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The Ultimate Guide to The Netherlands (Amsterdam & Rotterdam) Drone Laws & Rules

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all law links and known rules about recreational and commercial drone use in The Netherlands (Amsterdam & Rotterdam). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in the Netherlands Drone Discussion Group. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.

💡 This article is also available in French

Netherlands drone laws and rules

Recreational vs Commercial drone use in the Netherlands

The Netherlands differentiates between commercial & recreational drone usage - see our post to differentiate recreational vs commercial drone usage. Both are subject to restrictions and a code of conduct. Additionally, depending on the weight of your drone and where you want to fly your drone, different rules will apply.

✅ In the Netherlands, drone regulations falls under The Dutch Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Together, they created a portal for all pilots (professionals or not) which is available in Dutch and in English 👌 They can also be contacted anytime via

  • Email:

  • Phone: +31 70 351 6171

Can I bring my drone to The Netherlands?

✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within The Netherlands as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person). ⚠️ 2023 Update: Netherlands has recently introduced a ban on racing flights which includes specialised drones such as the Avata and FPV DJI drones for e.g.

🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.

💡 Smart! Get your drone batteries' firecase today and make sure you're complying with aviation safety rules.

Where can I fly my drone in The Netherlands?

✅ The Netherlands has drawn up a detailed drone flight map showing flight restricted areas. It's mainly for recreational use. The map is organised in a 3-color scheme to help drone owners to fly responsibly and safely within the country:

  • Red = don't fly your drone

  • Orange = restrictions to fly your drone apply

  • Green = Natura2000 airspace subject to local restrictions (case per case).

The map also showcases the Netherlands' heliports, airports, glider & hang glider fields for 100% accuracy and limits chances of an accident to a maximum.

Drone flight map for The Netherlands
Source: Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu

🦅 For Natura2000 airspace, case-by-case permission might be needed and you would need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities before flying your drone.

✅ An interactive map version is also available here.

💡 Smart! Pack some spare drone batteries, you never know how close is the next power plug overseas. Also make sure you have a travel adaptor for the Netherlands.

Recreational Drone use in The Netherlands

✅ Good things first, you will not need a permit or a license to fly your drone for recreational purposes in the Netherlands as long as you do not fly in a restricted (green & orange) or a forbidden (red) zone.

Saying this, within the permitted zones, you will need to follow a few rules:

  • fly your drone at a maximum altitude of 120 m above the ground.

  • fly a drone that weighs less than 25 kg (📰 talks have started to lower the max. limit).

  • fly your drone only during daylight & always in sight.

  • fly your drone away from people or large crowds & respect individuals' privacy.

  • give priority to all other categories of aircraft. If you see a plane or helicopter during your flight, land your drone immediately.

What do I risk for flying a recreational drone illegally in the Netherlands?

🚨 The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such. The Dutch authorities however explain that they might apply one or more of the following:

  • a financial fine

  • a written warning

  • a drone confiscation

Commercial Drone use in The Netherlands

✅ The Netherlands defines commercial use as any flight making you money. If this applies to you, you will need a license as a drone pilot & your drone has to be registered before being able to undertake any flight for commercial purposes in the Netherlands.

🌏 If you hold a foreigner drone pilot license, you may be able to make it valid by completing this online form. Note that a fee might apply. If you're a local or intend to live for the longer run in the Netherlands, then you will need to apply for a local license.

How to obtain my drone license for commercial use in the Netherlands?

First things first, you will need to be eligible by:

  • being at least 18 years old

  • an Aeronautical Medical Certificate from the Aviation Medecine

The license has 2 parts:

  1. A theory & practical exam to learn all about the rules up there; to be valid, these 2 parts need to be undertaken by a certified & registered RPAS flight school in the Netherlands (there are only 4 as we write - see here).

  2. Once you've got all this, you can certify your license by sending all above information to

💲 Consider a little above 2,200EUR for the total costs of your license (school & certificates required for certifications).

How to register my drone for commercial use in the Netherlands?

The registration process requires 2 steps;

  1. 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.).

  2. You will need to request a proof of enrollment via this link. At this stage, you will need to include: your proof of ownership (invoice), photos of your drone's serial number, your registration mark (PH number) & send it all to

🕔 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.

How to register my drone company in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands offers 2 types of registration; a full & a light one. Depending on which registration you will apply for, different cost schemes could apply:

  • for a full certificate (drones up to 150 kg, flying at 120 m altitude & 500 m away from you max); expect around 10,000EUR

  • for a light certificate (drones up to 4 kg, flying at 50 m altitude & 100 m away from you max); expect between 600-1,500EUR

What do I risk for flying a commercial drone illegally in the Netherlands?

🚨 The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such. The Dutch authorities however explain that they might apply one or more of the following:

  • a drone confiscation

  • jail for repeat offences

Once you've got everything in order, you can start flying above the Netherland's awesome landscapes and create videos like this one:

✅Please leave a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in the Netherlands! Have fun and safe flight! #thenetherlands #netherlands #regulation #law #laws #legislation

💡 You're a local, have a question or want to share a travel experience? Head to our Netherlands Drone Discussion Group

Netherlands Drone Forum

Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone rules and regulations.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links meaning we will get a commission if you decide to purchase via them. This has no costs for you but helps Dronemade stay free for all. If you need to buy anything on Amazon or DJI stores, think of us.



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