New laws that will see more drones requiring registration are coming into effect in Ireland this year.

Owners of drones here that weigh more than 250 grams will have to register the device.

Previously it was only drones over 1kg that had to be registered.

According to the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), there are more than 11,000 drones registered in Ireland – up from more than 8,500 in December 2017.

For the first time ever, Europe-wide rules for the registration and certification of drones have been agreed.

It comes after thousands of flights were disrupted due to drone activity at London’s Gatwick Airport before Christmas.

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune said people who own and operate drones have a responsibility to ensure they are used in a careful manner.

“Many people will have gotten drones as Christmas presents this year and will be perhaps looking to purchase them in the January sales.

“With an exponential year-on-year growth of drone-related incidents, it is quite clear that drones will be a major safety challenge in the years to come.

“We should never forget that drones can do harm to people, they are a significant security threat and a risk to aircraft.”

“Drones are a sector of aviation that is fast developing and offers great potential to produce new jobs and growth.

“The increased use of drones does, however, brings up a range of legal and commercial issues, including public safety.”

Drones are considered to be unmanned aircraft which are remotely piloted or controlled.

Drone registration is mandatory in Ireland.

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