Stricter Rules to Take Effect for Flying Drones

Vala Hafstað

New rules regarding the flight of drones will take effect in Iceland the first half of next year, Morgunblaðið reports. These are in accordance with a European regulation, due to take effect in European Union member states on January 1. Introducing the regulation in Iceland will take a while, states Þórhildur Elínardóttir, media representative for the Icelandic Transport Authority.

The main changes aim at increasing safety and knowledge about the operation of drones, be it through play or work. Rules and regulations will be divided into three categories: recreational use, professional use, and the operation of large drones. Each category will then be divided into subcategories, according to size and use.

No special requirements will be made for the use of drones weighing less than 250 g and defined as toys. Users of drones weighing 250 g and more will be required to take a course and a qualifying exam on the website of the Icelandic Transport Authority (Samgöngustofa) to be allowed to operate them. An issued certificate will specify the category in which they have the right to fly a drone.

The heavier the drone, the more requirements the pilot must fulfill. The requirements increase as well when operating a drone in an urban area. Anyone planning to fly a drone of 250 g or more must pass the same basic exam, but increased weight and increased risk will require additional exams. For those who fly drones as part of their work, more knowledge of rules of the air, meteorology, and more, will be required.

Instead of registering drones for commercial aviation, as has been required, those who intend to fly drones must register on the website of the Icelandic Transport Authority. They will be provided with a number, which they are required to attach to their drones.

In the future, it is assumed that drones will be equipped with a remotely detectable device, making it possible to track their travels and monitor them in areas where other air traffic exists.

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