).

I recommend you watch his video presentation bellow and check out the course sales page. It’s quite cheap, considering you’re getting 320+ minutes of everything you need to know, step by step and 80+ minutes on how to actually find the ideal clients for you.

I'm a big drone enthusiast, the owner of DronesGator.com and I also make weekly videos on my drone YouTube channel.

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