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UAS regulations

Update: 2020 (harmonised regulations for EASA Member States)

On 28 February 2019 the EASA Committee has given its positive vote to the European Commission’s proposal for an Implementing Act regulating the operations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the open and specific categories. This proposal is mainly based on EASA’s Opinion No 01/2018 [ ].  

The easy access rules for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Regulation (EU) 2019/947 and Regulation (EU) 2019/945)
Revision from September 2021
On 11 June 2019 common European rules on drones, Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 [ ]& Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 [ ], have been published to ensure drone operations across Europe are safe and secure. The rules will amongst others help to protect the safety and the privacy of EU citizens while enabling the free circulation of drones and a level playing field within the European Union.
A major milestone in the regulation of operations of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) in Europe was achieved on 10th October 2019 with the publication of the Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance materials (GM )  [ ] for the Regulation on UAS operations in the open and specific category.

With the publication, EASA will support UAS operators and Member States in complying with the adopted EU regulation. The document includes the description of a risk assessment methodology to evaluate the danger of an UAS operation and to identify mitigation measures to make the operation safe.
The methodology for conducting a risk assessment of the operations in the specific category is called SORA (Specific Operation Risk Assessment) and offers a very structured approach to evaluate all aspects and identify mitigations and safety objectives.

The timeframe for the European changes is listed here [ ] and may change due COVID-19
All other related documents can be found here :[[]=2204& ]  (e.g. Opinion “Standard scenarios for UAS operations in the ‘specific’ category”; Opinion 01/2020 - High-level regulatory framework for the U-space; ).

Before the EASA changes were implemented, previous regulations for individual Member States can be found here: 
French regulations:

[LATEST UPDATE: May 2020, David Guerin; the information below may not be up to date and will be incorrect after EASA standardised rules come into effect.]

The use of drone in France is submitted to 2 laws :

1. The 17 december 2015 law about the conception of UAV conception.pdf

2. The 17 december 2015 law about the use of UAV in aerial space condition.pdf Both links of French Transports Ministry Use of drone for recreation purposes :


  • General guidelines Here is a quick resume of french law:You need to have a spotter in fpv, aircraft need to be in sight of view.
  • Fly only under 150 meters
  • Fly only in daytime (no night fly allowed)
  • Don't fly in urban areas
  • Don't fly above animals groups or peoples
  • Don't fly in restricted areas.


10 main rules are needed to ensure people and other’s safety for recreational purposes:

1- Do not fly over people

2- respect the maximum flight heights.

3- I never lose sight of my drone and I do not use it at night.

4- I do not fly my drone over public spaces in urban areas.

5- I never use my drone anywhere near airfields or airports.

6- I never fly over sensitive areas or protected sites.

7- I always respect other people’s privacy.

8- I do not broadcast my aerial pictures or videos without the consent of the concerned persons and I do not make any commercial use out of it.

9- I check the terms of my insurance policy concerning this activity.

10- When in doubt, I ask for more information.


Links : French Transports Ministry 0.pdf


Commercial uses:

To fly commercially you’ll need to be a domicile French operator that owns a a pilot license (theoretical part only): Private Pilot (PPL) pilot glider or microlight. The french law defines 7 different categories for different air crafts and distinguishes areas in 4 different zones. And then to declare to DSAC ( that you are a commercial operator of UAV. You’ll need to obtain flight approvals for each flight scenario depending of your UAV caracteristics. You’ll need different flight approvals like a authorization prior each flight scenario.


Civil remote piloted aircraft are split into seven categories, primarily dependent on mass. Except for special cases, rules are split into 4 scenarios. Regardless of the purpose of the UAV flight, visual line of site operations are allowed for drones under 25kg in mass below 150m over unpopulated areas, and for under 4kg of mass over populated areas. Beyond visual line of sight operations are allowed without distance limitations for drones under 2kg flying under 150m, and within a 1km radius for drones of 25kg or less flying under 50m. All operations are forbidden in the vicinity of airports, and subject to prior authorization over populated areas. Illegal UAV operation can carry a maximum sentence of a year in prison, as well as a $90,000 fine.


Use of drone for commercial purposes : To fly commercially you’ll need to be a domicile French operator that owns a a pilot license (theoretical part only): Private Pilot (PPL) of plane, helicopter, glider or microlight.

The french law defines 7 different categories for UAV (depending on mass) and 4 types of flight scenarios areas.

S1 : out of city, visual flight, maximum elevation of 150 meters and maximum distance of 200 meters

S2 : out of city, visual flight, maximum elevation of 150 meters (under 2 kg) or 50 meters (above 2kg) and maximum distance of 1000 meters

S3 : inside city, visual flight, maximum elevation of 150 meters and maximum distance of 100 meters, parachute needed if above 2 kg A security perimeter is needed between 30 to 50 meters. An administrative approval of Prefectural Governor is needed before the urban flight.

S4 : out of city, no-visual flight, maximum elevation of 150 meters and unlimited distance, maximum 2 kg, telepilot need 100h of flight on plane, glide or helicopter. Night flight are forbidden in any case.

Last update / 24.09.2021

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