In Croatia, a drone isn’t a fun item you can just fly anywhere and do pretty much everything you want with it. So, as a drone pilot in this country, there are a quite a couple of things you should note. Already, those who’ve found themselves on the wrong side of the law have had to face the consequences and this included not just paying fines but also having their drone videos or shots pulled down from where they posted them.
The Civil Aviation Agency in Croatia enforced the UAV ordinance in May 2015 with the intention of regulating drone activities in Croatia. So, if you intend to film in this country, here’s what you should know.
Notifying the Authorities
Croatia is home to fascinating holiday destinations so one may feel compelled to record theirs with the best drone. Even taking shots is recommended because at one point, looking at them will stir memories of that specific place and that often feels so good. However, before you do either, you will have to notify the State Geodetic Administration at least 15 days in advance. You will also have to pay the required state fees. Failure to do so could see you fined up to 25,000 kunas (that’s approximately $3900 or 3000 Euros)
Before you start to film, there are a couple of details you will have to give out. This includes a map of your intended filming, planned flight length, focal length, and so on. This is done every other time you want to film with your drone. And after filming or taking photographs, they will have to be passed on to the authorities for approval. Well, this perhaps explains why several drone footage of specific places in Croatia has since been pulled down from YouTube.
If you lack a special permission, it means you can only fly your drone in places categorized as Class I & II. These are areas that are either uninhabited and without any buildings or with deserted auxiliary commercial buildings. Nonetheless, you are still going to require a certificate attesting to your qualification as a drone pilot.
Flying Over Crowded Areas
To fly over areas packed with dozens of people or human activity, the organizer will have to grant you a special permission. Also, you will have to supply to the Civil Aviation Agency your name and state who will operate the drone. Details about your flight will need to be communicated as well and lastly, you will need to show your accident and liability coverage.
Controlling The Drone
While operating your drone, the law is clear that it should fly it a minimum distance of 150 m away from huge gatherings and 30 meters from animals, people, vehicles, roads, transmission lines, ships, and other objects. At the same time, the drone shouldn’t at any given time go beyond 500 meters from where you are operating it. Put differently, just ensure the drone never goes out of your line of light.
Other basic rules to note include:
· You are only allowed to operate a drone during the day
· The maximum flight altitude is bound by the 79-joules rule.
· For deviating flight manoeuvres, you will need permission from the Civil Aviation Agency.
· Maintain a 3-kilometer distance from airport facilities
Keep in mind that these are just a part of the rules governing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Click here to read the entire UAV ordinance.
Text and photos - Tom Gerber from www.wearechampionmag.com