Since 01/01/2021, we no longer refer to one zone for manned and unmanned air transport. The contours are still the same, only the conditions are completely separate for manned and unmanned air transport.
For manned air transport, the aviation legislation remains applicable as found in AIP Belgium and Luxembourg under ENR 5.1.
For unmanned air transport (Drones), a separate set of European legislation (EU 2019/947 of 24 May 2019) is in force with a transition period as described in the RD of 8 November 2020. (www.mobilit.belgium.be)
In addition to these general conditions, the 'Ministerial Decree laying down fixed geographic UAS zones and access conditions for fixed geographic UAS zones' (of 21/12/2020, Art.5. and Art.23.) also states that specific geozones with associated geozone managers are designated. The seaports are a part of this and lay down a specific set of conditions and rules for their area to safeguard public order, tranquillity, safety of the operation of the port and the environment in the port area (as described in the 'Decree on the Harbour Master's Office' of 3 May 2019)
Unmanned air transport (drones) in the port area
Request an unmanned flight
Step 1: Legal requirements
Are you legally in compliance? To fly a UAS in the port, you must meet all legal requirements.
Step 2: Flight specifications
- In which zone (within the geozone port area Antwerp or Zeebrugge) do you wish to schedule a flight? (Seveso and ISPS, above water, above land, above nature reserve, village centres Doel, Kallo, Zeebrugge, etc.)
- Which type of flight do you want to perform: 'open category' or 'specific category'?
- Do you have the necessary certifications and competencies to perform this flight?
Step 3: Register
Check your certificates and register:
- Go to Drone portal and create a new account.
- Validate your email address and click on the question mark at the bottom for the user guide of the tool.
- Be sure to upload your operator documents and indicate expiry dates whenever possible.
- Operator licence, (operator UAS registration certificate).
- Operational authorisation (possibly also the SORA by which this licence was obtained).
- Insurance documents.
- Complete your profile (don't forget to validate your mobile number '+32 4xx xx xx) and add all relevant documents.
- Request the subscription you want.
Step 4: request a flight
- Add drones, invite pilots or other users to your area.
- Click on 'Create Operation'.
- Zoom in and draw your desired area and flight path as accurately as possible (overlapping with other zones where you don't need to be will make your application unnecessarily complex).
- Change your parameters and complete as needed (with this tool, it is no longer necessary to request a flight area for an extended period of time, nor to plan a flight weeks in advance).
- Validate your project to verify that you meet all requirements and that your file is complete.
- If everything is in order you can submit your request (under tasks tab).
Get started with Droneportal
In this video you will find more detailled instructions about the use of Droneportal to request unmanned flights in the port area of Antwerp and Bruges.
- After receiving the approved flight, you can actually start performing the operation.
- Be sure to report your "take off and land" via the application (exceptionally by telephone).
- Make sure you can be reached at the number provided so the port authorities can contact you.
- Make sure you can always land quickly, if this is necessary for safety reasons (specify emergency landing sites in advance in risk analysis).
Restrictions and sanctions
- Respect the conditions and circumstances for which you requested a flight (SORA, Operational Authorisation, flight area, route).
- The operator is always responsible for the pilots and their aircraft. They make sure that all the conditions are met and that they are in compliance with all the relevant geozones. This is not automatically included in your request via this tool.
- Keep a mandatory, safe distance from cranes, ships and port infrastructure.
- Always respect all conditions.
- Within the port area, flight altitude is limited to 400 Ft or 120 meters AGL. This can only be derogated from if there is an authorisation from DGLV and following screening by the Port Authority.
- Flights must only be made according to VFR (visual flight rules). This can only be derogated from if there is an authorisation from DGLV and following screening by the Port Authority.
Manned air transport in the port area
As stated in the eAIP, in the EBR54, since 01/01/2021, a prior authorisation is required from the port authorities to ensure safety in the port and assist to avoid conflicts with other drones.
Request a manned flight
- Inspection flight with take-off and landing from a heliport: Mail your request with flight route and (only for Antwerp) minimum altitude outside the EBXX zone.
- Flight route within the port area with special attention to the areas below 500 Ft (drone area).
- Authorisation from the terminal.
- Your authorisation from the competent authority.
- Arriving flight before shipment (export) or departing flight after shipment (import): use the HMO 42b form and email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Request with indication of take-off or landing zone and exact time must be emailed to HKD@portofantwerpbruges.be.
Restrictions and additional conditions
- Inspection flight: only VFR flights are allowed.
- Arriving or departing flight:
- Flights are only allowed during daytime when visibility is good and weather conditions are not extreme.
- It is prohibited to fly over tank installations and petrochemical plants.
- Runway or vessel traffic must not be obstructed.
- No public roads may be closed.
- The authorisation is one-time, is granted provisionally and is revocable at any time by the port authorities.
- The landing and take-off area must be clean to prevent dirt and objects from flying around, causing damage or injury, or ending up in the water.
- When landing, the landing area must be supervised and demarcated. All safety precautions must be taken.