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13 March 2019
French drone legislation was recently updated to require individuals who fly drones for leisure purposes (known as 'telepilots')(1) to undergo specific training. In addition, Law 2016-1428 on enhancing drone operational safety recently entered into force.(2)
Among other things, Law 2016-1428 requires:
Under the new rules, as of 26 December 2018, telepilots who fly drones weighing more than 800g for leisure purposes must undergo online theory training and pass an exam (lasting approximately 30 minutes) to obtain a certificate. Certificates are valid for five years and may be renewed upon successfully re-examination. Further, as of 1 July 2018, telepilots who operate unmanned aerial vehicles for non-leisure purposes are subject to training requirements.(4)
As of 26 December 2018, drones which weigh more than 800g must be registered online.(5) Registration is valid for five years. Drones weighing more than 25kg must be properly licensed. Prior to Law 2016-1428, drones weighing less than 25kg were not subject to licensing or registration requirements.
Although provided for under Law 2016-1428, the registration requirement for drones weighing over 800g only recently came into effect following the latest decree and order.(6) Law 2016-1428 also requires such drones to be equipped with:
These requirements apply to all drones as of 1 July 2018. For drones licenced or registered prior to 1 July 2018, the requirements became effective on 1 January 2019.
The new rules will likely undergo modification as projects to extend the scope of EU regulation to all drones – irrespective of weight(7) – are underway.
For further information on this topic please contact Matthieu de Varax or Wissam Dahmani at Odi-se Avocats by telephone (+33 1 7935 0750) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Odi-se Avocats website can be accessed at www.odise.com.
(5) Registration must be made via the AlphaTango portal (alphatango.aviation-civile.gouv.fr), which is managed by the Civil Aviation Authority.
(6) See Decree 2018-882 of 11 October 2018 on the Registration of Civil Aircraft Flying Without Passengers and Order of 19 October 2018 on the Registration of Civil Aircraft Flying Without Passengers.
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