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Drones: what are the rules?

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Drones: what are the rules?


This week on utalk, Angélique from Paris asks:

“The subject of drones is coming up more frequently in the news. So what is the situation and what are the regulations governing their use?”

Guilhem de Marliave, an expert on drones at the company Elistair in Lyon, replies:

“There are now many various types of drone that differ according to their size, their weight, the type of sensors they use. They’re utilized for both recreational and professional reasons”

“Leisure drones fall under the same rules as for model aeroplanes in France. There are a large number of these devices on the market, since there are more than 100,000 being used. You have to compare that to the professional world where there are just over 2000 approved by the civil aviation authority”.

“The main rules in terms of model aircraft and leisure drones are that you cannot fly them over populated zones, you can’t use them at night, and you must respect the maximum height of 150 metres”.

“On the professional level, the legal framework was drawn up by the civil aviation authority and enacted in 2012. In that respect France was a pioneer, being the first country to legislate the use of drones. So in France if you’re operating a drone for commercial purposes you have to declare your activity to the civil air authorities and you must use approved equipment. You must request specific approval to fly over populated areas”.

“The United States established a legal framework fairly recently, in early 2015. Europe is working on harmonizing the rules surrounding drones, because every country has its specific issues. We should see that European legislation within a few years”.

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