Since January 2017, there are first binding rules for drone pilots in Greece. Unfortunately, Copter flights are associated with high bureaucratic requirements. In this article, you will learn what you need to know as a drone pilot in Greece.
Drone flights are allowed in Greece. However, you must obtain permission in advance if your drone is to move more than 50 meters away from you. Approval must be obtained with this form from the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA). In the application, you have to provide various information about you and the aircraft. Among other things, you will be asked for a Pilot Training Certificate and a registration number of the drone. As long as you do not have a registration number from a European country, additional registration with the HCAA is required.
But that’s not all. If the HCAA has approved your application, you must go to the nearest police department and the city hall before your flight to register your plans and verify your identity. Only then have you met all the requirements to fly legally in Greece with a drone.
Greek rules for the use of drones at a glance
If you have completed the above steps, you must obtain the following provisions.
Maximum flight altitude: Without permission, your drone should not fly higher than 49 meters (160 feet) above ground. With the permission of the HCAA, flights up to 120 meters can be carried out.
Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: Your copter can be a maximum of 500 meters (50 meters without permission from the HCAA) away from you, and you must always keep visual contact with the drone. Anyone who argues against the authorities during a check that they see the live image of where the drone flies and what they do (First-Person-View) is immediately classified as a commercial pilot and needs a special authorization from the Greek Aeronautical Authority.
Compulsory insurance: Provably, you must have insurance for your drone. You should also take the proof of insurance in a translated version of Greece. This can considerably simplify the entry or inspection during a check.
Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): Unmanned aircraft may weigh up to 25 kilograms in Greece.
Distance to airports: You have to keep a distance of 8 kilometers to airports. This means you can not fly on almost any Greek island that owns an airport because many islands are quite small. Exceptions are possible with written authorization from the Greek aeronautical authority.
Other safe distances: Do not fly over people and keep at least 50 meters of safety distance (for example at demos, events) – except for permission.
Flight bans: Flight bans apply over military installations, hospitals, prisons and other government facilities. Also, you must not operate a drone over people, populated areas, parking lots and streets. No-fly zones can be determined using the free Drone Aware – GR application.
Flight approval: Owners of land (also of hotels) must agree to a start on their property. The personality rights must be observed. Flights to nature reserves are subject to prior approval. For operations over archaeological sites and foundations, permission must be obtained from the Ministry of Culture (http://www.yppo.gr/0/eindex.jsp). The Greeks are very strict!
Time of operations: Drones flights are allowed only in daylight. Specifically, this means in Greece that you can start at least 30 minutes before sunrise. From 30 min after sunset, there is a night flight ban. Approvals for night flights must be approved separately.
Specific regulations: Anyone who violates the drone laws can expect a penalty ranging from 500 to 250.000 euros. You also need to make sure you’re available by phone.
Regulations for commercial pilots: Commercial pilots require written authorization from the aeronautical authority for almost everything. There are contact details for the approval on the CAA website.
Good to know: You should comply with the Greek regulations. In almost every city or area in Greece, there is a police division with trained birds of prey, which are specialized in bringing drones from the sky. Apparently, this is intended to combat terrorism, but you never know.
Helpful Links: Legal text (English version)
We have researched the listed drone regulations for Greece 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 Greece!