From July 1, 2016 shall enter into force new legislation that makes it easier and cheaper for small drones, so-called "mini-drones" and "micro drones can fly for professional or business purposes.

Distinction between a hobby and professional / business use

That the new rules apply only comes with professional or business purposes because for flying drones, officially  remotely piloted aircraft  called (RPA), are two different sets of regulations. One scheme is one drone  exclusively  used as a hobby (for "flying display, recreation or sports") and applies to the other system in all other flights, including professional and business flights.

For hobby use of drones to 25 kg, the  Settlement Model Flying  applicable, using the same rules as model airplanes, which existed before drones became popular. There is no license or other certificate required by the driver, the drone does not need to be registered or approved and do not have to be done no prior notification of the flight. The  Control Model Flying  does contain some rules on the conduct of the flight, such as a maximum altitude of 120 meters above the ground and a ban on flights within the  control zone ( CTR) of the major airports and within 3 km from uncontrolled (smaller) airports. See more  of the central government website .

For professional and business flights but apply much stricter requirements. For these flights drones between 0 and 150 kg not only apply separate standards for the operation, but there are particularly stringent requirements for the necessary licenses and registration:

  • The driver must have a  remote pilot license  ( RPA-L ), for which a theory and practical exam must be passed.
  • For the drone must have a  Certificate of Airworthiness  ( BvL ) and a noise certificate issued and the drone must be registered in the Aircraft Register.
  • The organization conducting the flights must have a liability insurance and a detailed safety manual and if the flights are operated fee, also a  RPAS operator certificate  ( ROC ).
  • The flight must at least be notified at least 24 hours in advance by the mayor of the municipality in which the flight will take place and the Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT). In addition, a so-called NOTAM ( notice to airmen to be published) on the run. For takeoff or landing with drones between 25 kg and 150 kg is also necessary exemption of the province.

There is therefore a very big difference in the regulations for flights hobby and professional or professional races. Moreover, the boundaries between these different types of flights are not always draw as clear. When in doubt, it is therefore important to clarify first about which regulations apply.

New rules for mini and micro drones drones

With the  new rules  from July 1, 2016 for mini drones and micro drones for professional / business use the big difference is the rules reduced for hobby use.  Mini Drones  are drones that are no heavier than 4 kg and  micro drones  drones that are not heavier than 1 kg . It is possible under the new rules to take this under certain conditions, to perform professional / professional flight with much lower demands on the necessary certificates and registrations:

  • The driver does not need to have more of a  remote pilot license , but can get an exemption for this after taking just a theory exam or by showing otherwise have the necessary knowledge.
  • The drone must still be registered in the Aviation Register, but the record shows that it is not heavier than 4 kg than verleendt the ILT exemption from the obligation to have a  certificate of airworthiness  and noise certificate.
  • The organization conducting the flights do  not  have a safety manual, but only liability insurance. If the flight fee exported the organization must have a ROC, but a  ROC-light  which is issued after it has been shown that the above documents are in order.
  • The flight does not advance to be reported to the mayor or ILT and no NOTAM needs to be published.

For micro drones, so lighter than 1 kg, apply on top of that a waiver can be obtained which even no exam or training is required for the driver.

If for professional or professional flights mini or micro drones drones using these exemptions there are, however, additional restrictions on the operation. These  additional restrictions  will be taken by the ILT in the exemptions if conditions are, in brief, as follows:

  • The flight is conducted to a maximum distance of 100 meters from the driver and not more than 50 meters above the ground or water (and low flying areas not exceed 40 meters, with an observer must watch).
  • A minimum of 50 meters horizontal distance should be kept crowds, connected buildings, including industrial and port areas, motorways, roads where the maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour applies, railways, boats and vehicles.
  • Flights are only allowed outside the  control zone  of the larger airports and more than 3 km from uncontrolled (smaller) airports.
  • The driver should not be under the influence of alcohol (0.2 g), drugs or medication and may also provide ten hours prior to the flight drink alcohol.

In addition, the same limitations on the operations are considered for heavier drones, such as the prohibition at night to fly at night. Incidents must be reported to the ILT within 72 hours, and accidents (if there is injury) directly to the Dutch Safety Board (OVV). Furthermore, of course other laws and regulations continue to apply, such as in the area of ​​privacy (eg Data Protection Act and the criminal prohibitions on surreptitious recording or playback), respecting other people's property, environmental law (such as the zoning) and the demands on the transmitter.

Incidentally, it remains possible for micro drones and mini drones under the broader constraints to fly that also apply to heavier drones (for example, to a height of 120 meters or further away than 100 meters from the pilot), but must also all other requirements for heavier drones are met. In that case, so it requires the same registrations and certificates.

These new rules for mini and micro drones drones is now a lot for professional and business users easier than it was to carry out flights with smaller drones, with less paperwork and administrative burdens. Moreover, it is thus now possible to perform professional or a commercial flights without any prior notification of the flight is required.

future changes 

It is expected that more will follow changes in the regulations that the rules for hobby and professional / business use longer be matched. For this will probably rules hobby flights are strengthened outside designated areas, with more restrictions on the amount that may be flown and the minimum distance to people, buildings etc. is also working relation within the EU on European harmonization of regulations for drones. Now all Member States have their own rules, which may differ from those in other countries. It will still take at least until 2017/2018 before it is clear how will be replaced by European regulations. Until then it is in any case in the Netherlands has become a lot easier and cheaper to fly professional or business with small drones.