Drone Laws in Netherlands
Drone regulations and links for people flying drones in Netherlands.
Netherland Drone Regulations
According to the Netherlands’ national aviation authority, the Netherlands Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), flying a drone is legal in the Netherlands, but we recommend being aware of and compliant with the drone regulations listed below before doing so.
If you’d like to contact the DGCA directly before you travel with any questions you might have, here is their contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org / +31 70 351 6171
Why fly a drone in the Netherlands? To get great aerial shots like these!
General Rules for Flying a Drone Within the European Union
The Netherlands is a part of the European Union and therefore must abide by the drone regulations put in place by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). In addition to these regulations, Netherlands also has regulations that are country-specific.
Based on our research and interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone within the European Union.
There are three operational categories that determine drone regulations based on the weight of the drone and the intended operation. This section will only cover the Open Category, to see all European Union laws and categories, click here.
A drone can be operated in the “Open “category if:
- The drone has one of the class identification labels 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4.
- The drone was purchased before 1 January 2023, with no class identification label as above.
- The drone has a maximum take-off mass of less than 25 kg (55 lbs).
- The remote pilot keeps the drone at a safe distance away from people.
- The drone will not be operated directly over people unless it has a class identification label or is lighter than 250 g (0.55 lbs). (Please refer to subcategories of operations: A1, A2, and A3 to find out where you can fly with your drone).
- The remote pilot will maintain a visual line of sight (VLOS) or the remote pilot will be assisted by a UA observer.
- The remote pilot will not operate the drone above 120m (400ft).
- The drone will not carry any dangerous goods and will not drop any material.
General Rules for Flying a Drone in the Netherlands
Based on our research and interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in the Netherlands.
- Flying a drone is only allowed in airspace category G. This restricts flights in many areas of the Netherlands. View this map of no-fly zones for drone operators in the Netherlands.
- Drones may not fly more than 120 meters (394 feet) above the ground or the water.
- Drone pilots must give priority to all other aircraft, such as airplanes, helicopters, gliders, et cetera. This means that you must land immediately once you see an aircraft approaching.
- Drones must fly at a safe distance from people and buildings.
- Drones must maintain a visual line of sight with their drone during operations.
- Drones may not be flown at night.
Rules for Recreational Drone Operations in the Netherlands
In addition to the general rules for flying a drone in the Netherlands, recreational drone operators must follow these guidelines as well:
- Do not fly over groups of people or connected buildings.
- The maximum weight for private drones is 25 kilograms.
- You may use your drone to make aerial films and photographs for your own personal use. This is regarded as recreational use. However, you must observe the privacy rights of others.
For more information about recreational drone use in the Netherlands, visit this page.
Rules for Commercial Drone Operations in the Netherlands
In addition to the general rules for flying a drone in the Netherlands, commercial drone operators must follow these guidelines as well:
- Commercial drone operations in the Netherlands require the drone pilot to hold a pilot’s license, and the company/organization overseeing the operation to hold am ROC permit to fly. Learn more about these requirements here.
- If you operate a drone weighing no more than 4 kg, you may apply for a light permit.
- Drone insurance is required for commercial drone operations in the Netherlands.
For more information about commercial drone use in the Netherlands, visit this page.
For more information on the Netherlands’ drone laws, see this page on the official website of the government of the Netherlands.
Know something we don’t about drone laws in the Netherlands? Send us an email at support[at]uavcoach[dot]com. We are not international aviation attorneys and do our best to keep this page up-to-date for drone pilots, but the reality is that given the pace of the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) industry and how governments are responding, drone regulations in the Netherlands can change throughout the year, and those changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.
Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in the Netherlands? Here you go: