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Regulations applied to drones

Regulations applied to drones

By Yassine Chaouki

The regulations applied to drones evolve over time depending on the technology. It is not the same for light drones that generally fly at low altitudes or heavier ones that can fly farther at relatively higher altitudes. Generally, so-called light drones weighing around 25 kg fly at a height of less than 150 meters.

The principle of setting up regulations for light drones is not to establish rules that are too restrictive insofar as their uses only present limited risks. The criteria for authorizing light drone operations vary by country. However, most countries are more careful with regard to heavier drones.

Regulations in Morocco:

The introduction of drones in Morocco is subject to authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Trade. The Ministry in charge of Foreign Trade requires  a license to import drones, in accordance with Article 1 of Law No. 13/89, relating to foreign trade.

This ministry coordinates the import license agreement for the drone with other departments, including the Ministry of the Interior. The two departments, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and the Ministry of the Interior, monitor the security risks and property and privacy conflicts that might rise due to the misuse of drones. In addition, each use must be subject to specific authorization from the local authority where the drone will be used.

  Regulations in Europe:

In Europe there is a common regulation in terms of drones since 2021. But each country also has specific regulations. Therefore, in some cases, a concerned actor must consider both European and national regulations before using drones. This is the case of Germany for example.

Case of regulations in FRG: 

In Germany, drone systems have been incorporated into air traffic regulations. Thus, in Germany it is forbidden to use drones for flights performed outside the line of sight with weight exceeding 25 kg. Authorized flights in the FRG must not exceed an altitude of more than 100 meters above ground level. However, above 25 kg drones may be authorized to fly on a case-by-case basis, but only in authorized areas. In any case, obtaining an authorization to fly issued by the aeronautical authorities is necessary. To obtain the authorization, the remote pilot must prove that s/he is competent and well trained in the field of drones. The geographical scope of the general authorization is limited to the area of ​​responsibility of the authority granting the authorization. An information guide on drone operations has been published by the German Federal Ministry of Transport.

Currently, manufacturers and telecom operators are working on the possibility of making drones functional on 5G networks. This is the case in the USA where Qualcomm is working with the American operator Verizon on this subject. So once this is possible, it is to be expected that drones will be integrated into the regulators’ approval system.

                                                                         By Yassine Chaouki

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