Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Hellenic Republic (Greece)
On the attached link you will find the Greek Drone Regulations
UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Greece
The Greek agency responsible for drone safety, HCAA, 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.
As of 31st December 2020, national rules for drones will be replaced by common European regulations. The purpose of this reform is to create a truly harmonized drone market in Europe with the highest level of safety. In practice, it means that once a drone Οperator has received authorization from its state of registry, he/she will be allowed to freely circulate in the European Union. According to the level of risk involved, this new legal framework will introduce three categories of drone operations: Open, Specific and Certified
Drone operations are to be conducted according to the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 (as amended).
Are drones allowed in Greece?
According to HCAA, drones are allowed in Greece, subject to HCAA and EASA regulations. Read on for details.
Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Greece:
- Only persons that have been approved on the request can operate the UAS (at all times).
- The UAS will not be flown at a height greater than 400 feet AGL (above ground level).
- The UAS will not be operated near airports and heliports.
- The UAS is flown within the visual line of sight of the operator (at all times).
- The UAS is only operated during daylight hours in compliance with HCAA rules.
- The UAS will not be operated over people or populated areas including parking lots and streets.
- The UAS will not be operated in adverse weather conditions.
- Pilot License and International Insurance Certificate is required.
- The UAS pilot must remain reachable by cell-phone at least 30 min before flight (and at all times if possible).
- The UAS will be required to land first, and then move to the new location if multiple flying areas are used.
- For citizens of EU countries national state registration is accepted (UAS Registration Number in therequester’s country of origin). For non-EU citizens, CAA approval & registration policy will be considered.
- All national and EU Data Privacy legislation must be observed
Given the low level of risk, neither prior authorization by the competent authority nor a declaration by the drone operator is required. The drone’s total takeoff mass must be less than 25kg, and it must be operated within a visual line of sight at a maximum altitude of 120m.
Considering the moderate level of risk involved, flights in this category require authorization before the operation. The permission is given considering the mitigation measures identified in an operational risk assessment, except in specific standard scenarios where an operator declaration is sufficient.
Given the inherent dangers, certification of the drone and a licensed remote pilot are required. If your drone is capable of carrying people, you fall under the Certified category!
EASA Summary of Drone Flight Operation Requirements
Note for foreign operators
Operator Registration (Non-EU Residents)
- If you are coming from a non-EU country and this is the first time you will fly your drone in an EU country, you MUST register as an Operator.
- Upon registration, you will receive a unique Operator Registration number which you MUST attach to your drone. If you have several drones, the same number must be attached to all of them.
- You are not allowed to fly in NO FLY ZONES, and you must keep aways a minimum of 8km distance away from airports/heliports.
- If you already conducted operations in another EU country before going to Greece, you must not register again. You always register to the first non-EU country you have conducted flights
- To register successfully, you must pay a registration fee
Remote Pilot Certificate (Non-EU Residents)
- If you want to fly your drone in Greece and live in a non-EU country, you must hold a Remote Pilot Certificate issued from an EU country.
- You can get the A1/A3 Certificate by registering with an online Remote Pilot School.
- The online training and exam are required for those who want to fly a drone in the ‘Open’ category in subcategories A1/A3.
- The pass mark is 75%, and you have 3 tries in total to pass.
- Once you pass your exam, you will receive your remote pilot certificate. Its validity will be 5 years.
- You must have your Remote Pilot Certificate in your possession whenever you plan to perform drone operations in Greece and present it when asked by the authorities
Greece allows tourists to fly drones for recreational purposes in free-fly zones as long as they are flown within 50 meters (160 feet) radius of the operator. To find which zones are free-fly zones we encourage you to use the free Drone Aware app provided by the Greek Authorities: Drone Aware Greece
How to register as a drone pilot or operator in Greece?
According to European Regulation (EU) 2019/947, registration is mandatory for UAS operators (not for UAS themselves).
The UAS Pilot, also known as the Remote Pilot (RP), is the person physically behind the UAS flight controls. They are fully responsible for the safety of the flight throughout operations.
The UAS Operator is the person or company who oversees operations and gives flight instructions. This person or legal entity bears all responsibility for the operations of the drone (s) on their behalf. Very often, in the OPEN category and as an individual, the Pilot and the Operator are the same person.
