This is a regular topic on Twitter and many Facebook groups.
There are many places to fly your drone if you live outside of urban areas. Generally, this is referred to as Class G airspace and is unrestricted mainly up to 400ft.
In towns and villages and cities, it gets more complicated. You are not permitted to fly any drone over assemblies of people, and depending on the Category of drone you are operating, flight over uninvolved people is not permitted.
Let’s take Dublin, for example. Due to Dublin Airport, and other Military bases, almost all of Dublin County is covered by controlled airspace or Class C. There are also a number of Prohibited Airspaces with the Dublin Control Zone. You can still fly your drone in most open areas up to 100ft/30m above ground level and 90m in certain parts of South Dublin.
Above this, you require Air Traffic Control clearance, as there can be many forms of manned aviation above you that can appear quickly in the airspace around you. The Garda Helicopter is an excellent example of this.
To be able to apply for permission to fly above 30m/90m, you need to be operating in the EASA Specific Category. We will cover that topic separately, but there is a handy interactive drone airspace map at the link below. Check it out where you can fly legally.
Remember, it is not just drone laws you need to be aware of. Data protection is essential; spend time learning the requirements, and of course, you need the landowner’s permission for where you take off and land; otherwise, you are trespassing.
Updated – September 2022