Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Republic of Croatia
UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Croatia
The Croatian agency responsible for drone safety, CCAA, has provided several internet-accessible details on flying for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the link above.
Are drones allowed in Croatia?
According to CCAA, drone use is allowed in Croatia, subject to CCAA regulations. Read on for more details.
Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Croatia:
- Never fly your drone higher than 120 meters above the surface or 50 meters above any obstacle.
- When flying in controlled airspace, stay 5 kilometers from the aerodrome and no more than 50 meters above the surface.
- When flying in uncontrolled airspace, stay 3 kilometers from aerodromes and below 120 meters above the surface.
- At all times, maintain a visual line of sight with the drone.
- Drones must keep a minimum of 30 meters away from uninvolved individuals unless the low-speed mode is activated and the maximum speed does not exceed 3 meters per second. In that case, the drone must maintain a minimum distance of 5 meters from uninvolved individuals.
- A UAV in flight must maintain a minimum distance of 50 meters from a group of people.
- All drones weighing more than 5kg must be labeled with a non-flammable identification plate or an identification label if the drone weighs less than 5kg. The non-flammable identification plate or label must bear the unmanned aircraft system’s identification mark and the owner’s contact information (name, surname, address, phone/e-mail).
- Never operate more than one drone concurrently.
- Avoid flying over areas where emergency response efforts are underway.
Flight Operation Categories, Registration, Exam, and Approval Requirements
The operator shall operate flights per the requirements outlined in Table 1.
- For category A and B1 flight operations, the operator does not have to register their drone or pass an exam.
- For category B2 and C1 flight operations, it is mandatory to register your drone using the Registration of UAS Operator Form: FOD-FRM-005
- For category C1 flight operations, the drone operator must pass a theoretical knowledge test in addition to registering their drone.
- For category C2 flight operations, the drone operator must pass a theoretical knowledge test, demonstrate flight proficiency, and receive approval from the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency.
Drones that weigh over 150 Kg are considered the same as crewed aircraft. Similarly, drones that are flown indoors or used in emergency services are exempted. Five weight classes are exempted too:
- Category A Toys (below 250g)
- Category B1 Between 250-900g
- Category B2 Below 5 Kg
- Category C1 Between 5-25 Kg
- Category C2 Between 25-150 Kg
Croatian Drone Pilot Requirements
Along with the rules already mentioned, there are additional regulations that you, as a drone pilot, must follow. First, you must obtain drone insurance that is valid in Croatia and covers any damage to third parties. You should carry proof of this insurance with you at all times (if possible in English). Additionally, Croatian law requires that you provide a sticker with the drone operator’s name, address, and contact information (phone, email address) while conducting flight operations (for drones in categories C1 and C2).
Do I Need a Drone Permit in Croatia?
Individual permits are not required in open airspace for drone flight maneuvers falling within categories A and B1. In category B1, minors may also operate the drone as long as an adult monitors it. Nonetheless, you must get permission before flying your drone and filming or photographing.
Different maneuvers are permitted according to the category, as illustrated in Table 1. You must obtain permission from the Croatian Aviation Authority before engaging in deviating flight maneuvers (CCAA).
For categories B2 and C1, your drone must be registered. To do so, complete the FOD-FRM-005 form and mail it to the following address:
Hrvatska agencija za civilno zrakoplovstvo, ulica grada Vukovara 284, 10000 Zagreb Hrvatska agencija za civilno zrakoplovstvo
You will pay a small processing fee of 20 KN (Croatian kuna) (approximately $3) for each registration.
You must get traffic clearance from Croatia Control Air Traffic Control for flight projects classified as B2, C1, and C2.
Drone flights are permitted only within the range of vision, regardless of category.
Finally, you may conduct FPV flights for recreational purposes.
Altitudes and Flight Distances in Croatia
Drones can fly up to 120 meters above ground in open airspace. In controlled airspace (typically around airports), your drone can climb to a maximum of 50 meters as long as it is at least 5 kilometers from the airport.
Along with the maximum flight altitude, there are requirements for minimum separation distances from people. It is critical to maintaining a 50-meter buffer zone around crowds and groups. A crowd is defined as a group of people confined together and unable to avoid an approaching drone. Concerts and outdoor gatherings are two examples.
Individuals, in addition to gatherings of people, are subject to special minimum distance requirements.
If your drone hovers at the height of 60 meters, you must also allow for a horizontal separation of 60 meters from oncoming traffic.
This safety distance must never be less than 5 meters at a flight speed of up to 3 m/s (at higher speeds 30 meters).
Rules for Taking Photo and Video With a Drone in Croatia
You must get a permit for aerial photography and video footage used for professional purposes. Aerial imaging of the Republic of Croatia’s national territory is permitted for land surveying, research, spatial planning, and other business and scientific purposes by legal and physical persons registered with the competent registration bodies in the countries in which they have their seat.
If you plan to take photos or record video footage with a drone in Croatia, you must:
- Obtain permission from the CCAA to fly
- Submit an Application for Issuance of a Request for Issuance from the State Geodetic Administration
- Provide evidence of the aerial photographs/video footage’s intended use.
- Take no aerial photographs or video footage for private use.
- Within eight days of shooting the material, submit the photographs and video footage to the State Geodetic Administration for control.
- Bear in mind that all footage will be archived at the State Geodetic Administration.
Aerial imaging permits are valid for a maximum of three months. For additional information on aerial imaging regulations in Croatia, please consult the Government of the Republic of Croatia’s Regulation on Aerial Imaging.
Drone No-fly Zones In Croatia
Even if a drone pilot obtains a flight permit for the desired travel destination, they do not have permission to fly wherever they wish. Certain areas are considered no-fly zones, and the operator must comply with flight restrictions or security zones around landmarks, over national parks, and near military facilities. During significant events, there is frequently an implementation of a temporary flight ban.
The Croatian Civil Aviation Agency (CCAA) provides information on no-fly zones for drones in Croatia and a registration form for drone pilots in Croatia. In Croatia no-fly zones are:
- Within a five-kilometer radius of an airport
- Within a radius of 5 kilometers of military bases
- Over and above national parks
- Above the stadiums, in the vicinity of critical infrastructure
- Above and around correctional facilities
- Above and beyond public gatherings
Rules for Flying a Drone at Night in Croatia
You may conduct Night Drone flight operations under the following conditions:
- The drone operator has complied with the requirements listed in Table 1 for registration, examination, and approval. Please refer to the table as the requirements vary according to the type of drone flight.
- The drone is equipped with lights that enable the drone’s orientation in the airspace to be determined.
- The drone’s lights must be visible to the remote pilot throughout the flight.
Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Croatia
Not for commercial use.
Not operated above industrial areas or densely populated areas.
You must: Comply with the national regulations.
You cannot operate in clouds or above crowds, industrial sites, urban areas, or other restricted areas.
Private insurance covering recreational drone activities is recommended.
Notes for Commercial Drone Services operations in Croatia
They are utilized in commercial, scientific, and manufacturer testing.
Total mass less than 150 kg.
You must comply with the national regulation titled ‘Pravilnik o sustavima bespilotnih zrakoplova’.
A parachute is required for rotary-wing drones.
Have a visible identification number and a NOTAM posted on the fuselage.
Possess a certificate for aerial work.
Carry Third Party Liability insurance with a minimum limit of one million euros.
You may not: Fly without a certificate or permit for aerial work.
Fly in restricted areas or at altitudes greater than 1000 ft.
Useful published information on flying drones in Croatia
Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Croatia…
NOTE: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model aircraft, toy aircraft, Remote controlled aircraft, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.
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