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Drone Laws in Belgium: All You Need To Know (2024)

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: September 21, 2023

In recent years, drone technology has taken a remarkable leap, becoming more than just a recreational pastime for hobbyists. They’re being used for everything from inspecting infrastructure and aerial photography to even package deliveries!

Understanding the various laws that govern their use is vital as they become increasingly prevalent in our skies. So today, let’s talk about ‘Drone Laws in Belgium,’ an enchanting destination known far and wide not just for its architectural marvels but also for its progressive approach towards regulating drones.

Belgium’s forward-thinking outlook towards drone laws shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that this small European nation has always had an impressive track record of embracing innovation and technology. Every bit as fascinating as their sumptuous waffles and divine chocolates are Belgium’s comprehensive guidelines that help regulate the usage of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Whether you’re contemplating flying your brand-new drone over the scenic Ardennes or using it to cover a live event in bustling Brussels – knowing the frame within which you need to operate is not only wise but mandatory.

But don’t let these regulations intimidate you! Belgians love their drones just as much they adore their beer – after all, there’s even a beer named after drones. Instead, consider this knowledge as your roadmap to making sure every flight you undertake is safe, legal, and in complete harmony with everyone else sharing the airspace. Stay tuned as we delve into details about licenses needed for operating drones, where you can legally fly them, and what happens when rules are bent or broken.

Importance of Adhering to Drone Laws

In the evolving landscape of drone operations, grasping the significance of compliance with drone laws bears vital importance. One might question why such strict regulations exist in the first place – but these rules largely exist to ensure safety and privacy.

Non-adherence to these rules not only puts safety at risk but can also lead to severe legal penalties. Problems from not following drone regulations vary from causing physical harm due to mismanaged flights, intrusion into restricted airspace like airports or military bases, and invasion of personal privacy by capturing images or videos unlawfully. It’s a matter that involves potentially hazardous consequences if left unchecked.

Let us look at some global incidents showcasing the necessity of adhering to drone laws. Amidst growing trends in drone usage, we see countless instances where negligence has led to significant problems:

  • In 2018, flight disruptions caused by drones at Gatwick Airport stranded over 100,000 passengers during Christmas because pilots spotted drones flying close to the airport.
  • A wildfire in Arizona grew out of control since rescue helicopters were stopped from dropping water due to unauthorized drone activity in the area.
  • In Mumbai, a local resident was arrested for flying a drone near a high-security zone around the Prime Minister’s residential complex without any necessary permissions.

These real-life incidents not only show how crucial complying with drone regulations is for public security and safety but also emphasize responsible navigation practices. As we move forward in this age of technology, recognizing and respecting drone laws become more than mere legal obligation – it is an essential facet orchestrating harmonious coexistence between technology and us.

Obtaining relevant permits before taking your fancy new gadget out for a spin may seem tedious initially; however, it is an effort well worth its weight when you consider the potential chaos unleashed by neglecting these guidelines.

Also Read: Drone Laws in California: An Ultimate Guide for Users

Decoding the Drone Laws in Belgium

As a drone enthusiast, I was keen on understanding how Belgium is responding to the growing popularity of these remarkable gadgets. Over time, I discovered that the authorities have adopted a receptive yet assertive approach when it comes to regulating drones.

Drone Laws in Belgium

One of the first things I found out was that drones are classified into different categories based on their weight and purpose. Specific regulations apply to each category, thus streamlining the legislation process while ensuring safety and privacy for all stakeholders.

Speaking of specific regulations, some are fairly straightforward. For instance, regarding altitude restrictions, it’s generally accepted that drones should not fly higher than 10 meters for class 2 (less than 1 kg), 45 meters for class 1b (between 1-150 kg), and 90 meters for class 1a (greater than 150kg). Breaking these limits can land you in trouble, so sticking to them is always wise.

Across Belgium, demarcated zones dictate where you can operate a drone with or without a license. While urban environments are typically off-limits due to safety concerns unless you fall under particular classes and carry appropriate permissions, rural and less crowded spaces are considered as safer playgrounds.

