Drone regulations in Greece

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!

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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

  • John | 29.11.2017

    Reading through the Greek rules (they’re very long and have to be translated!) There seem to be 3 weight categories -Less than 1kg, More than 1 but less than 4kg and More than 4 but less than 25kg. I’m pretty sure it also said you can fly 30min BEFORE sunrise and 30 min AFTER sunset.

    • Francis Markert | 20.02.2018

      Hi John, you’re right! I changed the paragraph! Thank you! 🙂

  • Joel | 30.01.2018

    Do you have to register your drone there? I am coming from the US and I have it registered here.

    • Francis Markert | 20.02.2018

      Hi Joel,
      You need to register your drone in Greece, and you need the approval of your flights when you fly more than 50 meters away. Best regards, Francis

  • Joy | 22.02.2018

    If flying 49m do i still need to apply for approval?

    • John | 22.02.2018

      Yes, just in case you take a step backwards!

  • Jamie | 28.02.2018

    Sorry if this seems obvious but as you are probably aware, I want 100% clarification.
    If I am going to fly my drone within 49 metres (no matter what) do I need any paperwork when taking my drone to Greece?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

      In my understanding, you do not need a permit in this case.

    • Ruben VE | 15.03.2019

      So, did it work out for you?

  • Dan Miller | 16.03.2018

    If I fly within the 49 meter rule,:
    1. Do I need to register my drone in Greece?
    If yes, where?
    2. Do I need liability Insurance?
    If yes where do I buy it?
    3. Do I need to go to the local Police Dept to tell them when & where I am flying

    Thank you

    • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

      Hi Dan,
      Please read my answers and the article above. Best regards, Francis

    • Frenk Meesters | 31.03.2018

      If you are inside the 49m there is no trouble but when you want to go outside of it you need registration

  • satish | 02.04.2018

    Hi, what if you do not possess any kind of pilot certificate? We have no such things where im from

    • Francis Markert | 29.06.2018

      Good question! Maybe you can ask the HCAA. Please share your insights in case you get a reply.

  • Radurare | 30.05.2018

    Do these laws apply for the Dji Spark(300g drone)?

    • Francis Markert | 29.06.2018

      Yes.

  • MMA | 30.05.2018

    Hey,
    I was wondering if I could email you a few questions about Drones and also throughout Europe. Please let me know by replying to my email address.

    • Francis Markert | 02.07.2018

      Hi,
      Please use the comments to ask your questions. I cannot reply to all messages I receive. If we discuss your problem here, other travelers can help you as well, and also other readers can take advantage of the conversation. Thank you for your understanding!

  • Aleksandra | 31.07.2018

    Hi,
    Do you know how long it takes to get the approval of the application? Also, is it ok to use the drone on Mykonos island in the city centres of it?
    Thank you.

  • Dan Miller | 31.07.2018

    dagr.hcaa.gr will answer most of your questions.
    I just got back from a 5 week trip to Greece and used this map. Greece has become very strict in the last 6 months, but no real force to keep the new rules. But I didn’t chance it, the fines are too big.
    Use the form to get permission. Takes about 3 days.

    • Benjamin Watling | 25.05.2019

      Hey Dan, I’m heading over to Greece next month. Like you I am trying to do things by the book. I’m flying with a spark (mostly within 500 m) Problem is the HCCA need flight plans as you know. However I do not know an exact path I will fly and on what day as I haven’t been before, only a general location and a time frame I will be there, would this satisfy them. Was this the situation you faced? How did you get around it? Thanks 🙂

      • Jacob | 17.07.2019

        Hi Benjamin – did you have success with flight plans with general location and broad time frame? What did you end up doing and was it successful?

  • Aleksandra | 01.08.2018

    Thank you Dan, much apprieciated 🙂

  • Bill Bartz | 02.08.2018

    I am traveling to Greece in September of this year and I am planning on taking my new Mavic Air. From my understanding as long as I stay within the 49m rule, I should have no problems. Is that correct? Also should I anticipate any problems with getting my drone in or out of Greece?

  • Dan Miller | 09.08.2018

    I just got back from Greece and I had no problems. I fly a Mavic Pro. One Customs agent didn’t real know what I had, but he got his supervisor and I had zero problems. During Customs I just took the drone and Batterie’s our so they could see them. Remember you must have the batteries in your carry-on luggage. Greece does have much stricter rules enacted in the last 6 months, but no extra people to enforce them. To play it safe follow the 50 meter rule. They also have restricted and no fly zones. No can not fly in those 2 zones. If you are in a “free fly” zone and wish to fly more than 50 meter you must submit a form 3 days prior. Go to the HCAA web page, and push the links and you will find the map and links I am referring to. The web page is: dagr.hcaa.gr
    That site with its links will answer most of your questions. I have to say I saw Greeks flying drones and breaking the rules and nothing was being done about it, but being a visitor in the country I didn’t want to break any rules and have a local report me.

    • Francis Markert | 26.10.2018

      Hi Dan,
      Thank you for sharing your experiences!

    • Ruben vE | 15.03.2019

      So no problems when taking drones in with flights?

  • Dan Miller | 09.08.2018

    I forgot to mention. When you go to the web page
    Dagr.hcaa.gr, you will first see a page explaining the 50 meter rules. To view the map click on the “enter application” link and that will take you to the Greece HCaa map. On that map also has links taking you to the full regulations and the form to fly beyond 50 meters.

    • eduardo | 28.12.2018

      Hi Dan
      can you fly in places like santorini under the 50 meter rule with out having problems ?
      thank you

  • Dan Miller | 09.08.2018

    I also e-mailed the following person any questioned I had regarding drone questions and I always got an answer the next day . (Taking time diff into consideration)

    Elias Talamagas
    ANS Regulatory Division
    Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority
    Tel:+302108916476
    Fax:+302108949098
    Email: [email protected]

    • Francis Markert | 26.10.2018

      Cool, thank you! 🙂

    • Ken | 03.11.2018

      I’ve emailed [email protected] 2 weeks ago. Still no response. Any suggestion?

      To get approval, do we have to fill every single field? The form asks for flight locations, which I don’t have, because I plan to fly impromptu.

      Thanks.

  • Dan Millet | 05.11.2018

    Try to email again , I am surprised you have received no answer. I always got an answer in 2 to 3 days. Considering the time difference I find that acceptable.

  • Al | 21.11.2018

    So realistically it’s just not worth the bother of taking a drone there – or a holiday there for that matter.

    • Thomas Hams | 15.12.2018

      dude its Greece its worth it for just that.

    • Ruben vE | 15.03.2019

      u think they are gonna measure the distance :)…

      • Dan Miller | 19.03.2019

        Just use common sense. They just want to eliminate people flying and not being super cautious . I flew a. couple hundred yards each way , just not on public beaches. They also use that 50 meter rule in case something happens and you don’t have insurance

  • Dan Miller | 19.03.2019

    Just use common sense. Stay away from people and you should be fine. If you are reported to their authorities, they love throwing the book at arrogant outsiders.
    Most local police departments do not know the rules, so I downloaded the PDF of the rules in English and Greek. If you email the people I mentioned in an earlier post, they will send them to you.

  • ANTHONY Guest | 05.05.2019

    I live in Greece and have done for 19 years and fly a drone,stick by the rules and you won’t come unstuck,but break them and you will pay heavy up to €250.000.00

  • akanthus stage | 17.05.2019

    thanks for the information and posts

  • Dag Artinger | 18.05.2019

    – Tips for ‘non comercial flights’ ie. “tourist flights”
    * Check out if there is restricted airspace using the
    ‘Drone Aware – GR’ webpage from your mobile
    device online.
    https://dagr.hcaa.gr/index.php (save as bookmark)
    *Safe thumbrule:
    As long as Height (m) + Distance (m) <= 50m = Safe.
    I.e. 10+40m, 40+10m or 25+25m = Safe
    * Checkout and print the first page of this document
    http://www.ypa.gr/en/HCAA_UAS_FLT_request_editable.pdf

  • K | 27.05.2019

    Hi all going to Rhodes soon I fly FPV using fat sharks etc the quad is small Siam > palm of your hand size I have a IFA licence anyhow for my magic at home don’t fly close to people > stay away from the airports > and all good ? correct

  • Jacob | 17.07.2019

    This is really helpful. Thank you to everyone that has provided information. Quite frustrating that you cant fly Santorini, any of the Cyclades, Athens, Meteora, Delphi, Skopelos.. what is the point of bringing a drone if all of the locations are blocked? Has anyone had success flying in these blocked regions?

  • John | 31.07.2019

    I have a dji spark do I have to register it?

  • Coco03 | 05.08.2019

    Hello,

    I’m a minor. Can I register on the recommended form above?
    What exactly is a flight plan?

    Thank you for your answer.
    Have a good day

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