Ahead of an expected surge in Christmas shopping in the coming days, the Irish Aviation Authority has reminded people buying drones that they must be registered.

The authority is also advising those planning to purchase an unmanned aerial vehicle to learn how to use it safely.

To register a drone, the operator must be 16 or over, and any drones being operated by under 16s have to be registered by a parent or legal guardian.

Under regulations, any drone weighing more than 1kg has to be registered with the IAA and can only be flow in particular places.

For example drones may not be flown farther than 300m from the person operating them, or within 120m of any person, vessel, or structure not under the operator's control.

They cannot be flown within 5km of an aerodrome, over an assembly of people, or over urban areas.

During the past 12 months, more than 6,000 drones and model aircraft have been registered with the IAA.

Further information is available at www.iaa.ie/drones