FLYING IN SERBIA - regulation of drones -
Nowadays, we’re closely witnessing ever-growing popularity of unmanned aircrafts (drones), which are constantly finding their application in many aspects of life. Well known is their industrial significance, but the practice of sports and recreational flying have also brought them much closer to a larger audience.
As the popularity of drones grows, so does the need for their legal regulation.
The purpose of this article is to present Serbian regulation on the matter of drones and obligations they impose on owners and operators of unmanned aircrafts.
First of all, it is important to point out that the following provisions are not applicable to drones of less than 250 grams of mass at take-off, whose speed cannot exceed 68 km/h (42 mph).
Therefore, drones falling into aforementioned category may be used freely, as long as they do not endanger air traffic, safety and property of persons.
As for the other types of drones, the regulations group them, depending on the maximum take-off mass, into 4 categories.
Unmanned aircraft register is maintained by the Civil Aviation Directorate of the Republic of Serbia
Unmanned aircraft belonging to categories III and IV must be in entered onto the register, without exception.
As for the drones belonging to categories I and II, the registration must be made in case the drone is used for:
1. flying at altitudes above 100 m;
2. flying at a distance greater than 500 m from a drone operator;
3. night flying;
4. flying over and in the vicinity of persons;
5. carrying external cargo;
6. flying within the restricted area and near airports.
The registration shall be made at the request of the owner of unmanned aircraft, with the following documentation:
1. proof of customs duties paid or another document proving the aircraft ownership;
2. manufacturer's instruction manual, in Serbian or English language;
3. third-party liability insurance contract for damage ensuing from the operation of the unmanned aircraft.
The administrative fee of 2.600,00 RSD (22 EUR) shall be paid along with the request.
DRONE FLYING LIMITATIONS:
I Maximum permitted flight altitude is 100 meters above ground, while maximum horizontal distance from the operator is 500 meters.
However, on the registered drone owner’s request, the Directorate may authorize flying above 100 m of altitude, or 500 m of distance. The authorization is granted exclusively for a single flight, considering the area of flight, drone category and other circumstances.
II Flying above and 30 meters in proximity of persons is prohibited.
Although, for the category I drones, the Directorate may authorize flying at a proximity of up to 5 meters from people. Such authorization may also be granted to the category II drones, under the exclusive condition that they use a „low speed mode“, of speeds up to 10 km/h (6 mph).
III The use of drones is prohibited at a distance of less than 500 m from the state, judicial and military institutions, foreign diplomatic missions and infrastructure facilities in the fields of energy, transport, telecommunications and water supply infrastructure, unless the owner or operator of the unmanned aircraft has obtained the permission from the facility owner or its user.
IV Drones belonging to categories III and IV, without Directorate’s explicit prior authorization, cannot be operated in the densely populated areas, urban or a city centre, as well as any area where a large number of people may gather.
V Flying within the restricted area is not allowed without prior Directorate’s approval. Restricted area refers to a portion of airspace where flight is restricted completely or for a defined period of time. For the moment being, there are 4 restricted areas, precisely defined by the Directorate, among which are the Belgrade city centre and Uvac river canyon.
VI Registered drone flying may be conducted at any part of the day, provided that night operations requires prior Directorate’s consent. Flying is to be organized in such visibility conditions that allow the aircraft to be operated by the operator within his/her visual line of sight
VII The drones are not to be operated from the object in motion (e.g. a vehicle), nor are they allowed to be simultaneously operated by the same person.
DRONE OPERATOR REQUIREMENTS:
Drone can be operated by a medically fit adult who passed theoretical examination test.
However, category I drone can also be flown without the test, as long as it’s flown within limits that do not require the Directorate’s approval. Same category drones could be flown by a minor over 15 years old, as well as a minor under 15, provided he’s under direct supervision of an adult.
The operator is regarded as medically fit provided has a valid driver’s licence or a valid medical certificate not older than 5 years.
At the operator’s request, the written test is conducted by the Directorate on a monthly basis. The passing candidate is issued a certificate with an unlimited validity.
OPERATOR’S DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The operator is obliged to fly a drone in a way that does not endanger life, health and property of others, as well as not to violate public peace and order. The operator is also obliged to regularly maintain a drone and its accessories, to gather all the necessary pre-flight information and to make sure that the meteorological and all other conditions enable safe operation.
The operator is responsible for the damage ensuing from the drone usage. Regardless the drone ownership, only the person directly operating the drone at the time of the damage is deemed liable.
INSPECTION AND FINES:
Inspection oversight over implementation of the drone regulations is carried out by the Directorate, through aviation inspectors.
The inspector is authorised and assigned to initiate misdemeanour proceedings in case of improper drone usage.
Following the procedure, the court could impose a fine ranging from: