THE QUESTION - Do I really need a drone license?!
THE ANSWER - If you own a drone over 250 grams or if it has a camera, you are legally required to register as an operator.
How to legally fly drones in 3 easy steps!!
1. Create an account on MySRS (https://iaa.mysrs.ie/auth/sign-in)
Go to The first step is easy, sign up with your email address. After that you need to "Verify your identity". This helps us streamline all your future interactions with the IAA. You will only have to do this once!
2. Take online training
You should take the online training first. It only takes about 15 minutes. You will watch a short video and then answer 40 simple questions. This will give you a "Proof of Online Training" certificate. The training is free, however the certification is required for drones over 250g and costs €30.
3. Register as a drone operator
The new regulations require that you register as a Drone Operator. You no longer register the drone itself, rather you yourself become an operator. Think of it like you're now a mini drone airline! This is not an approval to actually fly the drone. Depending on the size of your drone or the type of flying you want to do, your online training may suffice, or you may require additional training. Just like a pilot!
Now then, the above will mean you will have the freedom to fly drones within certain areas under certain rules, however the higher the risk (ie flying heavier drones, flying in built up areas, near crowded people etc) additional training will be required!!
4. Remote Pilot Competency (optional!)
If your drone is above a certain weight, or you wish to do a certain type of drone flying, you will require an additional pilot competency certificate. You will apply to begin this training on MySRS but you will be required to actually attend a designated UAS training organisation "DUTO" to complete the training.
5. Drone Operator ID for companies
If your company has drones, the company should obtain an Operator ID. The staff of the company who actually fly the drones should take the online training and/or pilot competency certificates depending on the types of operation. The first step is your administrator needs to get their own MySRS account (Step 1)
6. Verify your company
To obtain an operator ID for your company, you must first "verify" your company on MySRS. This is a simple process where you log in and submit a form saying you are a legitimate officer/agent of the company and you wish to access IAA services on behalf of the company.
7. Register for Operator ID
Once your company is verified, you can then apply to obtain an Operator ID for the company. As an operator, the company is responsible for making sure any staff that fly the drone have the sufficient competencies (this may mean they need to obtain a Remote Pilot Competency (step 4)
It is important to know that all this information can be found on the Irish Aviation Authority website.
Use the interactive map of Ireland to guide you where drone can and can't be flown in Ireland.