General Rules For Flying a Drone in Croatia
You come to Croatia on vacation and you want to know what are the laws related to drones and what are you allowed to do? Here we will go through all the laws, regulations and rules that are related to drones in Croatia, so you know exactly what you can and cannot do.
|Drone Laws in Croatia:|
|1. Not allowed to fly with a drone higher than 120 m above the surface or 50 m above the obstacle.|
|2. Not allowed to fly a drone within a 5 km radius of an Airports, and up to 50 m above the surface.|
|3. You must have an identification badge with name, address and contact for the drones up to 5kg (B2, C1 and C2 category).|
|4. The minimum flight distance must be 30 m from people and 50 m from crowds during the flight.|
|5. Always keep your drone in sight.|
|6. Not allowed to take photos/videos for your own or other people’s needs from the air (with a drone) if you are a natural person.|
|7. The Drone pilot must have compulsory insurance policy issued in accordance with applicable regulation in purpose against damages to third parties.|
|8. Not allowed to transport goods, cargo, people and animals and ejection of objects during flight.|
|9. It is allowed to fly a drone during night in Croatia as long as you have lights (LEDs). (Category A, B2).|
|10. You have to make sure at the CCAA to what extent you are obliged to register yourself and your drone and which flights have to be reported.|
|11. You are always responsible for each flight|
Croatia Drone Law Regulations
According to the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency, piloting a drone in the country is allowed. Croatia is a member of EU, and as in other states of the European Union, there are a number of rules that the drone (quadcopter) pilot must follow. The legal drone rules in Croatia are quite simple for drone pilots. Since 2018, in Croatia drone flights have been classified according to the weight of the drone, maximum speed and flight location.
The drone categories for Croatia are:
- Category A: Drones that weight less than 250 grams and have a flight speed less than 19 m/s are allowed to fly. You can fly at day and night, in populated and unpopulated areas.
- Category B1: Drones that are weight from 250 grams up to 900 grams and with a maximum speed of less than 19 m/s are allowed to fly. (Example: DJI Spark, DJI Mavic Pro.) Flight is allowed only during the daylight and only in uninhabited areas. The age limit is 14 years or less than 14 years under adult supervision.
- Category B2: Drones that weight less than 5 kg regardless of speed (e.g. DJI Mavic Air, DJI Phantom 4, DJI Mavic 2 Pro / Zoom) are allowed to fly from age of 16 and above. You can use them at day and night flights are permitted in populated as well as non-populated areas.
- Category C1: Drones that weight from 5kg up to 25kg regardless of speed can only fly during the day and are suitable for 18 and above, where you need to have passed theoretical exam in knowledge of applicable aviation regulations.
- Category C2: Drones that weight from 5kg up to 150kg regardless of speed are allowed to fly during the day and/or night and are suitable for 18 and above, where you need to have passed theoretical exam in knowledge of applicable aviation regulations and demonstration of flight preparation and flying.
|Category:||Time:||Minimum age:||Flight areas:|
|A||Day and Night||–||Populated and unpopulated areas|
|B1||Daylight only||14 years||Uninhabited area only|
|B2||Day and Night||16 years||Populated and unpopulated areas|
|C1||Daylight only||18 years old||Uninhabited area only|
|C2||Day and Night||18 years old||Populated and unpopulated areas|
Do I Need a Drone Permit in Croatia?
In open airspace, you do not need an individual permit for your drone flight maneuver within categories A and B1. In category B1, younger people can also control the drone as long as it is monitored by an adult person. Nevertheless, you always need permission to take videos or photos with your drone. You can find more about Croatian photo permission at the end of the article. Depending on the category, the different maneuvers are allowed, as you can see in the Table 1 below. In the event of deviating flight maneuvers, you need the permission of the Croatian Aviation Authority (CCAA).
Your drone must be registered for categories B2 and C1. To do this, fill out the form FOD-FRM-005 and send the original to the following address:
Hrvatska agencija za civilno zrakoplovstvo, Odjel letačkih operacija
Ulica grada Vukovara 284
There is a small processing fee of 20 KN (Croatian kuna) per registration (around $3). For flight projects in categories B2, C1 and C2, traffic clearance from the Croatia Control Air Traffic control is always required. Regardless of the category, drone flights are only allowed within the range of vision. FPV flights may be carried out for drone activities for the purpose of leisure activities.
Table 1: Drone Laws and Regulations in Croatia (2020)
Rules For Flying a Drone at Night in Croatia
As we have already explained in the categories above which drones in which class can be used for flying a drone at day or night, here we will go through some more provisions:
- The drone pilot meets all the requirements (registration and approval) described in Table 1.
- The drone must have built-in lights (LEDs) so it is visible during the night.
- The drone pilot must have the drone at all times in sight.
Rules For Taking Aerial Photos and Videos in Croatia
In Croatia, if you want to take aerial photos or video footage with your drone for professional purposes, you need permission from the State Geodetic Administration (SGA, contact via [email protected]). The applications are treated very differently and it is not yet clear what criteria are used for the approval of the authority. Also, you are not allowed to take photos/videos for your own or other people’s needs from the air (with a drone) if you are a natural person, by the Croatian Air Recording Regulation.
In theory, no permission from the SGA is required for private flights, but the authority decides in each individual case whether the approval is necessary. Some of the applications to the SGA are discussed with the Ministry of Defense.
So If you want to take photos and videos with your drone in Croatia, do the following:
- You need premission to fly with a drone from the CCAA
- You need to apply for a Request for Issuance from the SGA
- It is not allowed to take aerial photos or videos for private use
- Send the photos and/or video footage to the SGA for inspection within 8 days since you taken photos/videos.
- All filmed aerial photos/videos will be archived in SGA
Drone No-fly Zones In Croatia
Even with a flight permit for the chosen travel destination, a drone pilot does not have permission to fly wherever he wants. Often there are flight bans or security zones around sights, over national parks and near military facilities that have to be observed. But even at larger events, care must be taken to ensure that a temporary flight ban is in place. Information about no-fly zones for drones in Croatia is available from the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency (CCAA) and the registration form for registering the drone pilot in Croatia.
In Croatia no-fly zones are:
- Within 5 km radius of an Airports
- Within 5 km radius of Military bases
- Above National parks
- Around critical infrastructure
- Above the stadiums
- Above and around prisons
- Above open gatherings
Altitudes and Flight Distances in Croatia
In open airspace, drones can fly up to 120 meters above ground. In controlled airspace (usually around airports), your drone can climb up to 50 meters as long as you take a minimum distance of 5 kilometers from the airport into account. (the 79 joule rule that was applied in the past no longer plays a role in Croatia)
In addition to the maximum flight altitude, minimum distances from people are also defined. It is important to keep a distance of 50 meters from crowds and groups. A group is classified as a crowd if people are in a confined space and cannot avoid an approaching drone. Examples are the concerts and outdoor gatherings.
In addition to the gatherings of people, special minimum distances also apply to individuals. If your drone hovers at a height of 60 meters, you must also take into account a horizontal distance of 60 meters from passers-by. At a flight speed of up to 3 m/s, this safety distance must never be less than 5 meters (at higher speeds 30 meters).
Requirements For Drone Pilots in Croatia
In addition to the rules already explained, there are other regulations that you as a drone pilot must comply with. First and foremost, you have to take out drone insurance that is valid in Croatia and covers any damage that may occur to third parties. You should always have proof of this insurance with you (if possible in English). In addition, Croatian law requires that you provide that drone operator must ensure a sticker that contains the name, address and contact options (phone, email address) while making flight operations (this is for drones in category C1 and C2). In most cases, this information can be attached with a sticker.
Croatia By Drone Prespective
Overview: Drone Laws in Croatia
Are drones allowed for recreational use in Croatia? Yes, you can use drones for recreational use.
Is commercial use of drones allowed in Croatia? Yes, after registration or approval.
Maximum flight altitude in Croatia: 120 meters (393.7 feet) and 50m in the airspace.
Is drone insurance required? Yes, insurance is required for private and commercial flights.
Can you take photos/videos with a Drone in Croatia? No, it’s not allowed to take photos or videos.
Do drones need labeling? Yes. You must attach a badge to your drone with your name, address and contact for drone category C1 and C2.
Do drones need to be registered in Croatia? Yes, in the categories from B2 you need a flight permit. If you want to take aerial photos, you also need a photo permit (no matter which category your drone falls into).
“Keep your distance from airports and respect other people’s privacy.”