Ten things to know before buying a drone this holiday season


The operation of unmanned aerial systems or “drones” can pose a serious threat to manned flights and people and property on the ground, especially when they aren’t operated safely and responsibly.

In light of their growing popularity for recreational purposes, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) launched a UAS Toolkit specifically aimed at keeping operators, aircraft and communities safe.

Anybody considering gifting or operating a new drone this holiday season will benefit from the following tips for recreational users in ICAO’s UAS Toolkit:

1. You should always consult your local Civil Aviation Authority since drone guidelines and regulations differ from country to country. Many States’ regulations can be accessed from the Toolkit.


2. If the drone weighs more than 25 kg (55 lbs), most States require you to obtain a permit before operating it.


3. If you are paid to use the drone, or if you use it for research, most States require you to obtain a permit before operating it.


4. Keep your drone within eyesight at all times


5. Read the users’ manual thoroughly before operating your drone


6. Check your drone before each flight


7. Don’t fly within 50 metres (55 yards) of or over people, property or vehicles


8. Don’t fly more than 150 metres (490 feet) from the ground


9. Don’t fly near an airport. Stay at least 8km (5 miles) away.


10. Always remember that you are now a remote pilot and are responsible for flying safely and avoiding collisions.



Planning to fly a drone? Check out this video first!