84 Ireland

Three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and orange. Officially the flag colors have no meaning, but a common interpretation is that the green represents the Irish nationalist (Gaelic) tradition of Ireland. Orange represents the Orange tradition (minority supporters of William of Orange). White symbolizes peace (or a lasting truce) between the green and the orange.

Flag courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Map courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Google Earth

Blarney Castle, near Cork, was built in the 15th century and houses the famed Stone of Eloquence (the Blarney Stone). It has a huge square tower with a massive parapet, and a lookout tower. The castle was the stronghold of the McCarthys.

Photo courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Ireland is a member of ICAO, EUROCONTROL, JARUS, EASA, and the EU.
Last updated on June 6, 2024


According to Britannica, the Irish republic is a parliamentary democracy. Its constitution was promulgated in 1937 and can be amended through a referendum. The country’s head of state, the president (uachtarán), is elected directly by the public for a term of seven years and is eligible for reelection for a second term. The president normally acts on the advice of the government but also consults an advisory Council of State in the exercise of certain functions. The president signs and promulgates bills passed by the Oireachtas (Parliament) and, when so advised by the prime minister (taoiseach), summons and dissolves the Oireachtas. The president may, however, refuse to dissolve the Oireachtas on the advice of a prime minister who has ceased to command a majority in the Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives). The president is the guardian of the constitution and may, in certain circumstances, submit a bill passed by the Oireachtas to the people in a referendum or refer it to the Supreme Court to decide on its constitutionality.

There are two houses of the Oireachtas, the Dáil and the Seanad Éireann (Senate). Chief legislative power is centered in the 158-member Dáil. The Seanad may delay bills passed by the Dáil, or it may suggest changes in them, but it cannot indefinitely block their passage into law.

Executive power is vested in the prime minister, who heads the cabinet and presides over its meetings. The prime minister, the deputy prime minister (tánaiste), and the minister for finance must be members of the Dáil. The other government ministers must be members of either house, but no more than two may be senators.

The local government system comprises five county borough corporations, five borough corporations in the major cities, and 29 county councils, as well as numerous urban district councils and boards of town commissioners. Each of these is elected at regular intervals by universal adult suffrage. Of the 29 county councils, only 24 represent whole counties. For administrative purposes, the traditional County Tipperary is divided into a North Riding and a South Riding, each having a county council, and Dublin also is divided, among three county councils (Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Fingal, and South Dublin). County councils and county borough corporations are responsible for physical planning, roads, sewerage and water supplies, housing, public libraries, fire services, and courthouses. Local government authorities in the republic have no functions in relation to police or education.

Important policy decisions (e.g., on local taxes, borrowing, and the making of bylaws) are made by the elected councils. Administration, on the other hand, is the responsibility of the county (or city) manager, who usually consults with members of the council before discharging important executive functions. There is a city manager for each county borough council, and for each county council there is a county manager, who also acts as manager for the lesser local authorities within the county. Non county boroughs, urban districts, and towns have more limited duties, and, in regard to functions outside their scope, they form part of the administrative counties in which they are situated. The local government system is supervised by the national Department of the Environment.

Irish law is based on common law as modified by subsequent legislation and by the constitution. Judges are appointed by the president and normally serve for life or until retirement. They may be removed from office only in the case of incapacity or “stated misbehavior” and then only by resolution of both houses of the Oireachtas.

There are district courts and circuit courts as well as a High Court and a Supreme Court that acts as the court of final appeal. The Supreme Court consists of the chief justice and seven other judges. The circuit courts have jurisdiction to try all serious offenses except murder, treason, and piracy. Criminal trials, which take place before a jury, can be held in a circuit court or in the central criminal court (a division of the High Court). A special criminal court was established in 1972 with jurisdiction over cases of terrorism.

Civil / National Aviation Authority (CAA/NAA)

The Irish Aviation Authority is responsible for the management of Irish controlled airspace, the safety regulation of Irish civil aviation and the oversight of civil aviation security in Ireland. The IAA has three main functions: the provision of air traffic management and related services in Irish controlled airspace, the safety regulation of the civil aviation industry in Ireland and the oversight of civil aviation security in Ireland.


SkyVectorGoogle MapsADS-B Exchange

ICAO countries publish an Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). This document is divided into three parts: General (GEN), En Route (ENR) and Aerodromes (AD). ENR 1.4 details the types of airspace classes they chose to adopt from classes A through G. Irish AIP

Airspace Classification

Airspace Classification

Drone Regulations

Drone Laws

Flying and operating drones in Ireland is subject to European Union Regulation 2019/947. The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) supervises and implements the Regulation in Ireland. The IAA also provides guidance for operating and flying drones in order to ensure public safety.

The Regulation allows registered operators and pilots to fly their drones across the EU. You must register as a drone operator if your drone weighs over 250 grams or if it has a camera or sensor. Registration as an operator costs €30 and is valid for two years.

Register –  If you own a drone over 250gr or if it has a camera, you are legally required to register as an operator.

Do you know the regulations related to flying drones?

Learn what you need to do with the Irish Aviation Authority and how you can do it on the IAA’s digital platform MySRS. The following is a step by step guide to getting registered and trained. Registration as an operator costs €30 and is valid for two years.

1. Create an account on MySRS

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!

4. Remote Pilot Competency

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 organization “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)

MySRS is the IAA’s new digital platform. You will be able to access all your aviation related services on MySRS. If you need any help with MySRS, please email mysrssupport@iaa.ie

drone use

UAS Geographical Zones

Index of Current Unmanned Aircraft System Advisory Memoranda

Guidance on PDRA-S01 & PDRA-S02 flight termination & impact reduction technical requirements

Guidance on UAS Operator Registration for Complex Organizations

Guidance on Insurance Requirements for UAS Operations

Guidance on Fees Related to UAS Operations

Guidance on PDRA Compliance Tables, Attachment A

UAS Flight in Controlled Airspace Application Form

Drone Safety

Drone Safety Poster

Drone Safety Poster

Drone Safety Poster

Drone Safety Poster

Drone Safety Poster

Drone Safety Poster

Drone Safety Poster

Drone Safety Poster

Data Privacy and Drones

Every EU citizen has the fundamental right to privacy. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is applicable to all individuals in the European Union as well as companies that conduct business with EU citizens, primarily governs data protection.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) give us a lot of new opportunities for collecting data using:

  • Cameras
  • Microphones
  • IR imaging devices
  • LiDAR
  • Thermal imaging cameras

Drones can be used for a variety of tasks, including surveying, security, agriculture, real estate, photography, live entertainment, and more. They are an excellent instrument for gathering high-definition photos because they can be controlled remotely (even in inaccessible places).

Unfortunately, they can also be used illegally or to invade the privacy of others. As a result, if the UAV is equipped with a sensor system capable of recording personal data (unless the UAS falls under the EU Toy Directive – Directive 2009/48/EC), the operator must be registered.

Like mobile phone cameras, video doorbells, and dashcams, drones are highly likely to capture personal data of passers-by (data subjects). Where identifiable information (e.g., car license plates, visibly identifiable faces, etc) is captured, the operator qualifies as a data controller.

Concerns relating to your data protection rights should be raised to the data protection commission providing the details of the data controller. You should try to contact the data controller wherever possible and appropriate.

The data protection commission provides guidance on the use of drones available on the Data Protection Commissioner’s website.

Queries in relation to data privacy for drone operations in local authorities can be found on the Smart Dublin website.

Other concerns of drone usage should be reported to the IAA via email.

Drone Training

Drone Training – Remote Pilot Competency


BVLOS – not yet!


Counter-UAS (C-UAS) Laws

2023 – Dublin Airport Operator Acquires “Anti-Drone” Equipment

2023 – Dublin Airport Counter-Drone Systems Now Fully Operational

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)

2024 – Irish city council releases 5-year drone strategy

2024 – Dublin City Council Launches Drone & UAM Strategy



Short Essay Questions

Question 1

You have been hired by a Drone Startup Company. Your boss has immediately assigned this job to you.

They need you to prepare a one-page memo detailing the legalities of using a drone to film Blarney Castle near Cork, pictured above.

They need you to mention any national laws and local ordinances.

They specifically want to know what airspace you will be operating in and whether or not you need an airspace authorization.

Does it matter whether or not you are a citizen of the country?

Lastly, there is a bonus for you if, as you scroll through this chapter, you find any typos or broken links!

Question 2

Do you need a certificate to fly UAS?

If so, how do you obtain one?

Are there fees associated with this?

If so, how much?

Question 3

May you operate beyond visual line of sight?

If so, what procedures must you follow?

Question 4

Does the country have UAM/AAM laws? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 5

Are you aware of any new laws or policies not mentioned above? If so, describe, citing the exact law or policy.






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Drones Across the World Copyright © 2023 by Sarah Nilsson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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