Drone Valley and the World Drone Academy are launching the first ever theoretical course on the recreational use of drones in Belgium, the organizers said on Thursday at a press conference in Brussels.
The first sessions start at the end of September in Wallonia and Brussels. They will focus mainly on knowing the laws governing drones, understanding one’s equipment, reacting to incidents and using drones safely and responsibly.
The project comes in response to soaring drone sales, as well as the unanimous observation that “users are unaware of the risks of misusing drones, however small they may be”, explains Bernard Van Lysebetten, president of Drone Valley. Even though no serious accident has been observed in Belgium, the idea is to make people aware of the many potential risks, including explosions, fires and crashes.
The course proposed is not compulsory but “highly recommended”. Its four main themes include legislation. Under Belgian law, drones are considered recreational when they weigh no more than one kilogramme. While Europe has not yet adopted common laws, there are rules governing the private use of drones. “Flights over crowds, in airports, above nuclear power plants and, generally, in public places are forbidden by law,” explains Dominique Wautelet, head of the World Drone Academy.
The four-hour course, which costs 165 euros per person, will be conducted by professional pilots. It will be held in the three national languages throughout Wallonia and Brussels, while the organizers plan to extend it to Flanders by the end of this year.