To give an example: in Brussels, operating your drone is somewhat limited primarily due to this being home to nation-level administrative buildings along with EU institutions. However, when we venture into areas such as Avernas-le-Bauduin Aero – generous fly-zones await enthusiastic pilots!

There’s an eye watching over us while we command our drones across Belgian skies, but IMHO, this doesn’t necessarily dampen our experience. By respecting rules surrounding altitude limits & designated zones, among others – we’re fostering harmony amid potential chaos associated with unregulated drone flights.

Also Read: Drone Laws in Mississippi: Comprehensive Guide

Breaking Down Different Categories of Drone Laws in Belgium

In Belgium, drone laws are meticulously divided into three primary classes: Class 1a, Class 1b, and Class 2. Each class has its unique set of regulations to ensure the safe and responsible use of drones. It’s worth taking a closer look at these categories to familiarize yourself with their specific parameters.

Different Categories of Drone Laws in Belgium

Class 1a

Drones in this category weigh up to 150 kg. They are generally used for professional purposes such as aerial photography, land monitoring, or cargo delivery. Because of their weight and use:

  • Specific flight licenses are mandatory.
  • The operator must undergo intensive training.
  • A safety risk analysis should be conducted before their operation.
  • Insurance coverage is needed.

Class 1b

This class encapsulates drones that usually weigh up to 5 kg. It is essential for hobbyists who fly in controlled areas or semi-open places:

  • Operators need a theoretical knowledge certificate under this class.
  • Operators must maintain an altitude limit of fewer than ten meters.
  • The law prohibits flying these drones over gatherings or crowded areas.


Class 2 caters to smaller drones that weigh less than 1kg:

  • A license is not required when operating a drone under this category.
  • Despite its small size, the operator is expected to respect restricted zones within the country (e.g., near airports).

Staying informed about these laws will not only ensure a secure drone operation but will also keep you on the right side of policymakers! Remember: ignorance isn’t always bliss!

Also Read: Drone Laws in New Hampshire: A Complete Guide

Insights into Permitted Zones for Flying Drones in Belgium

Belgium’s drone-flying space is segmented into diverse zones, each with specific regulations. Understanding where to steer your drone legally is crucial and must be respected to avoid legal repercussions.

  • Open Spaces: You can fly your drone freely in open areas without restrictions. These areas are typically devoid of people, infrastructure, or other potential hazards.
  • Urban Zones: Urban flying is only permissible under the Class 1 A drone law, which indicates a control distance of 50 meters from any person or structure.
  • Controlled Airspace:
    There are certain airspaces where flying drones are subject to more stringent controls or entirely forbidden. Some examples include airports and military installations.

For detailed insights into specific zones within Belgium, there’s an interactive map online that clearly demarcates the permitted areas – Geoportal Map. Taking time to familiarize yourself with these locations ensures a smooth and trouble-free droning experience in Belgium.

Also Read: Drone Laws in Colorado

Licenses & Training: Requirements for Operating Drones in Belgium

Operating drones in Belgium requires obtaining the necessary licenses first. These licenses are essential to ensure that you abide by the local drone laws and regulations. However, these requirements vary based on the type of drone and the purpose of its use.

  • License Scenarios: For instance, if you are operating a Class 1a or Class 1b drone (i.e., used for professional or dangerous activities), you must obtain a remote pilot license prior to flying.
  • Training Sessions: Apart from this, attending training sessions becomes an imperative part of your drone-flying journey. Both formal training institutes and online platforms offer these courses covering theoretical knowledge involving aviation rules along with practical flight exercises.

Thus, understanding all the intricacies of licenses and training is crucial to safely enjoying your drone expedition in Belgium while being on the right side of the law.

Privacy Issues & Regulations Pertaining to Drone Use

Respecting privacy is integral while operating drones. Inadvertently or not, drones can easily venture into sensitive personal spaces, leading to privacy violations. As a response to this growing concern, Belgium has implemented stringent laws.

  • Misuse of Drones: It is a relatively common issue where drones are intentionally used for spying or gathering unauthorized information. The Belgian government has drafted laws to curb such practices.
  • Understanding Privacy Laws: It’s important for every drone operator to familiarize themselves with local privacy laws. Not doing so could lead to unintentional violations and heavy fines.
  • Penalties: Should an operator break these regulations, they might face significant penalties, including fines and even jail time, depending on the severity of the violation.
  • Securing Data: Images or videos captured by your drone should be kept private unless permission is granted from all parties involved.

