Drone regulations in Croatia

Flying drones in Croatia

The legal situation in Croatia is rather difficult for drone pilots. In this post, we’ll explain to you which requirements you need to consider.

Since December 2018 new rules apply in Croatia. Essential for the assessment of a drone flight is now the weight of the aircraft, the speed, and the planned location. The following categories have been introduced:

  • Category A: This includes all drones with less than 250 grams take-off mass and a maximum speed of less than 19 m / s.
  • Category B1: This group includes drones with a mass from 250 to 900 grams and a maximum speed of less than 19 m / s. The category B1 includes e.g. the DJI Spark and the DJI Mavic Pro.
  • Category B2: This category includes unmanned aerial vehicles weighing less than five kilograms. Airspeed no longer matters from category B2. Representatives of the B2 class are the DJI Mavic Air, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro / Zoom and the DJI Phantom 4.
  • Category C1 and C2: These categories include drones with a take-off weight of five kilograms or more. Since these are hardly common, I do not go further here on these categories.

Good to know: When talking about the speed the actual flown speed is not relevant, but the maximum possible speed according to the manufacturer.

Please note that Croatia, as a member of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), adopts the EU drone regulation, which will enter into force on 31 December 2020. Information about the new rules can be found in our overview article and on the pages linked there.

Overview: Drone rules in Croatia

Recreational use of drones allowed? Yes, after registration or approval
Commercial use of drones permitted? Yes, after registration or approval
Maximum Altitude:120 Meter (393,7 Foot) in uncontrolled airspace.
Is drone insurance mandatory? Yes, for private and commercial drone flights. Learn more about drone insurance here.
Does the drone need a badge?Yes.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? Yes.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people
Contact information

State Geodetic Administration: [email protected]

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Do I need a drone permit in Croatia?

In uncontrolled airspace you do not need a permit for each flight in categories A and B1. Nonetheless, you always need permission to record videos or photos with your drone. More about the Croatian photo permission can be found at the end of the article.

Depending on the category, the different maneuvers are allowed, as shown in the table below. For deviating flight maneuvers you need the permission of the Croatian Aviation Authority (CCAA).

CategoryTimeMinimum AgeLocations
ADay and nightSettled and uninhabited areas
B1Only during day14 YearsOnly uninhabited areas
B2Day and night16 YearsSettled and uninhabited areas
C1Only during day18 YearsOnly uninhabited areas
C2Day and night18 YearsSettled and uninhabited areas

In category B1, younger people can control the drone as long as an adult person supervises them.

For categories B2 and C1 you have to register your drone. To do this you fill out the form FOD-FRM-005, and send it in the original to the following address:

Hrvatska agencija za civilno zrakoplovstvo, Odjel letačkih operacija
Ulica grada Vukovara 284
10000 Zagreb
Hrvatska

There is a small processing fee of 20 Croatian Kuna per registration (3 US-Dollar).

For flight projects in the categories B2, C1 and C2, a traffic clearance from the air traffic control Croatia Control is always required.

Regardless of the category, drone flights are only allowed within the direct line of sight. For recreational drone activities, FPV flights may be operated.

Altitudes and safety distances in Croatia

In uncontrolled airspace, drones can fly up to 120 meters above ground. In controlled airspace (i.e. around airports) your drone may rise to 50 meters as long as you consider a minimum distance of five kilometers to the airport and you have the permission from the Air Traffic Control. The 79-joule rule used in the past no longer matters.

In addition to the maximum altitude, minimum distances to uninvolved persons are defined.

For crowds, it is essential to maintain a distance of 50 meters. A group is classified as a crowd when people are in a confined space and can not dodge an approaching drone. In the legal text concerts and demonstrations are given as examples.

In addition to the crowds, there are appropriate minimum distances for individuals as well. The 1:1 rule applies. This rule means that your current altitude corresponds to the minimum distance to be maintained. If your drone is supposed to fly 60 meters above ground, you will have to keep a horizontal distance of 60 meters to uninvolved persons.

At an airspeed up to 3 m / s, this safety distance must never be less than 5 meters (at higher speeds 30 meters).

Other requirements for drone pilots in Croatia

In addition to the already explained rules, there are more rules that you have to comply with as a multicopter pilot.

First and foremost, you must buy drone insurance that is valid in Croatia, which will cover any third party damage. You should always have proof of this insurance with you.

Besides, Croatian law requires that you tag your drone with a badge identifying the name, address and contact details (telephone, e-mail address). This information can be attached in most cases with a sticker. A fireproof marking is only required from a take-off mass of 5 kilograms (categories C1 and C2).

Are aerial photographs allowed in Croatia?

The rules described so far relate solely to flying a drone in Croatia. But if you want to take aerial photos and videos with your drone, then you also need a permit from the State Geodetic Administration (SGA, contact [email protected]). The applications are treated very differently, and so far it has not been possible to determine the criteria for the approval of the authority. However, it seems to be beneficial if you explain that your recordings are for family use only and should not be published. In the case of private flights, theoretically no permission is required from the SGA, but the authority decides in each case whether the permit is necessary. Also, there was already the information from the SGA that private individuals may not create aerial photographs.

The applications at the SGA are sometimes coordinated with the Ministry of Defense. The processing time can therefore be significantly more than four weeks. So I recommend that you get all the permits already a quarter of a year in advance.

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Croatia to the best of our knowledge. We can not guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, please contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Croatia!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!

Discussions

1 2
  • ivan | 08.06.2020

    If things were not clear enough,
    I was just told by the DGU (Sate Geodetic Administration) that any form of areal photography or videography, even from a height of 1m with a 0.3MP camera is not allowed anywhere in Croatia (apparently for reasons of national security!). You can apply for a permit, but only if you have a registered commercial activity (there is no way to even get the permit as a private individual). There are no exceptions for private use ony. The only exception is photographing your own property. I am from Croatia and I feel ashamed of these draconian and completely archaic laws for a country that prides itself as a popular tourist destination.

  • Francis | 19.08.2020

    Hi Ivan, That sounds so silly, especially in this times of google maps, and technology, any one can literally zoom anywhere in Croatia and even use street maps on google but Drone photography is not allowed, sigh. no wonder Croatia is voted as the most stupid country on earth when it comes to rules and laws. I just wonder if the laws are so strict how come so many videos on YouTube are there, some of them are shot even in 2020. there are tons of videos since the introduction of drones . i’m confused.

  • Kate | 08.09.2020

    You live in your own bubble. How about my rights as a tourist? maybe I don’t want to be spied on by your stupid drone! And maybe I dislike my quiet moment in a beautiful location ruined by the horrid sound of your buzzing child’s peeping toy!
    Thank goodness some counties realize that there are still rights of privacy that need to be respected–even if drone “enthusiasts” don’t.

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