Drone Laws In Croatia

Intro

Like every country, Croatia too has its own drone flying rules and regulations. If you intend to fly your drone in Croatia it is wise to be aware of these laws.

Below, I’ve mentioned the important drone laws Croatia and other relevant information you need to fly responsibly in the country. Read on.

Overview of Drone Regulations

The Croatian Civil Aviation Agency is responsible for implementing the Croatia drone regulations. All drone formalities like registration are to be done on their official website.

Broadly speaking, the drone regulations in Croatia are:

  1. Drones weighing more than 250 grams, equipped with sensors like microphones, cameras, etc., for collecting personal data have to be registered.

  2. A compulsory third-party insurance is required if you are flying a drone weighing up to 20 kg and performing work like filming, photography, advertising, and surveillance.

  3. A remote pilot training course must be cleared before flying drones weighing up to 900 grams.

  4. If your drone weighs over 900 grams and you intend to fly near people then additional training and examination must be taken.

  5. When performing FPV operations, the remote pilot must be accompanied by a drone observer who assists the pilot in visually tracking the drone.

Operator vs Remote Pilot

In Croatia, there is a distinction between the operator of the drone and the remote pilot.

An operator may or may not be the pilot and could have multiple drones. All registrations are done in the name of the operator.

The remote pilot is the person flying the drone. In most cases concerning recreational flyers, the operator and remote pilot are the same person.

Drone Registration Croatia

Unlike the Czech Republic that has three categories, with Croatian aviation authority they have two. The Open category and the Special Category.

According to the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency’s website, drone registration in Open Category is not required if:

–       The weight of the drone at take-off is less than 250 grams 

–       The drone cannot transfer kinetic energy higher than 80J

–       The drone is not equipped with sensors to collect personal data (camera, microphone)

If even one of these conditions is not met then registration is mandatory. To register the drone in Croatia you have to:

–       Be a citizen with a permanent address in the country.

–       Be a legal entity with Croatia as the main place of business.

–       Any natural and legal person from outside the EU who has not registered in any EU member state.

Once you fill out the online registration form and your drone is registered, the validity is for a period of one year. 

This unique registration number must be clearly marked on the drone. It allows the operator to carry out operations in any EU Member State.

Although the drone laws in Croatia are not exactly established yet, you can follow the basic rules listed below to be on the safer side: 

You can only fly your UAV during daylight hours, and not at night. 

  • Fly your drone within your Line of Sight (LoS) at all times.

  • Go through your aircraft’s user manual before taking it out for the aerial adventure.

  • Conduct a pre- and post-flight inspection of your drone.

  • Don’t fly over 140 metres (or 400 feet) from the ground. 

  • Avoid flying within 50 metres (or 55 yards) of or over people, property, or vehicles.

  • Stay away from flying your drone near airports, military and government facilities, and densely populated areas.

  • A valid remote pilot license/permit is mandatory for deploying your drone for commercial purposes.

Remote Pilot Training

The open category is divided into three segments- A1, A2, and A3, based on operational limitations, remote pilot requirements, and technical requirements for UAS.

To fly in any of the segments a theoretical examination i.e. the online A1/A3 Open category subcategory exam must be cleared.

Next the official website of the CCAA also says that – in the A2 subcategory of the Open category with unmanned aircraft of class C2 or unmanned aircraft that do not meet the requirements of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 (unmanned aircraft not marked with class C2) maximum permissible take-off mass of less than 2 kg, remote pilots must pass and the exam for subcategory A2 open category in the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency.”

The schedule and other details of the exam can be found on the website. Visit this link for information on the training of remote pilots.

Flying Under Special Category

If your drone is being used for aerial works, i.e. for photography, filming, surveying, etc., such a flight comes under the special category.

This category is applicable even if you are taking aerial photographs for personal use.

There are various scenarios in the special category and each has its own set of authorizations that must be obtained before flying.

You will also need a mandatory third-party insurance policy if performing aerial works. The onus of securing such insurance lies with the operator.

Restricted Areas and No-fly Zones Croatia

When you are flying in Croatia, the AMC portal is of great help in understanding where you can and cannot fly. The portal also allows registered flyers to use the automated airspace reservation process.

A few drone operation rules Croatia to keep in mind regarding restricted areas are:

–       Drones can only ascend up to 50 meters in the Open category.

–       Pilots must remain within 500 meters of their drones at all times.

–       A distance of 500 meters must be maintained from buildings, individuals, and animals.

–       Drones cannot fly within 8 km of airports and 3 km of heliports.

–       Flying over or within military zones, public utility installations, archaeological sites, and public/private property is prohibited.

Penalties for Violating Drone Laws

All matters related to drone rule violations are reported to the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency.

The Croatia drone penalties for unlawful flying are imposed by the Air Traffic Act and include:

–       Warnings for minor offenses.

–       Fines up to €700.

–       Temporary or permanent revocation of pilot’s licenses and approval/registration of aircraft operators. 

–       Fines in the range of €2,652 to €26,520 for furnishing incorrect information and using drones for aerial works without proper authorization.

Conclusion

If you comply with the rules then flying drones in Croatia gives you the opportunity to explore its varied landscape.

I hope you find these Croatia drone safety guidelines useful the next time you take your drone for a spin in the Croatian skies!

FAQs

Yes. All drone operators need to register their drones with the Croatian Civil Aviation Authority.

Yes. There are restricted areas and no-fly zones in Croatia. Information on these can be found on the AMC portal or mobile app.

Fines, legal action, etc., are some penalties for violating the Croatian drone laws.

No. flying within 8 km of airports and 3 km of heliports is strictly forbidden.

Yes. Special permits, licenses, and authorizations are required for flying drones commercially in Croatia.

No. Even personal drones fitted with cameras or microphones and being used for photography are required to fly under the special category and obtain relevant permissions.

Using your drone for photography, filming, surveying etc., constitutes aerial work in Croatia. Such drone flights need special permissions.

Author
Diptesh Das

Diptesh Das is your friendly ‘content maniac’ and drone enthusiastic! Being passionate about content writing. He is a firm believer of the power of words and thereby ended up leveraging them to create an impact by sharing his drone knowledge and experiences.

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