Over 2.300 large drones in Belgium
Every year more large drones fly in Belgium. The Federal Public Service Mobility has already registered more than 2.300 devices. Small leisure drones don’t need to be registered, but the heavier ones do. The number of pilot’s licences to control these drones is also on the rise.
Since April 2016, Belgium has had rules in place to fly a drone. Drones weighing more than 1 kg, which may also fly higher, must be registered with the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation (DGLV) of the Federal Public Service Mobility. 2.336 drones are already registered and every year more registrations are counted.
The number of people who are allowed to control these larger drones is also increasing. For drones weighing a maximum of 5 kilograms and allowed to fly up to a height of 45 metres (class 2), the pilot needs a certificate that includes both theoretical training and a practical exam.
892 licenses have even been granted for the heaviest drones, weighing up to 150 kilograms (class 1) in the past three years.
There are always new applications. For example, SNCB is thinking of using drones against cable theft and Limburg hospitals will test flights later this year to transport preparations and medicines. Also police and emergency services are using drones.
A high-performance police drone with full equipment, such as batteries, cameras and maintenance, can easily cost up to 70.000 euro.
The police uses them, among other things, to monitor the crowds at events, as well as alcohol checks, forensic findings by the courts and the tracking of missing persons.
Leisure drones must not be registered
The smaller leisure drones must not be registered. They can fly up to a maximum height of ten metres, not at night, not over people, not over roads or motorways and only on private grounds.
They also have to keep a distance of 3 kilometres from airports, even though there were ten incidents with drones at Zaventem airport last year.
In other countries, air traffic at large airports, such as Heathrow and Gatwick, has often been disturbed by drones.