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Drone Laws in The Netherlands for 2023 (Complete Guide)

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea
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height flight limit 1

120m max height

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Safe distance from people

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No night flying

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Only line of sight

The Netherlands is one of Europe's most beautiful and exciting countries to visit. If you are planning to visit the Netherlands and take your drone along for this picturesque holiday, you should be aware of the rules and regulations that are being observed there to enjoy to your fullest without any inconvenience.

Our Dronesgator guide to the drone laws in the Netherlands outlines how to remain updated with the latest drone laws in the country. The information covers where one can get a drone permit, areas for flying the drone travel guides, and contact information.

Can I bring a Drone to the Netherlands?

There’s no such law that prevents bringing drones to the Netherlands. However, the passenger must observe all the laws and regulations. Some airlines have strict laws on the storage of lithium-ion drone batteries. It is better to be well aware of these guidelines before you travel on a plane with a drone to the Netherlands.

Can I Fly A Drone in the Netherlands?

As for 2023, according to the Netherlands’ national aviation authority, the Netherlands Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), you can fly a drone in the Netherlands as long as you follow the rules and classifications below.

Which Agencies are responsible for the regulation of drone rules in the Netherlands?

As of April 2022, the Netherlands Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and European Union Aviation Safety (EUAS) are two agencies responsible for the regulation of drones in the Netherlands.

For details, you can contact these agencies using the following details:

Email: dgtl@minvenw.nl 

Phone: +3170351 6171

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Rules for Flying a Drone in the Netherlands

Since the Netherlands is a part of the EU, the country has to abide by the set of rules and regulations provided by the EU. In addition to those regulations, the Netherlands, like other EU countries has its national restrictions and requirements as well.

European Union General Rules for Flying a Drone in the Netherlands

Since the Netherlands is a part of the EU, the country has to abide by the set of rules and regulations provided by the EU. In addition to those regulations, the Netherlands, like other EU countries has its national restrictions and requirements as well.

Listed below are the EU rules and regulations that you must follow while flying a drone in the Netherlands.

  1. Under EU regulations, drone laws are classified into three categories, an open category, a specific category, and a certified category based on their weights and operations.
  2. If your drone falls in any of the above-mentioned 3 categories, it must be registered.
  3. The drone must have a maximum weight of 25 kg
  4. The drone will not be allowed to be flown in crowded areas
  5. A drone must be flown at a distance from airports, prisons, etc.
  6. The drone must be labeled by its class
  7. The drone cannot carry or drop any heavy material.

General Rules for Flying a Drone in the Netherlands

According to the Netherlands Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and European Union Aviation Safety (EUAS), the following general laws must be followed while flying drones in the Netherlands:

  1. The pilot must observe the maximum height limit of 120m above the ground on the water while flying their drones.
  2. No nighttime flying operations are allowed to avoid any accidents.
  3. Keep your done within the visual line of sight of an observer who is next to you or in direct communication with you
  4. Drones should keep a safe distance from buildings and people.
  5. Drone pilots should give the priority to the other aircraft. If a drone pilot sees any other airplane, helicopter, or glider on its premise, they must land immediately to avoid causing any hindrance in their flying operations.
  6. The pilots must study the no-fly zones map before entering the airspace. The Netherlands does not allow drones to be flown over all areas.
  7. Drone Laws in the Netherlands include the islands of Sint Eustatius, Saba, and Bonaire.

How can I register my drone in the Netherlands?

To register yourself and your drone, you have to register yourself with the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW). The RDW after taking you through the complete registration process will assign you a drone registration number. The registration number is valid for one year and has to be renewed following the same procedure.

How are drones classified in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, drones are classified into two types based on their operations. Both classes have different rules and regulations for their operations.

  1. Commercial drones: If you’re earning through your drone by making promotional videos, or for business purposes, your drones fall in the commercial drone category.
  2. Recreational Drones: If you’re flying a drone for capturing personal videos and for recreational purposes only, it will fall in the recreational drones category.

Am I required to have insurance to fly a drone in the Netherlands?

If you’re flying your drone for commercial purposes, you must have insurance that covers you and your drone. You don’t need any insurance by law if your drone falls in the recreational category. However, if you cause any harm to the property or injury to anybody, you will be held liable. So it is always beneficial for you to get yourself covered by third-party liability insurance to cover such incidents.

Rules for Commercial Use of Drones:

You must abide by the following rules if you are planning to fly your drones for commercial purposes. The authorities evaluate and confirm if your drone falls in this category or not.

  1. In the Netherlands, a commercial drone operator must hold a pilot’s license and the company’s ROC permit under which the operation is being operated.
  1. If your drone weighs less or equal to 4kg, you can apply for a light drone permit.
  1. The pilot and the drone must be insured before operating for commercial purposes.
  1. In case of breaking the rules, you will be penalized either monetarily or your drone can be confiscated as well. In case of repetition, legal action is taken against the pilot and the company.

Rules for Recreational use of Drones:

You must abide by the following rules if you are planning to fly your drones for recreational purposes. The authorities evaluate and confirm if your drone falls in this category or not.

  1. Your drone must not weigh more than 25 kg.
  1. You must seek permission from the party if you want to take their picture and must not violate their privacy under any condition.
  1. The recreational drones must be flown in overcrowded places or sensitive premises, such as private buildings, airports, military areas, prisons, etc.
  1. In case of breaking the rules, the operator will be fined and your drone can be confiscated.
  2. You should be well aware of the areas where it is allowed to fly drones in the Netherlands.
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What are my top drones to fly safely in the Netherlands?

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

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34 min

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10 km

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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 the Netherlands. 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 the Netherlands, make sure you’ve learned all the dos and don’ts of flying drones in this region. 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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