Drone rules in 2024

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

Most drone flights are conducted in the open category. From 2024, a number of drone rules will change in the open category. In this blog, we explain to you all the drone rules that will apply in the open category from 1 January 2024.

General drone rules in 2024

General drone rules apply to all drone flights in the open category, regardless of weight or presence of a Cx label.

The general drone rules are as follows:

  • The drone may fly up to 120 metres high
  • The drone must be flown within direct sight of the pilot (VLOS)
  • The drone may be flown in the Netherlands only during daytime
  • It is not allowed to fly in a (temporary) no-fly zone
  • It is not allowed to fly over crowds

If you are flying a drone weighing 250g or more, the following rules also apply:

  • The drone pilot must hold an EU Drone Licence
  • The drone pilot must register himself with the RDW using an operator number

If the drone has an onboard camera, by the way, you always need an operator number. The only exception are toy drones.

What drone rules apply in the subcategories?

The open category has three subcategories: A1, A2 and A3. Each subcategory has different restrictions regarding distance from people and buildings. The table below shows the different distance criteria.


Flying above (a few) uninvolved people allowed
Flying above crowds not allowed
Flying above buildings allowed


Minimum 30-metre distance from uninvolved persons or
Minimum 5-metre distance from uninvolved persons in low-speed mode
Flying above buildings allowed



Minimum distance of 150 metres from non-affected persons, buildings, industry and recreational areas

From 1 January 2024, the drone's Cx label will determine which subcategory you are allowed to fly in. If the drone does not have a Cx label, you may continue to fly with it, but you may end up in a different subcategory.

Your aircraft may also be required to broadcast Remote ID. This means enforcers can digitally check the aircraft in flight.

There are, in the open category, five Cx labels for drones: C0 to C4. This table shows for each Cx label which subcategory you are allowed to fly in and whether Remote ID is mandatory.




Remote ID 



 A1/A3 certificate recommended


Not required



A1/A3 certificate required

Certificate mandatory



A1/A3 + A2 certificate required


C3, C4


A1/A3 certificate required

Certificate mandatory

*You may also fly in subcategory A3 with a C2 label, however, the A2 certificate remains mandatory

Certainly not all aircraft have a Cx label. Just think of all older aircraft. Many people will therefore fly without a Cx label.

Help, my aircraft does not have a Cx label

For drones without a Cx label, the subcategory they are allowed to fly in is determined based on the weight of the drone. Drones under 250 grams may continue to fly in subcategory A1. Drones above 249 grams without a Cx label will fall into subcategory A3 from 1 January 2024.

Does your drone not have a Cx label and did it appear on the market before 1 January 2024? Then you can continue to fly this legally in the appropriate subcategory. Without Remote ID requirement.

From 1 January 2024, manufacturers will no longer be allowed to release devices without a Cx label in the EU. An exception applies to homebuilt drones and there is no Remote ID requirement.

For operations in the specific category, the Remote ID requirement always applies.

Do I need to register as a pilot?

If your drone has a camera or weighs more than 249 grams, you must register yourself as an operator with the RDW. After registration, you will receive an operator number by email. This operator number must be visibly attached to the outside of the drone.

From 1 January 2024, drones in the open category with a C1, C2, C3 and C4 label will be required to broadcast the operator number, through Remote ID. You must enter the operator number in the software (flight app).

Which EU Drone Certificate do I need?

Which EU Drone Licence you need depends on the subcategory you will be flying in. The EU drone licence for the open category consists of two certificates: Basic Certificate A1/A3 and Additional certificate A2.

If you fly in subcategory A1 or A3 then you only need to obtain the basic A1/A3 certificate. If you have a C2 label drone, then obtaining the A2 supplementary certificate is also mandatory. 

You can use our selection guide to get tailored advice quickly.

How do I get my EU Drone Licence?

Your online training for the EU Drone Licence looks like this: 

  • Order the training + exam for the desired certificate easily via our website.
  • After placing your order, you will receive an email with login details for the course and exam.
  • Log in to our online learning environment. Through clear text and supporting images, we will explain to you all the drone regulations of 2024.
  • After studying the course material, you can take the exam, which takes place in the same online learning environment. The exam is available at any time and you can retake it free of charge.
  • If you pass the exam, you can apply for your official certificate from the RDW through us.

Directly after your application, you will receive the official EU Drone Certificate by e-mail. You can print this certificate or take it with you digitally on your phone or tablet. With it, you will comply with the European drone regulations of 2024.

I have a question about the 2024 drone rules

Do you have a question about the drone rules that apply from 1 January 2024? Want to know which subcategory you will be in from 2024 or which certificate you need to obtain to fly your drone? Feel free contact with us. We will be happy to help you.

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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