I am planning to visit Europe (France, Italy, Zurich, Luxembourg) this February, and I have searched the internet on what is the regulation in Europe on flying pilotless AI drone such as Hover Air X1? The drone is only 125 gr, can be manually flown but the main feature is that it can fly without a pilot, taking selfies and videos. From searching the regulations, it is classified as subcategory A1 (under 250 gr), and it has a camera.
Do I need to register this drone? Do I still need to register as a drone pilot in order to use this?
Yes indeed, according to EASA, the Hover Air X1 falls into the A1 Open Category and will require you to register as an operator under EASA because the drone has a camera (it’s not classified as a toy). It will not require you to have any Certificate of Competency (A1/A3 or A2) because the drone is under 250 grams.
All four locations/countries where you want to fly the drone are part of EASA, so the same drone laws apply. The same drone laws should apply to your drone. Although it is autonomous, you can control it manually as well.
One of the easiest ways to register yourself as an operator with EASA is with Ireland because it’s an English-speaking country with easy to navigate portal and straightforward process, and according to EASA, it won’t matter the country you want to register as an Operator as this will be available across all EASA member states - but overall, is still much recommended to register yourself as an operator the first country you plan to fly in.
Just be aware that although we are up to date with Drone laws and have extensive knowledge about them, things can change in the future, and/or local authorities from those countries may not know from the top of their head the drone laws, so in a conflictual case, they may have to verify this.
We have an article we covered about everything you need to know about drone laws in Europe (What is EASA and how they implement drone laws) if you’re looking for more information.
One another aspect you have to consider is insurance:
- France - Insurance is recommended for hobbyists but not required.
- Italy - 3rd party liability insurance is required
- Luxembourg - Public Liability Insurance is required
- Switzerland - Not required for drones under 250 grams.
You’ll have to do in-depth research on each country and location you want to fly to check wherever you’re legally allowed to fly on their no-fly zone maps and take into account all possibilities for a smooth experience.
One last thing. We try our best to provide as accurate information as possible, but ultimately, you’re responsible for researching each particular country - I hopefully haven’t missed anything or said anything wrong.