Wednesday 6.1.2021


A new, standardizing rule regarding flying drones will come into effect in the whole of Europe in 2021. In the future, most drone operators, amateurs as well as professionals, must register, familiarize themselves with flying drones and pass an examination. The reformation may bring some changes to flying practices, but the fundamentals of flying safely will remain the same.

Most drone pilots must register as drone operators. Previously, the mandatory registration only affected professional drone pilots. The only unaffected pilots will be the ones flying drones that weigh less than 250 g and don’t have cameras, or drones qualified as toys. All pilots flying drones with cameras must register.

All pilots must also familiarize themselves with regulations regarding flying drones and most are required to pass an examination. An online test will suffice for most amateur drone enthusiasts.

Registration and the online test will be available at the beginning of 2021. More details can be found on droneinfo page of

Flying drones will also be divided into different categories, which will have different requirements. These categories are the open category, which will include most pilots, as well as the specific category and the certified category, which have more strict requirements.

Allowed flight altitude will be 120 meters, mass limits will also change

The greatest flight altitude allowed in the open class will decrease from 150 meters to 120 metres.

The maximum weight in the open category will be 25 kg. There are three different subcategories within the category, which are based on the weight, flight area and training requirements. If the operation is no longer possible in the open category the operator must apply for either specific or certified category. In these two categories, it is mandatory to evaluate, for example, risks involved in operating the drone. Traficom will offer assistance with the evaluation via a new airspace application.

The fundamentals of flying safely will remain the same.

Despite the new regulations, the fundamentals of flying safely will remain the same. In the open category, one must maintain visual contact with the drone, and it is prohibited to fly over crowds or in the proximity of an airport. It is also important to remember to respect privacy and not to trespass.

The transition period between the old and the new law only affects pilots who have registered before and pilots with a club membership.

Pilots who have already registered may continue with the old national laws until January 1st, 2022. Exception permits will also remain valid until the set expiry date.
Drone pilots with a club membership may continue with the national regulations until January 1st, 2023. In addition to national regulations, pilots of a club must abide by the rules and instructions of the club in order to be included in the exemption.

Pilots flying on their own must act according to the new law once it has come into effect at the beginning of 2021.

The law also has transition periods. New drones that are for sale must be CE marked by January 1st, 2023. After this, the use of old drones that haven’t been CE marked will be limited.

More info:
More info:
Original article:
Translated into English by Lauri Ovaska on January 3rd 2021.