Drone technology is increasingly popular, and many people may be looking forward to getting a drone this Christmas. But many are also unaware of the rules governing drones.

The Irish Aviation Authority says the number of drones registered in Ireland has trebled to almost 14,000 since mandatory drone registration was introduced in December 2015.

All drones weighing 1kg or more must be registered with the IAA via www.iaa.ie/drones.

Drones below 1kg can be flown without a permit, provided they remain no more than 15m above ground level and no more than 300m from the operator.

"Worldwide we've seen an upsurge in the use of drones and this is set to continue," said Peter Kearney, CEO Irish Aviation Authority.

"But drones are not like any other toy. They can have very serious consequences if they collide with a person, an animal, an aircraft or many other objects.

"Therefore, if you do get a drone this Christmas, you need to know the rules so that you can fly it safely."

The IAA has now compiled a list of its top tips for drone operators in advance of the festive season, based on the current drone regulations.

Top Ten Tips from the IAA

  1. Fly your drone no higher than 120m
  2. Make sure you can see your drone when flying (no more than 300m)
  3. Do not fly your drone over an assembly of 12 or more people, for example, at a parade, a concert or sports event
  4. Do not fly your drone within 5 kilometres of an airport or military controlled airspace
  5. Do not fly within 30m of a person, vehicle, vessel or structure not under your direct control
  6. Do not operate your drone outside of your direct line of sight
  7. Do not fly your drone in a restricted area such as a prison or military installation
  8. Always seek permission from the landowner for take-off and landing
  9. If your drone is over 1kg, make sure you register it on the IAA website. It's the law
  10. Drone safety is your responsibility. Never operate your drone in a negligent or reckless manner so as to endanger life or property of others