Drone regulations in Croatia

The legal situation in Croatia is quite ponderous for drone pilots.

Similar to the drones laws in Austria, there is a subdivision of the flight areas according to the settlement.

  1. Class I: Areas without elevated structures or facilities or humans, except for the crew required to control the copter.
  2. Class II: Area with agricultural outbuildings or structures not intended for stays by persons. People are allowed to travel sometimes through the flight area (e.g. cyclists, pedestrians, etc.).
  3. Class III: Area with buildings or installations intended primarily for residential, commercial or leisure purposes (residential buildings, schools, offices, sports facilities, parks, etc.).
  4. Class IV: Urban zone (center of cities or other settlements).

Model aircraft (private use) only in classes I and II. The four categories A, B C and D are linked to the take-off weight, with different regulations:

Take-off weight Class I Class II Class III Class IV
Less than 5kg A A B C
From 5kg and less than 25kg A B C D
From 25kg and less than 150kg B C D D

Your copter flight will also be classified as category D if you are flying over gatherings of people or industrial equipment that can explode or catch fire because of a crash.

For flights in category A, the minimum age is 16 years. The other categories can be flown with 18 years.

Within category C, you must use at least one Hexacopter (6 rotors or more). Alternatively, you can also attach a parachute that has its own power supply.

In categories C and D you need at least one octocopter and additional a parachute.

Except for category A, your copter may not reach the kinetic energy of 79 joules in free fall.

Maximum flight altitude: I do not know a maximum flight altitude. However, the maximum flight altitude is also limited by the 79-joules rule.

Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: Your copter must always be within sight and can not move more than 500 meters away from you. First Person View is only allowed for private model pilots, if a second person maintains visual contact and is directly in the vicinity of the pilot.

Deviating flight maneuvers require the agreement of the CCAA.

Compulsory insurance: For Croatia you need a valid drone liability insurance.

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): The current law permits a maximum take-off mass of up to 150 kg. From a flying weight of 5 kilograms, a fireproof identification plate must be attached to the drone. The sign must contain the name, address and contact information. For flights of category D, the license plate must be issued by the Croatian Aviation Agency. All other plates must not start with the letter D.

Distance to airports: A distance of 3 kilometers must be kept to airport facilities.

Other safe distances: Your Multicopter must maintain a minimum distance of 30 meters to persons, animals, objects, vehicles, ships, other aircraft, roads, railways, waterways or transmission lines. You have to keep distance of 150 meters to gatherings of people. Minor distances are only possible after approval by the Croation Civil Aviation Agency (CCAA).

Flight bans: Flights are only permitted in uncontrolled airspace.

Flight approval: For flights of categories A and B, submitting a declaration of flight maneuver is sufficient. For drones in category C an operation manual is also requested. The Operation Manual must include the following:

  • Table of Contents

  • Record of revision and list of affected pages

  • Duties and responsibilities of the personnel involved in the flight maneuver

  • Standard working instruction

  • Measures of maintenance

  • Emergency plans

  • Flight restrictions

  • Reporting (who will be when informed about what)

  • Risk management

  • Qualification proof of the pilot

  • Documentation

Flights in category D are only possible with the explicit permission of the CCAA and can be valid for up to two years.

Time of operations: Drones can only be controlled during the day in Croatia.

Specific regulations: The Croatian drones’ law makes an exception of unmanned aircraft if they can not reach a kinetic energy of 79 joules. This makes flights with some camera copters possible, without having to overcome the bureaucratic hurdles!

Copter maneuvers must also be documented with the following information:

  1. Flight date
  2. Times of take-off and landing, as well as flight time
  3. Name of the pilot
  4. Place of the flight
  5. Classification of the flight
  6. Take-off weight of the used drone
  7. Notes about specific incidents during the flight.

The records must be kept for two years. A flight book for the documentation that fulfil the demands can be ordered here.

Sources: CCAA, CAA: article from January 2017, Croatia Control

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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