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Flying drones in Val Thorens

No-fly zones & restrictions for leisure & professional drones

Featured in: | Ellie Mahoney, Val Thorens Editor | Published

There has been an explosion in popularity in the last few years for camera drones, with professionals filming anything and everything from epic ski descents to aerial views of the mountains, incredible outdoor scenery, races and competitions. 

Increasingly, these kinds of flying cameras are being used to capture people's holidays and outdoor experiences, with a lot of new users making impromptu flights in areas where they may not be sure of the risks or restrictions that might be in place, or in conditions where they may not be able to fully control the camera. 

Accidents can happen, as ski racer Marcel Hirscher found out when he was almost taken out by a drone falling from the sky in Italy a few seasons ago. But it's not just accidents that drone pilots need to be aware of, it's things like being considerate of nature reserves, heavily built up areas, or in Val Thorens - where rescue helicopters operate. 

If you've got a drone and you're thinking about using it in Val Thorens then you can find out below where you're allowed to and, more importantly, where you're not allowed to fly. 

Drone restrictions in France

  • Leisure drones must not fly more than 150 m from the ground and outside the inhabited areas. 
  • The drone must always be within the pilot's field of view at a maximum distance of 200 m. 
  • In the case of overflying of populated or tourist areas, an authorisation must be requested from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC). 
  • Flying over a prohibited area, whether as a result of clumsiness or negligence of the pilot, of an aircraft without a person on board (drone), is an offence punishable by a fine of up to €15,000 and 6 months imprisonment.

This interactive map from the French government allows you to search different ski areas and regions in France, to see where there are prohibited areas (in red) or restrictions (in orange and yellow). The map does not show temporary restrictions.

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