Step-by-Step Guide to Drone Licensing and Registration in Malta
Essential Steps for Obtaining a Drone License in Malta
Understanding Drone Regulations in Malta & the EU
Begin your journey by researching the local drone laws in Malta and the overarching EU regulations. This knowledge is essential to comply with all legal requirements and ensure safe drone operations.
The European Union has simplified drone categories for flying drones, making them easier to understand and comply with. These categories are based on the risk associated with the drone operation. Here's a simplified overview:
- Low Risk: This category is for low-risk operations.
- No Authorization Needed: You don't typically need specific authorization to fly a drone in this category.
- Subcategories: It's divided into subcategories A1, A2, and A3, based on the drone's weight and where you can fly it.
- A1: Fly over people with small drones (less than 250g).
- A2: Fly close to people with slightly larger drones, but not directly over them.
- A3: Fly far from people, in areas where there's little chance of encountering uninvolved persons.
- Moderate Risk: For operations that present a higher risk than the open category but are not complex enough to require certification.
- Requires Authorization: You need to obtain an operational authorization from the national aviation authority.
- Risk Assessment: Operators must conduct a risk assessment and follow the operational safety requirements based on the specific scenarios (STS) or propose their own safety measures.
- High Risk: For the highest-risk operations, such as transport of goods over urban areas or carrying passengers.
- Certification Required: Similar to manned aviation, these operations require a certified drone, a licensed pilot, and an operator approved by the aviation authority.
- Strict Regulations: Subject to stringent regulatory requirements to ensure safety and reliability.
Most operators will fall in the Open Category, however please reach out to us or the Civil Aviation Directorate if you are unsure. You may want to consider this before buying a drone, ensuring you are picking the correct drone for your needs.
Choosing the Appropriate Drone
If you have a drone weighing over 250 grams or equipped with a camera, understand that it requires official registration, a drone pilot license and insurance. The DJI Mini series does not need the drone license. Selecting the right drone is crucial for compliance with Maltese aviation laws.
Acquiring a Drone Pilot License
Engage in necessary training and examinations to secure your drone pilot license, if needed. You should familiarise yourself very well with your drone. This step is a cornerstone for legal and safe drone flying, aligning with Malta's aviation standards.
Registering Your Drone in Malta
After obtaining your license, the next step is to register your drone with Maltese authorities. This process is mandatory for drones over 250 grams or those with cameras, ensuring you're ready for legal flying.
Maintaining Visual Line of Sight
Safety first - always keep your drone within your visual line of sight during operations. Adhering to this rule is crucial for safety and regulatory compliance while flying in Malta.
Adhering to Age-Related Flying Restrictions
For drone enthusiasts under 16, Malta mandates supervision by an individual aged 16 or older. This ensures responsible and safe drone flying, particularly among younger pilots.
Following these steps diligently will pave the way for a legal and enjoyable drone flying experience in Malta. Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional, understanding and adhering to these guidelines is key to responsible drone use.