The Netherlands is a country with very restricted rules when it comes to flying drones. There are amazing landscapes for the perfect picture: windmills, tulip fields, squares, museums, parades, parks, and more. However, not everywhere it is allowed to fly a drone, and even less in Amsterdam.
It is almost impossible to fly a drone in Amsterdam. There are laws and restrictions that make it very hard to be able to use a drone. The Dutch Government shares a map with the area and what you have to take into account. There are, however, other places close to Amsterdam where you can fly your drone.
Flying a drone in the Netherlands it is allowed, as long as you follow the rules settled by the Government. They provide information, forms to fill in in case you want a license and a map of all the country and information about where to fly, where it may be possible and where it impossible to fly.
Amsterdam Drone Laws
Down below there is a map of the Netherlands with useful information for drone flights. Each colour in the map represents where you are allowed or not allowed to fly a drone. The territories in red are forbidden, those in green are allowed.
In the case of Amsterdam, we can see that there are no green areas, which means it is not allowed to fly a drone in the city itself. This is due to a lot of rules related to privacy and safety measures. Here there are some of the reasons why it is not allowed in Amsterdam:
- It is too close to the airport, Schiphol
- It is part of the airspace
- There are many helicopter ports
- There are many Government buildings
- You can’t fly on top of connected buildings
- You can only fly on Airspace category G, a very restricted one.
- It is not allowed to fly too close to people, animals and invade people’s privacy, which in a crowded city like Amsterdam ends up being quite impossible.
As you can see in the map below, the map of AMSTERDAM is completely red. It is almost impossible to fly a drone in Amsterdam or anywhere around it.
Drones in the Netherlands: FAQ
License or No-license
CAN I FLY A DRONE WITHOUT LICENSE OR AUTHORIZATION?
Yes, it is possible. You can fly a drone for personal or commercial use. Do you want to fly your drone just as a hobby without any type of commercial use? Then you can do it without a license, even if underaged. Having an insurance is also not mandatory but much recommended. However, if you are flying your drone for a commercial used you will need to apply for an authorisation. You will need a pilot license, a and a. You can fly any kind model airplane or drone, until weight is less than 25 kg (55 pounds) and power is under 15 KW. However, permits vary depending on what type of drone you are flying. It’s strictly forbidden for hobbyists any use but sport and leisure only.
- Vliegbewijs (pilot license): you can fill up the formulary to ask for your pilot license here. You need it in order to do any lucrative activity with your drone. You will have to train for the specific type of drone you will be using and pass some tests. The cost is around 100 euros. If you have a license from another European country this is also valid. This is untransferable and only belongs to the pilot who is flying it.
- Bewijs van Luchtwaardigheid (Certificate of Airworthiness): this is the second permit you will need to ask for here. This one is free of charge. This doesn’t have to be asked by the pilot but by the owner of the drone.
- RPAS Operator Certificate (ROC): this is a certificate to allow the type of drone you are using to function in the Netherlands. There are two types a normal ROC or a ROC-light, depending to the weight of the drone. These two type of drones, the heavy ones (between 4 and 150kg) and the light ones (not heavier than 4kg) have different rules and you will need to ask for a permit for one or the other. This process may take at least 90 days and the payment of these licenses tend to be over 2000 euros. For more information about all the process and the form, check the Government’s website.
How to Fly
HOW CAN I FLY MY DRONE LEGALLY?
In the Netherlands you must fly your drone seeing it during the whole flight. You can use automatic navigation, RTH and similar functions only if you can see your drone, without any device but your eyes (and, of course, optical glasses if needed) and you can take the commands anytime, but you can never loss sight or fly it during the night.
Your drone must remain closer than 200 meters (650 feet) away from you, and max 70 meters (230 feet) high. You are not allowed to fly between buildings due to the lack of visibility and privacy issued. You can never elevate it over 120 meters, not on land neither on water. You can’t do it on the red areas neither on the orange ones.
Where to Fly
WHERE CAN I FLY MY DRONE IN THE NETHERLANDS?
NOT IN AMSTERDAM. You can fly daytime in any place where there is no people around, far away from houses, roads, railroads, airports, heliports, airspace, military areas and so on. You must keep safe distance from people and buildings. Its’s strictly forbidden to fly over people, their houses and animals. Please, never try to take pictures from above flying inside national parks, events, parades and so on: most theme parks and national parks will have their permits and legal disclaims about drones that you can check beforehand. Here you have an article about all the Best Spots to fly a Drone in the Netherlands. Amsterdam is Forbidden.
WHERE I CAN’T FLY?
In the Netherlands you must not fly in any of the red areas on this map. You must always be at least 1500m away from any airspace, 3km away from any airport, 15km away from Schiphol and Eindhoven airports and 800 from any military zone. You are restricted to the Airspace G, giving priority to any other flying traffic and being obligated to stop your drone and land it immediately if there is any other object flying close to you. It’s forbidden to fly over schools, hospitals, jail, industrial and military settings and any “sensitive infrastructure”.
CAN I TAKE PICTURE FROM MY DRONE?
Sure you can, and you can post it on any social network. But these shots must be for your amusement only and you can’t sell your drone footage or embed it into a professional work. If you make profit out of the drone, you will be asked to present all the permits or face the fine for wrong use of drones, which can go up to 7800 euros. Take in mind other people privacy rights. The Netherlands follows the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law to the privacy of its citizens. This means you can take shots of people being in the landscape, but you must not take picture of people in their home, workspaces and private spaces. If so, you must have their permission. You cannot take photos of minors unless you have explicit permission to do so. Newer annoy people with your drone, not even animals, never follow people with your drone, and respect private properties.
How to register my drone for commercial use in the Netherlands?
If you already have all the permits, a license and the airworthiness of your drone from another European country, you can process to register it in the Netherlands to be given permission to fly it under the laws of tis country. If you already have your permissions from the Netherlands, you will have to apply for the registration anyway. The registration process requires 2 steps:
- Apply for a PH number (registration mark) for your drone; this can be done online here. You will need to specify who owns the drone (you or your company for e.g.) and it is the same person who is piloting it or separate entities.
- You will need to request a proof of enrolment via this link. Where you will need to include: your proof of ownership (proof of the purchase of the drone), photos of your drone’s serial number, your registration mark (PH number), your license & send it all to firstname.lastname@example.org
Allow 2 weeks for the Dutch authorities to process it all. If something is missing in your application and they need to get back to you, expect a process time between 6-8 weeks.
Unfortunately, it’s not allowed to fly a drone in Amsterdam, but there are many cool spots where you can do that. Here you can find an article with BEST DRONE SPOTS IN THE NETHERLANDS. On the other hand, there are many aerial view videos of Amsterdam to get on storybloks or envato.elements so people fly their drones. I’ve even seen myself a guy in Amsterdam Noord flying a drone. So according to the law, it’s forbidden and you risk losing your drone but some people still do that. I hope this article is helpful and you find here the most important information.