Things to Know to Pilot a Drone Legally

A drone is a flying machine without passengers, piloted remotely. If you want to fly a drone for leisure or to perform a low-risk flight, you must comply with the regulations on open category flights. Some drones must be registered to perform this type of flight. In all cases, a certain number of rules condition their piloting. Some areas are no-fly and others subject to restrictions.

Who Can Pilot a Drone?

You must be at least 14 years old to be allowed to fly a civilian drone. However, you can use your drone regardless of age in one of the two following cases:

  • You built your drone yourself and it weighs less than 250 grams.
  • You are accompanied by a remote pilot who is at least 16 years old.

Regarding large events such as weddings, it is advisable to hire a professional drone pilot in Marseille, or whatever your city can be. They master not only drone regulations, but also the rules of aerial photography. This will ensure you better results.

The Drone Registration

If you live in Marseille or another French town, you must register your drone online with the DGAC (Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile). At the end of the registration, you will be given an operator number in the form “FRA + 13 characters”. You must register this number on your little aircraft. The number must be readable when your drone is on the ground. You also have to know that you may be held liable for damage caused to other drones, to people and to property. If you have not taken out specific insurance, check the clauses of your civil liability contract. During each flight, the drone must be visible to the naked eye and remain in the remote pilot’s field of view.

The Respect of Others Privacy

People around the drone should be informed if the drone is equipped with a camera or sensors that can record data about them. You cannot record images that allow you to recognize or identify people (faces, license plates, etc.) without their permission. Any image distribution must be authorized by the persons concerned or the owner in the case of a private space (house, garden, etc.). You may not use the images taken for commercial or professional purposes. In the event of a violation of privacy, by capturing, recording or broadcasting images or words of people without their consent, you incur one year of imprisonment and a fine of € 45,000.


David Rosenberg: A seasoned political journalist, David's blog posts provide insightful commentary on national politics and policy. His extensive knowledge and unbiased reporting make him a valuable contributor to any news outlet.