Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Republic of Lithuania
UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Lithuania
The Lithuanian agency responsible for drone safety, CAA, has provided several details on flying drones for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details, go to the link above.
Flying and operating drones in Lithuania are subject to European Union Regulation 2019/947. The Lithuanian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) supervises and implements the Regulation in Lithuania. This reform aims 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, they will be allowed to circulate in the European Union freely. 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 Lithuania?
Here are the most important EASA rules to know for flying a drone in Lithuania:
Drone operators must register all drones in Lithuania. Following registration, you must adhere to the following rules.
- Drones may fly up to 50 meters (170 feet) above ground or sea level in the Open category and up to 120 meters (400 feet) in the Special category. (The CAA may grant exemptions to operators of special category drones.)
- Direct visual contact with the drone is required, and the operating distance should not exceed 500 meters.
- Avoid flying too close to residential areas or populated areas.
- Maintain a safety buffer zone of one kilometer around residential areas.
- Unless the owner/person consents, a safety distance of 500 meters from isolated buildings, people, vehicles, animals, and structures is required.
- Avoid flying near airports and heliports. Stay A minimum of eight (8) kilometers away from airports and three (3) kilometers from heliports for safety.
- At no time is it permissible to fly a drone at night.
- There shall be no flying over, within, or near military installations, public utility installations, archaeological sites, or public or private facilities.
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 Lithuania, you must not register again. You always register to the first non-EU country you have conducted flights
Remote Pilot Certificate (Non-EU Residents)
- If you want to fly your drone in Lithuania 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 the 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 Lithuania and present it when asked by the authorities
How to register as a drone pilot or operator in Lithuania?
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 Lithuania for drone operations?
In Lithuania, all drone pilots must register as an operator with the CAA.
Recreational pilots with drones weighing less than 300 grams are exempt.
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.
Here are the most important existing transitional rules to know for flying a drone in Lithuania
Drones weighing between 300 grams and 25 kilograms are subject to the following rules:
- Register Drones weighing more than 25 kilograms (55 pounds) with the LCAA, and the pilot must hold an LCAA license.
- Drones must remain at least 50 meters (164 feet) away from all vehicles, structures, people, crowds, and places of worship.
- Do not operate your Drones over military installations without the National Defense System’s permission.
- Without a separate air traffic service provider permit, drones are prohibited within one nautical mile of all airports and three nautical miles of control points.
- Drones are prohibited within a one- to a three-nautical-mile radius of checkpoints above nearby obstacles such as trees, structures, and power lines.
- Throughout operations, drone pilots must maintain a direct line of sight with their drones.
- Drones must yield to human-piloted aircraft.
- Without prior approval from the LCAA, drones cannot fly higher than 120 meters (394 feet) above the ground.
- Drones are not permitted to fly or cause damage to aircraft during take-off and landing.
- Don’t fly Drones near aerodrome areas (vertical or horizontal boundaries) unless you get the aerodrome user’s written consent and comply with their established conditions.
- Objects, liquids, and other miscellaneous materials may be discharged from a drone only if the LCAA’s conditions are met.
- Drone operators must be knowledgeable about flight safety, regulations, local authority requirements, and weather conditions.
- If a drone operator loses control and visual sight of the drone, they must immediately contact the nearest air traffic control tower. Callers must provide their name, the location of the control loss, the flight altitude at which the drone was flying, and the drone’s direction.
- UAV pilots who are under 16 years old may fly drones up to a maximum weight of 3 kilograms under the supervision of an adult.
- Drone insurance is required in Lithuania.
- The drone can fly up to 1,000 meters away from you but must maintain a visual line of sight.
If you lose control of the drone during the flight and it flies beyond your line of sight, contact the nearest air traffic control center immediately via telephone. Contact information for air traffic control centers is available on the CAA website.
You must provide the following information:
- The pilot’s name and surname,
- the location of the unit’s loss of control, and
- the drone’s last known altitude and direction of flight are all required.
Safety distances and flight bans
You are only permitted to fly your drone when you are mentally sound, not when you are exhausted or under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications.
Before the flight, you must familiarize yourself with all pertinent flight safety information, legal requirements, local government, and military commander restrictions, as well as the meteorological situation (and weather forecast, if applicable).
You are personally responsible for maintaining the condition of your drone. Therefore, before each flight, it is necessary to check and ensure that all controls and the propulsion engine are operational. If you have any doubts about the unmanned aerial vehicle’s functionality or the meteorological situation, flying is prohibited.
Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Lithuania
Private drone flying is allowed in Lithuania. You must follow the rules listed below:
Neither used nor commercially viable
- You must adhere to the ‘Order of Unmanned Aircraft Usage Rules.’
- Adhere to the CAA’s basic safety rules.
- Always maintain visual contact with the drone.
- Maintain a minimum distance of 50 meters from people and buildings.
- Possess private liability insurance
You are not permitted to:
- Operate a drone weighing more than 25 kilograms
- Fly at the height of more than 150 meters
- Operate solely using manual flight controls
- Operate above populated areas, industrial areas, urban areas, other restricted areas, or obstruct manned aircraft.
- Operate above densely populated areas and industrial areas
See general EASA rules above
Notes for Commercial Drone Services operations in Lithuania
Commercial drone flying is allowed in Lithuania. You must follow the rules listed below:
You must adhere to the ‘Order of Unmanned Aircraft Usage Rules:
- Be registered on a national level (free)
- Have a visible drone identification number and an identity plate
- Conduct a preflight inspection that is mandatory.
- To operate drones, you must be at least 18 years old and possess a National Drone Pilot Certificate.
- Carry up to EUR 1 million in liability insurance
You are not permitted to:
- Operate a drone weighing more than 25 kilograms
- Circulate above 150 meters
- Operate a drone solely using manual flight controls
- Attempt to obstruct manned aircraft or fly in a restricted area
See general EASA rules above
Useful published information on flying drones in Lithuania
Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Lithuania…
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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