The rise in popularity of drones over recent years has led many countries to bring in new laws designed to protect privacy and ensure safety in the skies. In theory, anyone can buy and operate a drone relatively cheaply, which means that there’s the threat of surveillance by governments, companies, and individuals, while unauthorized flights near airports can create dangerous circumstances for planes taking off and landing.
So it’s no surprise that there are drone laws in place in 143 countries around the world, though they vary in severity. So if you have travel plans in the near future and are considering taking a drone so that you can capture amazing photos or videos of the landscape, you need to check before setting off what the restrictions are. Luckily, a new guide has been created to show you exactly where drones are allowed and where they aren’t.
Europe, for example, has relatively few regulations on drone usage, with Slovenia the only place where they are completely banned. The liberal attitude to the use of drones is demonstrated by the fact that 27% of countries in Europe have ‘unrestricted’ legislation, which is much higher than the 18% global average.
The largest drone manufacturer in the world is DJI in China, and the restrictions there allow for experimental drone flights beyond the line of sight, making it one of the freer countries. The same goes for the likes of Japan, Australia and New Zealand in Asia and Oceania, while 33% of North American countries offer the same freedom, including the USA and Canada.
In South America, the restrictions are slightly harsher, with Guyana being the only country that allows flight beyond the line of sight, though no countries on this continent have actively banned drone usage. In Africa, meanwhile, 21% of countries have an outright ban on the use of drones with 13% having legislation that amounts to an effective ban, like in Egypt where only the Civil Aviation Authority can allow the use of drones by giving out permits for them.
Needless to say, these permits are few and far between, meaning that the authorities have a firm grip on drone usage in the country. As drone technology gets ever more sophisticated and affordable, will we see more countries take a more aggressive approach to controlling how we use them? Check out this guide to global drone restrictions from Surfshark to see exactly what you can do around the world right now.