Winegrowers from Aube (France) and the drone they use to maintain their vines (illustration). February 16, 2018 & nbsp;
Winegrowers from Aube (France) and the drone they use to maintain their vines (illustration). February 16, 2018 (FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI / AFP)

Holidays, adventures, weddings… Consumer drones can take spectacular shots and they have their followers. However, a new regulation will come into force in January 2021, which will change a lot of things.

This first concerns small recreational drones, weighing less than 900 grams (examples: Parrot or DJI). Until now, it was only forbidden to fly over people, in town or at the beach, to film private places such as gardens or balconies or to approach sensitive sites such as airports or nuclear power plants. From the 1st The main news in January will be the lowering of the weight limit on what is a “small drone”. This drops to 250 grams instead of 800 grams.


For drones of less than 250 grams, the obligations remain minimal. You only need to be at least 14 years old and, if the device is equipped with a camera, declare it on the civil aviation site AlphaTango, then affix a label on the device with a registration number on the drone. Then, you can continue to fly your drone freely while respecting the same prohibitions as before.

Things get complicated for drones between 250 and 900 grams. It is also necessary to declare the drone on the AlphaTango site. Online training will also be required. And then, it will be necessary to equip the device with a so-called geovigilance system, which automatically blocks access to prohibited areas, such as airports, as well as an electronic reporting system so that the police can identify the person. remote device.

This new equipment will also have to be installed on drones already in circulation, although a transition period until 2022 is planned. This equipment is not trivial, since it takes around 150 to 200 euros. Finally, the sound level limit is set at 85 decibels (dB) maximum and the flight altitude is lowered from 150 to 120 meters, maximum.


Consequence: the consumer recreational drone market will be reoriented towards small devices weighing less than 250 grams. For larger drones, over 900 grams, for professional use, other provisions can be found on the Civil Aviation website.