Latest Drone Laws in North Macedonia

Drone photography can be an exhilarating experience when you are navigating the skies of Skopje or Prilep and exploring the vintage architecture of these regions.

However, if you are a tourist, hobbyist or a commercial pilot in North Macedonia drone regulations are something you must adhere to.

Set by the Macedonia Civil Aviation Agency (MCAA), these are guidelines you must follow. As someone who has researched and reported multiple drone laws, I have got your back. 

Read on to find out about the drone laws North Macedonia has set so that you have proper legal compliance. 

From drone registration procedures to the legislations, this article has you covered.

Overview of North Macedonia’s Drone Regulations

Similar to its neighboring country Albania, there are drone restrictions North Macedonia has to offer. 

You must adhere to the following laws that have been legislated by the Civil Aviation Agency North Macedonia.

  1. If you are flying drones in North Macedonia, you need to hold a proficiency certificate and be at least 18 years old.

  2. You must notify the MCAA of any drone operations at least 24 hours prior takeoff. Keep a clear line of sight with the drone at all times.

  3. Avoid flying more than 500 meters horizontally or more than 120 meters vertically. 

  4. Do not operate a drone while under the influence of alcohol.

  5. Report the drone flight report to the CAA drone application.

If you are in North Macedonia, drone safety guidelines are a must-follow for you! 

According to North Macedonia Drone Regulations 187/17 and the updated version in Update 152/18, there are few more things you must note.

Drones are classified into 5 categories based on what uses they are intended for. 

  1. Category 1: UAVs having a maximum operating radius of up to 100 meters, a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of less than 0.5 kg, and a top speed of less than 30 m/s.

  2. Category 2: UAVs with a maximum operating radius of up to 2000 meters, a maximum takeoff weight of between 0.5 and 5 kg, and a maximum top speed of no more than 30 m/s.

  3. Category 3: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles with a maximum takeoff weight of 5 to 20 kg, a maximum speed limit of 55 m/s, and a maximum operating radius of up to 3000 meters.

  4. Category 4: UAVs having an unconstrained top speed, range, and height, and a maximum takeoff weight of 20 to 150 kg.

  5. Category 5: Unrestricted top speed, range, and height are available for UAVs with a maximum takeoff weight exceeding 150 kg.

Category 5 is entered in the Agency’s Register of Aircrafts. They’re marked with a record mark and issued a Certificate of Registration.

Identification of No-Fly Zones and Restricted Areas

If you are flying drones in or near restricted drone areas, North Macedonia Civil Aviation Authority is going to punish you. 

These are the regulations that you need to keep in mind first.

  1. Maintain a minimum distance of five miles or 8.5 nautical miles from Alexander the Great Airport while flying.

  2. Avoid flying within 1,000 meters (0.5 miles) of an aerodrome, helipad, or airport.

  3. Stay at least 100 meters (394 feet) away from The Republic of Macedonia’s Ministry of Defense and Army, Ministry of the Interior, Government of the Republic of Macedonia, Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, President of the State’s residence, diplomatic missions, power plants, high-voltage electrical installations, storage facilities, and water purification systems. 

  4. Avoid flying near crowds closer than 50 meters (164 feet).

  5. Avoid flying nearer to vehicles, buildings, or ships than 30 meters (98 feet).

  6. Avoid flying less than three kilometers (1.8 miles) from the boundary. 

As for other areas, you need to notify the local authorities if you are in any of them.

  1. A barren, undeveloped environment where the drone pilot is the only person visible to be a civilian.

  2. An environment made up of buildings or other infrastructure without people when the aircraft took off.

    There may be civilians in the same region at some point.

  3. Inhabited and developed areas.

  4. Areas with high population density like city centers.

Within 24 hours of the flight of the drone, the driver must report to the CAA application regarding the various details of the flight.

Commercial Drone Permits and Licenses

In order to obtain commercial drone permits, North Macedonia Civil Aviation Authority requires you to take a licensing exam. 

Your drone also needs a license if it –

  1. Weighs more than 5 kilograms (11 pounds).

  2. Achieves a maximum speed greater than 20 meter/s (65 feet/s).

  3. Achieves a maximum height greater than 15 meters (49 feet/s).

The pre-requisites for the exam are –

  1. Possessing a certificate attesting to the completion of both theoretical and practical training in a school or organization that has been certified by the Agency as a pilot training program for unmanned aircraft. 

  2. Being at least eighteen years old.

  3. Presenting proof of medical fitness, such as a driver’s license, medical certificate, an occupational health medical practitioner certificate, or a medical certificate issued in compliance with aviation personnel standards.

With reference to North Macedonia Drone Regulations 187/17, note that if you satisfy the above requirements, you will submit a written request to the agency for the theoretical and practical examination. 

The Agency will notify you about the location and date of the examination within a period of 30 days.

The Agency itself will conduct the theoretical exam. However, any person from the list of aviation experts can conduct the practical one.

Drone Safety Guidelines and Best Practices

Even if you’re a hobbyist, you need to abide by the drone operation rules, safety guidelines, and practices while flying a UAV in North Macedonian airspace. 

  1. You can only operate drones during the day time.

  2. If you have a commercial license, you can operate drones at night.

  3. You can operate a drone only if you are an adult.

  4. If you are a minor, you can operate a drone under adult supervision as long as it belongs to Category 1.

  5. A minor may operate a drone of higher category as long as it is in a sports airfield and the minor is under direct supervision of the adult.

Penalties for Drone Violations

If you do not adhere to the drone flight regulations North Macedonia has, then you are subject to being punished for your offenses.

Conclusion

Now that you have read the drone flight regulations North Macedonia has, what do you think?

Whether you are a tourist or a hobbyist in North Macedonia, drone penalties are definitely not something you would want in your list of memories. 

Thus, I suggest you stick to the drone restrictions North Macedonia has legislated and you should be good to go.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 Yes, all drones must be registered with the Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) in North Macedonia.

Penalties for violating drone laws in North Macedonia may include fines, confiscation of drones, and legal action.

No, drone operations near historical sites and other sensitive areas are strictly prohibited in North Macedonia.

Yes, commercial drone operators in North Macedonia must obtain special permits and licenses from the Civil Aviation Agency (CAA).

No-fly zones in North Macedonia are typically specified by the Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) and can be found on their official website or through local aviation authorities.

Drone operators should adhere to safety guidelines issued by the CAA, including maintaining line of sight, avoiding populated areas, and not exceeding altitude limits.

To apply for a commercial drone permit, you must submit an application to the CAA, including relevant documents and details about your drone operations.

Yes, altitude limits for drone flights are set by the CAA, and operators must not exceed these limits to ensure safety and compliance.

 If you witness illegal drone activity, you should report it to the local authorities or the Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) in North Macedonia.

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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *