European Drone Legislation: What Portugal is Doing Right

Guest post by drone enthusiast and writer Pedro Dias, editor of Central Drones, the largest online Portuguese speaking drone portal.

Recreational drone usage has soared globally and with the emergence of companies in this industry with billions of dollars in revenues, it has become apparent that there is a real demand for this hobby.

However, as happens with most cutting-edge technology, the industry is facing intense scrutiny from legislators due to safety and privacy concerns, and is now at a crossroads: Will the governing bodies impose restrictive measures or will they allow the industry to thrive, driving all the possible professional applications and commercial growth?

To help frame this discussion, we believe the example set by Portugal is worthy of analysis.

Portugal has, perhaps surprisingly, been in the forefront of drone legislation –  anticipating EU wide legislation by proposing its own laws regarding unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in late 2016.

Most European countries, but not all, have followed suit, as the map below shows:

source: dronerules.eu