Legal Requirements To Operate Drones In Gibraltar

The Government has issued information reminding the public of the legal requirements to operate Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) locally.

A statement from the Government follows below:

Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) better known as drones are becoming easier to use, smaller and give the user the opportunity to take photographs and videos from a wide variety of new perspectives. UAVs have become increasingly popular and it is expected that these machines, especially those weighing under 250 grams, will continue to be a popular present this Christmas.

However, unauthorised use of UAVs in Gibraltar can pose risks to aircraft operating from the Airport, danger to the public when operated in or over the urban environment, and create an environmental threat to breeding birds and macaques. The person controlling a small UAV is fully responsible for the safe operation of any flight.

Hence anyone buying a UAV and wishing to use it in the “open air” in Gibraltar, needs to be aware of the legal requirements to operate it, which can be found at the following link: https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/civil-aviation/drones

In essence, anyone flying a UAV outside in Gibraltar must have:

  1. have insurance;
  2. have written permission from the Director of Civil Aviation (DCA); and 3. Prove their competence to fly a UAV – that said those persons flying UAVs under 250 grams do not need to prove their piloting competence, but as a consequence they are only permitted to fly from nominated coastal areas and, other than take-off and landing, must fly over the water at all times.

It should be noted that recent legislation introduced means that any person caughtoperating aUAV without insurance or a permission from the DCA, can be given a fixed penalty notice of up to £400 or be taken to court where a maximum fine of £1,000 can be issued.

The Director ofCivilAviationChris Purkiss commented:“While buying a UAVis easy and operating it is fun, the areas where a UAV can legally fly in Gibraltar are very restricted. Legislation has been introduced to protect aircraft operating from the airfield and ensure UAVs do not pose a danger to the public in the highly populated environment of Gibraltar. Anyone operating a UAVis responsible for its safe operation and unauthorised use in Gibraltar could result in the receipt of a substantial fine.”

Anyone interested in knowing more should contact Chris Purkiss at [email protected].