Drone Laws in Ukraine

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in Ukraine

Drone Regulator in Ukraine: State Aviation Administration of Ukraine (SAAU)

Link to Ukraine Regulator Drone Section: SAAU Drone Section

NOTE: During the recent conflict, no new regulations have been issued, but we recommend you follow the rules and operate carefully!

UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Ukraine

The Ukraine agency responsible for drone safety, SAAU, has provided several details on flying for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details, go to the link above.

Are drones allowed in Ukraine?

According to SAAU, drones are allowed in Ukraine, subject to SAAU regulations. Read on for more details.

Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Ukraine:

Flights of unmanned aircraft with mass below 20 kg inclusive may be performed without submission of applications for airspace usage, obtaining permits for airspace usage and informing the appropriate units of Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Integrated Civil-Military ATM System (ICMS), units of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, units of civil and military Air Traffic Service (ATS), subject to compliance with the following requirements:

  1. Flights are performed without crossing the state border of Ukraine.
  2. Flights are performed outside of the established prohibitions and restrictions of airspace usage, except for the cases established by the Regulations for using Ukrainian airspace.
  3. Flights are performed neither closer than 5 km from the external boundaries of runways of aerodromes nor closer than 3 km from the external boundaries of the runway of small aerodromes (with MTOM of aircraft below 5700 kg) / heliports, except in cases agreed with the operator of aerodrome/heliports.
  4. Flights are performed not closer than 500 meters from manned aircraft.
  5. Flights are not performed over: the assemblies of people at open-air and tight city construction, the objects (zones) that are defined by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine, the National Police of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine, the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, the Department of the State Guard of Ukraine, other military formations and law-enforcement structures formed per the laws of Ukraine and in respect of which protection/state protection is carried out (subject to the indication of the territory surrounding these objects with information signs of prohibition unmanned aircraft flight and/or by announcing the limits of such a ban), except for flights performed under the permission of the authorities mentioned above;
  6. Flights are performed within the visual line of sight (VLOS);
  7. maximum flight altitude:
    • 120 meters above terrestrial (water) surface outside the CTR, AFIZ, ATCA, ATCZ, specially designated zones, routes, and other specially reserved airspace portions.
    • Fifty meters above terrestrial (water) surface within the limits of CTR, AFIZ, ATCA, ATCZ, specially designated zones, and other reserved portions of airspace if there is no information on the actual status of elements of the airspace structure where flight is planned.
    • Fifty meters above static obstacles at a horizontal distance of not more than 100 meters from obstacles, such as a deviation from the above-mentioned height limitations, at the request of the owner of such object.
  8. The operating speed of unmanned aircraft is not more than 160 km / h.

In other cases, unmanned aircraft weighing below 20 kg inclusive and all operations of unmanned aircraft weighing more than 20 kg without exception are performed within specially defined zones and routes complying with the requirements for submitting applications for airspace usage, obtaining permits, and condition of airspace usage, informing the appropriate units of Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the units of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the ICMS units, the ATS units.

Before starting the work, the remote pilot shall:

  • Be in such a physical and mental condition that would ensure the safe operation of unmanned aircraft (from now on referred to as UA), not have diseases and injuries that cause temporary or permanent disability, and those that may lead to a sudden inability to control UA.
  • Be familiar with the UA instruction manual.
  • Get updated information about the intended UA operation, any restrictions on airspace usage, and flight conditions.
  • Familiarize yourself with the UA flight zone and check the conditions that may affect the UA flight, particularly the location of people, property, vehicles, roads, obstacles, airfields, and any other elements of the UA operation that may pose a threat.
  • Check the weather conditions’ compatibility at the operation’s start time and the expected weather conditions for the entire operation period, as defined in the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Check the lighting conditions and potential sources of electromagnetic energy that may cause undesirable effects, particularly electromagnetic interference or physical damage to the UA equipment.
  • Ensure that the UA is suitable for flights for the safe operation of the intended flight and that its weight, including actual payload and other restrictions, do not exceed the standards or limitations established by the manufacturer and comply with the manufacturer’s instruction.
  • Make sure of updated geo-awareness data (if such a function is available);
  • Ensure the UA has sufficient motor energy for the planned operation and in case of unforeseen situations.

During the flight, a remote pilot shall:

  • Ensure the UA’s safe operation for third parties on the ground and in the air by UA maintaining a safe distance from persons, animals, property, vehicles, airfields, and airspace users.
  • Avoid maneuvers that threaten the safe UA operation and terminate the flight in case of danger to third parties.
  • Operate UA within limits established by the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Carry out continuous close monitoring of airspace around UA to track other aircraft to ensure safety.
  • Simultaneously manage only one UA.
  • Comply with the established prohibitions and restrictions of airspace usage.
  • Not use UA to drop any items or transport dangerous goods, weapons, explosives, devices, or other items which may be used to commit an act of unlawful interference, except for items and substances used in agricultural or forestry activities and if the carriage of these items does not contradict the requirements of the legislation.
  • Do not operate flights near or inside areas where accident investigations or emergency response operations are carried out, except if the appropriate authorizations are available.

Getting permission for drone usage of airspace?

Ukraine Flowchart on Obatining Permisiion for drone use of airspace
Ukraine Flowchart on Obtaining Permission for drone use of airspace

Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Ukraine

In general, if you have a drone whose maximum take-off weight (Maximum take-off mass or MTOM) does not exceed 20 kg and is used for entertainment or sporting activities, registration and special authorizations are not required if specific rules are followed, namely: flying within direct visibility, not exceeding 120 m at speed not exceeding 160 km/h, outside the zones of prohibitions and restrictions, avoiding crowds and densely built-up areas. 

Follow the general rules listed above, but check for updates by visiting the regulator’s links provided.

Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Ukraine

If you need to use a drone for commercial purposes, take photographs or videos in the city, fly in a restricted zone, or otherwise go beyond the standards of «free» use of drones, you must coordinate with the relevant authorities and services and make an application for the use of airspace to UkSATSE.

The procedure for registering airspace users for the subsequent submission of applications can be seen in the flowchart above.

See the general rules above.

Useful published information on flying drones in Ukraine

Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Ukraine…

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, remote-controlled, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.

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Traveling with a Drone?

Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone.


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