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Aeromodeling Rules

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Aeromodelling Rules

From December 31, 2020, aeromodelers must comply with Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 whenever flights are not conducted inside buildings or fully enclosed spaces.

Registering as a Remotely Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Operator

All model aircraft operators must register as UAS operators before they can fly:

  • Model aircraft with a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) greater than 250 grams or that can transfer kinetic energy to a human being greater than 80 joules in the event of a collision.
  • Model aircraft with sensors capable of capturing personal information that are not toys (according to Directive 2009/48/EC), such as those with a mass of less than 250 g with camera or video, except toys.
  • In the “specific” category according to Article 14.5.b of Regulation (EU) 2019/947.


If you meet the conditions and register as a UAS operator, you can practice aeromodeling according to the following options: 

Option 1: Flights in the "open" category complying with the specific requirements of subcategory A3 according to Regulation (EU) 2019/947.

These flights must be conducted in areas where no non-participants are endangered and at a horizontal distance of at least 150 meters from residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas. In addition, the maximum flight altitude on the ground must be no more than 400 feet (120 m).

Pilots must have passed training and examination for subcategory A1/A3 and model aircraft must have a maximum takeoff mass of less than 25 kg.

The minimum age for pilots who can fly in the A3 subcategory known as “open” is 16 years. However, as long as the remote pilot has the appropriate training and flies under the supervision of a UAS pilot 16 years of age or older, there is no age limit.

Option 2: Flights in particular geographical areas

A UAS geographical area is defined as a part of airspace established by the competent authority that permits, limits or prohibits UAS operations to manage safety, security, privacy, personal data protection or environmental risks.

UAS geographic areas have been established to conduct aeromodelling activities in subcategory A3 in all aeromodelling fields published in the AIP, provided that the following alternative measures are met:

  • Create specific training material that includes a non-conflict approach
  • Internal rules and regulations
  • Instruction by experienced pilots
  • Gradual initiation to flying of new pilots and under 16 years of age
  • Continuous mentoring and supervision by experienced pilots
  • Ensure a ground risk margin of at least 120 m and a kinetic energy of less than 34 KJ during operations

Option 3: Authorization issued by the competent authority for UAS operations under the umbrella of a model airplane club or association.

An aeromodelling club or association is required to apply for an operational authorization issued by the competent authority depending on the operations to be performed. This will depend on whether the operations cannot be framed within the open category (option 1) and no geographical area has been established (option 2).

For example, the following operations would require operational authorization: conducted at an altitude above 120 m, in aircraft with an MTOM above 25 kg, in aircraft that are not privately manufactured and equipped with a combustion system, and involving the overflight of concentrations of people.

The procedures, organizational structure and management system of the model flying club or association shall determine the authorizations that the competent authority may grant to model flying clubs or associations to ensure that:

  • Pilots flying within the framework of the model aircraft club or association are aware of the limitations and conditions set out in the authorization.
  • Pilots flying within the framework of the model aircraft club or association are assisted in achieving the minimum proficiency to operate the UAS safely.
  • The model flying club or association takes appropriate action when it becomes aware that a pilot is not complying with the conditions and limitations set out in the authorisation
  • The model flying club or association provides the competent authority with the necessary documentation for monitoring and supervision.

The authorization issued by the competent authority shall specify the conditions under which model aircraft flight operations may be conducted within the scope of the club or association, including the minimum age applicable to remote pilots in each case. Such authorization shall be restricted to the territory of the country.

UAS Geographical Zones

The flight site must comply with local limitations (UAS geographic areas) in any case. To perform drone flights or operations, it is necessary to be registered and have a UAS operator number. The place of operation and type of activity may impose additional requirements or limit/prohibit flight in addition to the general rules.