Drone Laws in Croatia
Drone regulations and links for people flying drones in Croatia.
Croatia Drone Regulations
According to Croatia’s national aviation authority, the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency, flying a drone is legal in Croatia, but we recommend being aware of and compliant with the drone regulations listed below before doing so.
If you’d like to contact the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency directly before you travel with any questions you might have, here is their contact information: email@example.com / +385 1 2369 300
Why fly a drone in Croatia? To get aerial shots of beautiful spots like this!
General Rules for Flying a Drone in Croatia
Based on our research and interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Croatia.
- UAVs must be operated in such a way that operations do not present a risk to the life, health, or property of people in the surrounding area.
- Drone flights must take place during the day.
- All equipment or cargo on a UAV must be appropriately secured.
- Drones must be operated a safe distance of unmanned aerial vehicles from humans, animals, buildings, vehicles, boats, other aircraft, roads, railways, waterways or power lines. A safe distance is defined as 30 meters or more.
- The minimum allowed distance from a UAV in flight to a group of people is 150 meters.
- The drone pilot must maintain a visual line of sight with the drone at all times, and the drone cannot fly more than 500 meters from the drone pilot.
- Drone flights must take place outside controlled airspace.
- Drones must be flown at least 3 kilometers from all airports, except under special circumstances.
- All drones weighing more than 5kg must be labeled with a non-flammable identification plate when the mass of the system is greater than 5 kg. The non-flammable identification plate must contain the identification mark of the unmanned aircraft system and the owner’s contact information (name, surname, address, phone/e-mail).
Flying a Drone For Recreational Purposes in Croatia
Follow these guidelines when flying for fun or sport in Croatia:
- Obtain approval from the Croatia Control. Find more information here.
- Fly only in Class I (areas with no elevated structures, facilities, or people) or Class II (rural areas without people and with structures not intended for stay) areas of operation. In Class II, it is allowed for people to occasionally pass through the area, but without retention (cyclists, pedestrians, etc.).
- Obtain insurance for drones with weight equal to or greater than 20kg.
- Obtain approval for the use of radio frequency spectrum. Approval can be found on the HAKOM’s official site.
Flying a Drone for Commercial Purposes in Croatia
All operators who fly for commercial or professional purposes in Croation must register with the CCAA by filling out the Operator’s Declaration form FOD-FRM-005.
There are additional requirements for performing flight operations based on the flight operations category (A, B, C and D). The flight operations category is determined by the drone’s take-off weight and class of operation area (I, II, III, and IV).
Areas of operation are defined as follows:
- Class I –The area with no elevated structures or facilities nor people, except the Handler and personnel necessary for flying.
- Class II – The area with auxiliary farm buildings or structures not intended for stay and without people, except the Handler and personnel necessary for
flying. It is allowed for people to occasionally pass through the area, but without retention (cyclists, pedestrians, etc.).
- Class III – The area with buildings or facilities primarily intended for residential, business or recreational purposes (residential buildings and houses,
schools, offices, sports facilities, parks, etc.).
- Class IV –Urban zone area (town centers or other settlements).
The requirements for each class of drone are detailed in this document. Some important requirements to note include:
- Flights over people or industrial equipment are 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. For flights in category B, C, and D, the minimum age is 18 years.
- Flights in category B or C must use at least one hexacopter (6 rotors or more). Alternatively, you can attach a parachute with its own power supply.
- Flights in category C or D must use at least an octocopter with a parachute.
- Except for category A, your drone may not reach the kinetic energy of 79 joules in free fall.
- Conducting drone flight operations in controlled airspace is allowed only with a permission from the competent ATC provider. You can check the boundaries of controlled zones (CTRs), here.
Rules for Taking Photo and Video With a Drone in Croatia
In Croatia, aerial photography and video footage can only be gathered for professional purposes and with a permit. Aerial imaging of the national territory of the Republic of Croatia needed for land surveying, researching, spatial planning, and for other business and scientific purposes may be carried out by legal and physical persons registered for aerial imaging activities with the competent registration bodies in the countries where they have seat.
If you plan to take photos or record video footage with a drone in Croatia, you must:
- Obtain permission to fly from the CCAA
- Apply for a Request for Issuance from the State Geodetic Administration
- Provide proof of the intended use for the aerial photographs/video footage
- Do not take aerial photos or record aerial footage for private use
- Submit the photographs and video footage to the State Geodetic Administration for control within 8 days of shooting the material
- Be aware that all filmed material will remain archived in State Geodetic Administration
The permit for aerial imaging is valid for a maximum of three months. For more information on regulations regarding aerial imaging in Croatia, you can review the Government of the Republic of Croatia Regulation on Aerial Imaging.
For more information on Croatia’s drone laws, see this page on the Croatian Air Traffic Control website.
Know something we don’t about drone laws in Croatia? Send us an email at support[at]uavcoach[dot]com. We are not international aviation attorneys and do our best to keep this page up-to-date for drone pilots, but the reality is that given the pace of the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) industry and how governments are responding, drone regulations in Croatia can change throughout the year, and those changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.
Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in Croatia? Here you go: