Over the past few years the drone business in Croatia has been nothing but flourishing. There is almost no ad or promotional campaign without aerial footage. Even amateurs and tourists use drones to capture attractive sights, make great videos and post them on social media.
According to the words of Branko Drakulic, a co-founder of the portal Snimanje.hr, a professional camera operator, and a drone operator the aerial vehicles have brought a complete revolution in his business over the past five years. ''Footage taken from the land is already seen, but everything that is new and different attracts attention'', explains Drakulic.
There are many theories about the event that helped spread popularity of drone filming from the air. The most likely ‘’culprit’’ is the photo exhibition of photos taken from the air titled ''National Geographic – Croatia from above'' by Davor Rostuhar. The exhibition with 200 photos was hosted in 19 cities and towns throughout Croatia and visited by 1.2 million people, making it the most visited photo exhibition in Croatia.
According to data, there were 134 companies registered for drone business in Croatia last year, whilst this year there are 340, or almost three times as many. In the meantime, the number of drones has jumped to 6,500. It is estimated that in the next ten years the global drone business will be worth 100 billion Euros, thus the EU, including Croatia, want a quarter of this profitable market. Today, drones are being used for filming nature, cities, weddings, films, arable lands, archaeological sites, waste dumps, cemeteries and other infrastructure.
However, despite all these great figures, the Croatian administration has introduced strict regulation related to the drone business. For example, just before the last summer season, they forbade amateurs and tourists to film videos using their drones, thus, this kind of thing means violation of Croatia's regulation.
As far as professionals are concerned, they agree that the regulation is important and necessary due to citizens’ safety, however, it does not have to be so strict.
Tihomir Sasic, the initiator of the largest Croatian conference on drone business, Dronefest, and the unmanned aerial vehicles business manager at IN2 Group, commented, ''I think that the regulation has to be changed to be like the one in Belgium. Anyone interested in the drone business there has to obtain a licence i.e. a certificate for flying a drone. It is expensive and costs around 5,000 Euros, however, it allows anyone who has completed the appropriate course and has a certificate to film from the air. If you do something wrong, there is an insurance to cover for eventual damage, however, you are also responsible for the situation you caused. It is like driving a car, flying a plane or navigating a ship'', concluded Tomic.