Drones are certainly an exciting technology. However, as users, it’s our responsibility to ensure their use doesn’t infringe upon the rights of others.

Also Read: Decoding Drone Laws in Alabama: A Complete Guide

General Safety Measures While Flying Your Drone

Safety comes first when operating a drone. Here are some best practices to follow for a safe and enjoyable flight:

  • Pre-flight Inspection: Ensure that the drone is in perfect work condition before the flight, checking that the propellers are secured, and the battery is fully charged.
  • Awareness of Surroundings: Always keep your drone within your line of sight and be aware of potential obstacles or hazards. Avoid flying over crowds or heavily populated areas as part of responsible behavior when using drones.
  • Respect for Weather Conditions: In unfavorable weather conditions (extreme cold, rain, or high winds), it’s best to postpone your drone flight to prevent damage or accidents.
  • Compliance with Local Laws: Rules vary by location, so make sure you’re familiar with local regulations about where and when you can fly a drone.

Adhering to these general safety measures could prevent potential accidents or mishaps during flights. Remember always to prioritize safety over any other aspect while flying drones.

Also Read: Decoding Drone Laws in Tennessee: A Comprehensive Guide

Penalty for Not Adhering To The Regulations

In Belgium, following drone laws isn’t just a recommendation. It’s a legal obligation. Non-compliance can lead to serious repercussions.

  • Fines: The first and most immediate implication of not adhering to the regulations is the imposition of fines. Depending on the specific breach committed, fines can range from a few hundred euros to several thousand. This acts as both a punishment and a deterrent for future violations.
  • Legal Action: Second on the list is potential legal action. This generally comes into play when there’s been significant damage done, or laws are continually flouted despite repeated warnings.
  • Jail time: Lastly, in extreme cases where drone misuse causes harm to people or property, jail sentences can be imposed depending upon the severity of the misconduct.

Consider these implications as stark reminders that breaking drone laws in Belgium isn’t trivial; it carries weighty consequences that could significantly impact one’s personal and professional life. Hence, it’s always best to abide by local drone laws–for everyone’s safety and peace of mind.


Are drones legal in Belgium?

Yes, drones are perfectly legal in Belgium. Operators, however, must adhere to several regulations which vary depending on the category of drone being used.

Can I travel with my drone to Belgium?

Absolutely! You can certainly travel with your drone to Belgium. It’s vital, though, that you’re aware of and abide by the Belgian-specific drone laws to avoid any penalties.

What are the restricted areas for flying drones in Belgium?

Drone flights are prohibited over NATO and EU buildings, nuclear power stations, army installations, prisons, and even places where crowd numbers exceed 1,000 individuals.

What if I want to travel with my drone to Belgium via plane?

Currently, it is allowable, but keep in mind that during air travel, Lithium batteries should be carried in hand luggage following the conditions set by your airline.


Take it from me; navigating drone laws can often prove daunting, especially when they vary drastically between different locations. Still, strict adherence to these laws is crucial to the safety and privacy of everyone involved. Here in Belgium, we have drone laws that are carefully structured to create a safe and enjoyable environment for hobbyists and professionals alike.

With various classes of drones governed by specific rules, Belgium ensures that enthusiasts at all levels can comfortably indulge their interests while maintaining the necessary security. And even though acquiring licenses may seem tiresome at first glance, this process guarantees appropriately trained operators fly drones in our skies.

So next time you decide to take your drone out for a spin, remember that it’s not just about securing captivating aerial views or perhaps making headway into your professional goals. It’s about being a responsible pilot who prioritizes safety above all else!


Richard J. Gross

Hi, my name is Richard J. Gross and I’m a full-time Airbus pilot and commercial drone business owner. I got into drones in 2015 when I started doing aerial photography for real estate companies. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out that police were called on me shortly after I started flying. They didn’t like me flying my drone near people, so they asked me to come train their officers on the rules and regulations for drones. After that, I decided to start my own drone business and teach others about the safe and responsible use of drones.

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