To fly commercially you’ll need to be a domicile French operator that owns a a pilot license (theoretical part only): Private Pilot (PPL) pilot glider or microlight. The french law defines 7 different categories for different air crafts and distinguishes areas in 4 different zones. You’ll need different flight approvals like a authorization prior each flight scenario.
EASA is simple when it comes to UAVs: you’re going to need certification in any situation, whatsoever. Such certification is only granted on a case-by-case basis under the EASA’s rules, which we’d imagine is a lengthy process.
Here is a quick resume of french law:
- You need to have a spotter in fpv, aircraft need to be in sight of view.
- Fly only under 150 meters
- Fly only in daytime (no night fly allowed)
- Don't fly in urban areas
- Don't fly above animals groups or peoples
- Don't fly in restricted areas. Use this map: http://www.aip-drones.fr/carte/aip-drones/
12/08/2014 by NEVdD
My view of the law is that it is a guideline for a community to live together and should not be strictly followed. With this point of view I intend to make aerials videos of the world. Not strictly following the law doesn't mean put other people at risk and of course one is always responsible for his actions. With this in mind, this is my experience of this country:
Flying in France without prior authorization should be avoided. You might try to fly in the countryside or small villages but do not post your videos on Internet as the Ministère du developpement durable will find you and if you are lucky notify you the illegal aspect of your activity, if you are not lucky and you made a video in highly populated areas they will sue you and you will get huge fines. France is the "free" country with the strongest response to illegal UAV flights.