Who should register?
As part of the OPEN category, registration is compulsory for operators:
- UAS that have a mass of 250 g or more;
- UAS that have a mass of less than 250 g but:
- are able to operate at speeds greater than 90km / h
- are equipped with a camera or a microphone, if these UAS are NOT toys *
* A UAS is a toy when a manufacturer intends it for children under the age of 14 and meets the minimum safety criteria required to be so named. Compliance with these standards naturally limits the capabilities of the UAS (size, weight, non-dangerous spare parts, no powerful motor, etc.): see Directive 2009/48 / EC of 18 June 2009 on the safety of toys
Under the SPECIFIC category, registration is compulsory for all operators.
Natural persons can only register in the country where they reside.
Legal persons must register in the country where their principal place of business is located.
Registration can only be done in one Member State at a time.
How do you register in Greece for drone operations?
The operator registration procedure begins at the online registration link
This UAS operator registration number is valid for one year and must therefore be renewed periodically following the same procedure. The operator therefore always uses the same number unless the latter is permanently deregistered from the register.
Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Greece
In Greece, flying a drone is permitted only during daylight hours. Flights at night require special approval.
Procedure for obtaining your Flight Authorization from HCAA:
- Fill-in, sign and e-mail the linked Authorization Request for UAS (drone) flights form to HCAA: firstname.lastname@example.org
- HCAA may ask for additional information i.e., UAS Registration Number, Pilot Certificate etc.
- If your request is approved, you may be informed of additional restrictions for making your flight safer.
- If you do not get an approval in due time, you must call off your flight plans and not fly your drone illegally.
- Upon HCAA approval (if received), you must visit the nearest to your flight area Police Station and the localMunicipality services in order to inform local authorities of your approved flight plan. During these visits youwill be required to show some identification (your passport or driver’s license etc.) to validate your identity.
- Finally you must observe all flight rules in the UAS REGULATION document, plus those listed above and be available on your cell-phone for possible emergency calls from ATC units or the police.
Private drone flying is permitted in Greece, but only under the conditions outlined below:
- No special permission is required.
- 100m / 328ft Maximum Height
- > 100m / 328ft: Special Permit Required
- The drone must always be visible (line-of-sight)
- Without special permission, the maximum take-off weight is 5kg / 11lbs. 5kg / 11lbs requires special permission
- Requirements for Labeling with complete name and address.
- Insurance for Drone Liability is always required.
See general EASA rules above.
Notes for Commercial Drone Services operations in Greece
- For commercial use of any UAS Category, a special license issued by the HCAA / Air Transport and International Agreements Division, is required. Each individual or entity must submit a relevant request in accordance with European or National Law.
- Along with the request, the following documents must be submitted:
- The UAS Certificate of registration in the UAS Civil Aviation Registry.
- The Certificate of registration of the operator and the UAS remote pilot in the special registry of HCAA.
- Insurance certificate
- Fee as specified in the applicable Joint Ministerial Decision
- A Certificate issued by the authorized training instructors where it is confirmed that the remote pilot is duly trained and has the basic knowledge of Air Traffic rules and / or piloting civil aircraft according to the requirements of each UAS category.
- The request is examined by HCAA / Air Transport and International Agreements Division for the validity of documents and the conformity to the aforementioned general and specific conditions of present Regulation, as it concerns the use and operation of UAS.
- The license (approval) granted by the HCAA / Air Transport and International Agreements Division for operation with the designated UAS, is issued in the name of the operator and has a twelve month validity. After expiration and as long as the operator wishes to continue operations, terms, and supporting documents must be reviewed and the payment of a new equivalent fee must be made.
- The aforesaid approval will be suspended or revoked when one or more of the relevant requirements of legitimate use of UAS, as described at the present Regulation no longer exist.
- When a request is submitted it must include a copy of the Criminal Record for General Use of the Operator (owner or lessee) if the operator is an individual or its legal representative, if the Operator is an entity. From this Criminal Record, it must be evident that the Operator or its legal representative has not been convicted during the last decade for committing one of the offences described at Para. 1, of Annex 1 of National Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.
See general EASA rules above
Useful published information on flying drones in Greece
Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Greece…
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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