Drone Laws in Cyprus

A list of drone regulations and links for drone pilots in Cyprus.

drone-laws-in-cyprusNote: The information on this page was provided by Derek Holt at 360iFly Ltd, currently the only approved drone operator and training organisation in Cyprus. For questions about drone laws and training in Cyprus, you can reach out to 360iFly Ltd directly at contactus@360ifly.com or +357 26101248.

Note the different between the OPEN (Recreational) and SPECIAL (Commercial) categories below:

FAQ: OPEN CATEGORY (RECREATIONAL) DRONE RULES – CYPRUS

What is OPEN category?

Open Category drone use (also known as recreational) is the use of an unmanned aircraft, having a total take-off mass of less than three (3) kilogrammes, which is only used for recreational, sports, training, display or racing purposes and which their use does not involve any kind of commercial activity.

Do I need an operating and/or pilot license?

Users of drones that come under the Open Category are not required to hold an Operating License or drone pilot license from the Competent Authority (Cyprus Department of Civil Aviation), in order to fly their drone within the airspace of the Republic of Cyprus. They must nevertheless follow the rules.

Can I fly the drone using First Person View?

Flights are not permitted unless the drone user has direct visual contact with the drone, at a distance of not more than 500 metres. The drone user must rely on this visual contact to carry out any necessary operating actions, in order to monitor the flight path of the aircraft in relation to other aircraft, persons, animals, vehicles, buildings and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions.

Do I have to be trained?

Users of drones in the open category shall have undergone the necessary training to be able to operate the unmanned aircraft safely and within the rules. 360iFly provide a 1 day open category training course and are an approved training organisation.

Can I fly my drone at night or in poor conditions?

The user of a drone is only allowed to fly during the daytime and when reasonably satisfied that the flight can be conducted safely and in good conditions. Flights shall be suspended immediately if flight conditions become unsuitable.

Can I drop things from my drone?

Dropping of any object or material during the drone flight is prohibited.

Do I have to be fit to fly?

The user of a drone shall not fly it whilst under the influence of alcohol and/or psychotropic drugs that may impair judgement and cognitive reasoning.

Can I fly more than one drone at once?

The user of a drone is not allowed to fly more than one aircraft at the same time.

How close can I fly my drone to residential (built up) areas, isolated buildings and people?

A safety distance of one (1) kilometre from residential areas and five hundred (500) metres from isolated buildings, people, vehicles, animals, structures, etc. (except with the permission of the owner/person), should be maintained at all times.

How close to an airport or heliport can I fly?

A safety distance of at least eight (8) kilometres from an airport/landing strip and three (3) kilometres from a heliport shall be maintained at all times.

Are there any other restrictions on where I can fly?

Drones cannot be flown within prohibited, restricted, dangerous and reserved areas as mentioned in the relevant aeronautical publications of the Department of Civil Aviation. Also no flying above, within, or in proximity to military installations, public utility installations, archaeological sites and public or private facilities.

Can I photograph/video National Guard installations?

Aerial Photography/videography of National Guard installations and infrastructure is strictly prohibited.

Can I fly close to other airspace users?

The user of the drone is responsible for maintaining a safe distance from all other airspace users, giving them priority and ensuring that during the flight activity of the drone, no other aircraft is put into danger.

How high can I fly my drone?

Drones in the open category are not allowed to fly at a height of more than fifty (50) metres (170 feet) above ground level.

Are there any other rules I have to follow?

The drone user is responsible for complying with the legislation in force in relation to the Right to Privacy and Personal Data Protection.

If I have an accident with my drone do I have to report it?

Any faults, malfunctions, defects or other incidents which lead to serious injury or death shall be reported to the Department of Civil Aviation.

Can I fly a home built/constructed drone?

It is prohibited to fly a drone that has been manufactured, modified, re-manufactured or added to, by non-qualified persons, except with the permission of the Department of Civil Aviation.

What will happen if I do not follow the rules?

Those who contravene the rules, directions and restrictions issued by the Department of Civil Aviation or are acting beyond its scope, or are not in compliance with all the conditions, are committing an administrative offence and will be subject to penalties in accordance with articles 245,246 and 247 of the Civil Aviation Act 2002 (as amended).

How long is the open category training?

The training is one day and includes theory and practical sessions.

Do I receive a certificate?

Upon completion a recognised certificate is awarded.

SPECIAL CATEGORY (COMMERCIAL) DRONE RULES – CYPRUS

What is SPECIAL category?

Special Category drone use (also known as commercial) is the use of unmanned aircraft, having a total take-off mass of less than twenty five (25) kilograms, which are used for any type of commercial activity. Special category also applies to unmanned aircraft, of a total take- off mass of more than three (3) kilograms, which are used for either commercial recreational activity.

Do I need an operating license?

