Drone operator registration

This blog is brought to you by Drone Class, your drone trainer for flying in the open and specific category.

Overall, in many cases you will need an operator number when you want to fly a drone. In this blog, we explain all about the operator number. When do you need an operator number, how to apply for an operator number, how long it is valid and how much it costs. Read all information about the operator number here.

What is an operator number?

When you own (operate) a drone, you need to register yourself and apply for an operator number. You can apply for the operator number in the EU, you will then receive a code by email. This is your operator number. Your operator number should be visibly attached to the outside of the drone by means of a plate or sticker.

You need an operator number when:

  • the drone has a camera on board or
  • the drone weighs more than 249 grams

Toy drones are excluded.

How to register as a drone operator?

You have to register yourself as a drone operator in the first EU-country that you are going to visit.

For example, you are traveling to Germany, Austria and Slovenia. If Germany is the first country you enter, then you have to contact the German aviation authority for registration. Your registration number is also valid in other EU countries (Norway, Iceland and Switzerland as well) you visit. So you only need to register once.

Do you own more than one drone? The operator number is valid for all drones, which you own. Attach the operator number to each drone visibly on the outside.

Where do I register myself as a drone operator?

You apply for the drone operator number from a National Aviation Authority. There is often an online platform set up where drone pilots can register themselves.

EU citizens

You must register yourself as a drone operator in the country where you are registered. As an EU citizen, it is not possible to register yourself as a drone operator in another European country.

Non-EU citizens  

You need to register yourself in the country you visit first. The drone operator number is valid in all EU countries. If you visit several European countries, you only need to apply for the drone operator number once.

Do I also need an EU Drone License?

In addition to the operator number, you often also need an EU Drone license to fly legally in the EU. The EU Drone Licence is mandatory for any drone pilot wishing to fly a drone weighing 250 grams or more. 

You can easily and simply get the EU Drone Licence online. You first go through our online course and then take an online exam. Once you have passed, you can apply for the official EU Drone Licence that allows you to fly throughout the EU. As soon as you have passed, you can apply for the official EU Drone Licence that allows you to fly throughout the EU.

Want to know which EU Drone Licence you need to obtain for your drone? Discover here here within a minute which certificate you need.

All European drone rules explained? Read our complete guide to flying a drone in Europe here.

Sem van Geffen

Co-owner Drone Class B.V.

About the author

Sem is an experienced trainer/developer, with drones as his main interest. He holds the Dutch RPA-L license and the EASA STS theory certificate. His specialism is EU aviation law and he enjoys flying the DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise.

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