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Belgium, with its stunning landscapes and historic sites, has become a popular destination for drone enthusiasts. However, before taking to the skies with your drone, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the drone laws imposed by the Belgian authorities. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to legal consequences and potential safety hazards. In this article, we will outline the key drone laws in Belgium to ensure a safe and legal experience for all drone pilots.

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Drone Laws in Belgium An aerial view of the city of Brussels captured using a drone in compliance with Belgium's drone laws.
Drone Laws in Belgium: An aerial view of the city of Antwerp captured using a drone in compliance with Belgium’s drone laws.

Highest Safety Standards

Belgium, like many countries, has implemented drone laws to ensure the highest safety standards and protect both individuals and property. These regulations are in place to prevent accidents and maintain privacy. By adhering to these guidelines, you not only avoid legal trouble but also contribute to the responsible and harmonious use of drones.

For most drones, you need the EU Drone Licence. This consists of two parts: the Basic Certificate (A1-A3) and the Supplementary Certificate (A2).

  • Mandatory for drones from 250 grams
  • The drone may fly a maximum height of 120 meters
  • The drone must be flown within direct sight of the pilots
  • You must register yourself as a drone pilot
  • You have to attach an operator number to your drone

Registration and Certification

In Belgium like any other European country, drones weighing more than 250 gm must be registered with the Federal Public Service (FPS) Mobility and Transport. If your drone is less than 250gm and has a camera on it then that has to be registered as well.

This registration allows the authorities to track and identify the drone’s owner. Additionally, drone pilots are required to obtain a certificate to operate drones for recreational or commercial purposes.

Drone Zones and Restricted Areas

To maintain public safety, Belgium has established specific areas where drone flights are restricted or prohibited. It is crucial to be aware of these restrictions to avoid infringing on privacy, endangering public spaces, and interfering with other activities. Among the restricted areas are airports, heliports, military sites, and certain nature reserves. Violations in these areas can result in severe penalties, including fines and possible confiscation of the drone.

You can check the website Droneguide to see where you are allowed to fly in Belgium.

Flight Permissions

Before taking off, drone pilots must obtain permission to fly in certain areas. Fly Zones, designated by the FPS Mobility and Transport, specify where drone operations are permitted. Failure to comply with these permissions can lead to legal consequences. By understanding the Fly Zones and obtaining proper authorization, drone enthusiasts can enjoy their hobby without compromising safety.

Drone Size and Weight Restrictions

Belgium does not impose specific size restrictions on drones, but there are weight limitations in place. Drones weighing over 5 kilograms (11 pounds) require additional certifications and authorizations. These regulations ensure that heavier drones are operated by trained individuals who have a thorough understanding of safety measures and regulations.

Daytime Flying and Visual Line of Sight

To ensure maximum safety, drone flights in Belgium are restricted to daylight hours. It is important to refrain from flying your drone during periods of reduced visibility, such as at night or in poor weather conditions. To maintain visual contact with the drone, it must always remain within the pilot’s line of sight. Deviating from this important safety measure can lead to accidents and legal penalties.

Respect for Privacy

Privacy is a significant concern when it comes to flying drones. In Belgium, drone pilots must not invade the privacy of others or conduct surveillance in prohibited areas, such as private properties, without express consent. Respecting the privacy of individuals and complying with these regulations is essential for a responsible and ethical drone flying experience.

Be a Responsible Pilot: Tips and Recommendations

While abiding by the drone laws in Belgium is crucial, here are some additional tips to ensure a responsible and enjoyable drone flying experience:

1. Always familiarize yourself with the latest drone laws and regulations imposed by the Belgian government.
2. Before flying, check the weather conditions and avoid flying during strong winds, rain, or stormy weather.
3. Respect the privacy and safety of individuals and avoid flying over private properties without consent.
4. Maintain a safe distance from airports, heliports, and other restricted areas to prevent interference with manned aircraft.
5. Stay up to date with the latest technological advancements and follow best practices to operate your drone safely and efficiently.
6. Invest in drone insurance to protect yourself financially in the event of accidents or damage.

Conclusion: Drone Laws in Belgium

Flying a drone in Belgium can be an incredibly rewarding experience if you comply with the established laws and regulations. By registering your drone, obtaining the necessary certifications, and respecting the privacy and safety of others, you can enjoy the captivating views of Belgium while avoiding legal troubles. Remember, responsible drone piloting ensures a secure and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

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