Drones that fall within the special category are not allowed to be operated within Cypriot Airspace, unless the user/entity is in possession of a Department of Civil Aviation issued operating licence. A holder of an operator license cannot operate a drone under the special category unless they have a drone pilot license or use licensed drone pilots.

The operating licence, issued by the Department of Civil Aviation, defines the type of drone activities and the type of locations that an operator may operate their drones. There are three categories of operator license.

Do I need a drone pilot license?

A person intending to use a drone under the special category must be in possession of a Department of Civil Aviation drone pilot license. In addition to requiring a drone pilot license such person must not operate a special category drone unless they either work for a licensed drone operator or are in possession of a drone operating license themselves.
The drone pilot licence, issued by the Department of Civil Aviation, defines the type and category of drone that the pilot may fly for an operator.

Do I require a medical to be a licensed drone pilot?

A drone pilot licence holder shall is required to have a valid, Category 3 aero medical certificate. Without the required medical certificate then the drone pilot license is invalid.

Do I need both an operating license and drone pilot license to be able to fly a special category drone?

Yes, both an operating license and drone pilot license are required. Both are issued by Department of Civil Aviation.

What do I need to do to get a drone operating license?

The Special Category drone operating licence is issued by the Department of Civil Aviation when it is satisfied that the owner or operator complies with specific requirements as described in the RPAS requirements for entities involved in operations, service provision and training.

To apply for an operating license the entity (owner/operator) should provide the following information to the Department of Civil Aviation:

  • Fully completed application form;
  • The official name or business name, address, and mailing address of the entity;
  • Date of intended commencement of activities;
  • A description of the proposed operation, including the type(s) and number of drones to be operated;
  • A description of the management system, including organisational structure;
  • The name of the accountable manager;
  • The personal details and qualifications of the nominated persons;
  • A copy of the insurance liability certificate;
  • A copy of the organisations drone Operations manual;
  • A copy of the Health and Safety Management System manual;
  • A copy of the Quality Management System Manual;
  • A copy of the maintenance procedure and programme;
  • Details of the Privacy and Data protection process;
  • Details of the locations from which the drones will be operated, be that permanent or temporary sites and the management of such;
  • List of drones to be operated including their category, class, type, registration, owner’s and airworthiness certificate (if applicable);
  • A statement that all the documentation sent to the Department of Civil; Aviation has been verified by the applying entity and is in their view in compliance with the all of the applicable requirements.

What do I need to do to get a drone pilot license?

Applicants for the issue of a drone pilot license shall provide the Department of Civil Aviation with the following information:

  • Fully completed application form;
  • Copy of Class 3 Medical Certificate; and
  • Copy of completion certificate of drone pilot training from a department of Civil Aviation approved drone pilot training establishment;
  • Copy of Department of Civil Aviation appointed drone pilot examiners report.

What are the categories of drone?

There are three categories of drone; Aeroplane, Helicopter and Multi-Rotor.

What are the drone types?

There are three types of drone for each category; Complexity & Redundancy (CRL) Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3

The higher the amount of redundancy features and pilot assistance the drone has then the higher the level allocated to such.

Can I fly over populated areas?

How close to populated areas you can fly is dependent on the operating license category and pilot license type rating. The higher the category/rating the higher the population that you can fly over.

How high can I fly?

This is dependent upon the operator’s license but the maximum altitude is 400ft (120m).

How close can I fly my drone to residential (built up) areas, isolated buildings and people?

This is dependent upon the operator’s license but ranges from;

  • Buildings 150m to 10m
  • People 150m to 30m

NOTE: The higher the operator category then the closer their pilots can fly their drones to property and people (assuming the pilot has the correct type rating on their license).

Can I fly beyond visual line of sight?

All flights must be by visual line of sight up to 500m unless the operator has been granted extended visual line of sight privileges. Beyond Visual Line of Sight is not allowed.

Do I need insurance as a drone operator?

The granting of the Special Category Drone Operating Licence requires that the operator has third party liability insurance cover against death, personal injury and damages, caused to third parties, for the minimum amount of one million Euros.

What level of drone pilot license can I apply for?

There are three levels (type rating) of drone pilot. Each level determines the category and type of drone that the pilot may fly. The system is progressive in that level one has to be achieved then after logged experience level two and then three.

How much does third party liability drone operator insurance cost?

From approximately 600 Euro per annum, cover for equipment is in addition.

What will happen if I do not follow the regulations?

Those who contravene the regulations, directions and restrictions issued by the Department of Civil Aviation, or those who operate flights without the required Licence or approval, or are acting beyond its scope, or are not in compliance with all its conditions, are committing an administrative offence and will be subject to penalties in accordance with articles 245,246 and 247 of the Civil Aviation Act 2002 (as amended).

How long is the special category drone pilot training?

The level one pilot training is a minimum of five days and includes theory and practical sessions. NOTE: Some student requires additional days to prepare them for the examination.

Do I receive a certificate?

Upon completion a recognised certificate is awarded which may be used to apply for a pilot license.