The European Union has published common rules on the use of drones, aimed at harmonizing the law on this issue across the 28 member states of the EU, so that drone operators better understand what they may and may not do. According to the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), “once drone operators have received authorization in [their] state of registration, they are allowed to freely circulate in the European Union”. Although the common rules formally take effect on July 1, 2019, they will become mandatory only in June 2020 so that member states in the EU have sufficient time to adjust their local laws to the new regulation.
One of the new rules requires drone operates to register before using a drone. The rules prescribe three categories of drone operation – ‘open’ (for low-risk drones of up to 25Kg in weight), ‘specific’ (where drones require authorization to be flown), and ‘certified’ (a high risk category, such as using drones for delivery of shipments or flying over large crowds). Each category will be subject to its own set of regulations. The rules also deal with privacy matters, including provisions that require operators of drones with sensors capable of collecting personal data, to register them as such.
Updated rules are published here.