Flying abroad

Participate in aeromodelling competitions in Belgium and abroad


It is important to distinguish between three levels of authorization for the practice of aeromodelling competitions:

  1. Holding the FAI licence
  2. Identification as a UAS Operator
  3. UAS Pilot qualification

These arrangements may differ from one country to another, both within the European Community and elsewhere in the world. We will try to clarify this topic in this page.

The FAI Licence

The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) licence is awarded in Belgium to Belgian citizens and legal residents in Belgium. It is valid for one year and can be renewed on request by the Royal Aero Club of Belgium (ACRB), through one of its associated federations. For model aircraft, this is the Belgian Aeromodelling League and its associate federations AAM and VML. Each registered person has a personal  "FAI ID" valid for life. In principle, the organisers of international competitions require the FAI licence to be able to participate in their organisation.

The granting of an FAI licence is the exclusive responsibility of the National Airsport Control (NAC) of the various FAI member countries and in principle does not suffer from any exceptions.

Registration as a UAS Operator

It is the Drone Unit of the Directorate General for Air Transport (DGTA) that awards the registration of UAS operators in Belgium. The AAM and VML have obtained the right to register all their members under unique operator numbers (BELmom... for the AAM and BELp4n... for VML). These identifiers, supplemented by the number assigned respectively by the VML or the AAM (OO-Vxxxx or OO-Axxxx) allow the unambiguous identification of each model pilot. This identification (operator number and AAM/VML number) must be worn by each model aircraft of each pilot.

For the practice of aeromodelling in Belgium, within the framework of the AAM and VML clubs, on the fields recognised and listed by the DGTA, this identification is sufficient. This is in fact the application of the exception provided for in Article 16 of European Regulation 2019/947.

On the other hand, to fly with a UAS in Belgium, outside of recognised model airfields, the operator must have a personal operator number which can be obtained from the DGTA (URL: - 4 languages are available). This unique operator number, in the format BELxxxxxxxxx, is assigned to its holder based on his national register number and is valid for 5 years.

For the practice of aeromodelling in any country of the European Union (EU), whether in the context of a competition or for recreational practice, the registration of the operator is required. It may be required both by the organiser of the activity concerned and by the public authorities of the country concerned.

For a citizen of one of the EU Member States, it is in principle the authority responsible for the operation of the airspace of his country which is responsible for the allocation of his registration number as an operator. The citizen of a non-EU country can obtain his/her registration number as an operator in the first EU country to which he/she physically accesses. This identifier allows him to practice aeromodelling in all other countries of the EU.

UAS Pilot Qualification

Proof of the operator's competency to fly a UAS outside of model aircraft airfields in Belgium is obtained through theoretical training and an exam that takes place online on the DGTA website. It's free. You can register via a link that you will find on the following pages: or 

No practical test is required.

After passing the online exam, you will receive an A1/A3 certificate (via Drone Portal), valid for five years, which gives you, by definition, the UAS pilot rating for the simplest aircraft, i.e. subcategories A1 and A3.

On the other hand, for the practice of aeromodelling in the framework of AAM and VML clubs, proof of flying competency is required through the successful completion of an online theory test, on the computer infrastructures of these federations, and the successful completion of a practical test in front of qualified examiners.

The A certificate is sufficient for common practice with model aircraft with a mass of less than 12 kg propelled by combustion or electric engines of limited power. For models with a mass of more than 12 kg and less than 150 kg and powered by more powerful engines, the B certificate applies. For the practice of flying in the context of events organized as shows or demonstrations with an invited audience, the qualification of "demonstration pilot" is added to the requirement to hold a B certificate.

For the practice of model flying in any country of the European Community (EC), whether in the context of a competition or for recreational practice, proof of the pilot's competency is required. It may be required both by the organiser of the activity concerned and by the public authorities of the country concerned.

For aeromodelling competitions, this requirement varies from country to country :

  • Either the competency of the competition pilot is assumed to have been acquired and the attendance at the briefing taking place before the start of the competition may be sufficient
  • Or the certificate of one country is recognized in another country
  • Or the A1/A3 certificate is required.

Look into the following table for prescriptions in different countries.