New rules for drones: Compulsory registration or passing a knowledge test

Do you dream of getting a drone and creating beautiful panoramic photos or videos? Since the beginning of the new year, the rules on flying drones in the Czech Republic have changed.
16.Jan 2021
 
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You can still go to the store and bring a relatively expensive toy in the form of a drone home, but once you go out with it and release it into the air, you can break the law. Drone regulation is the topic all over the world nowadays. Their design is getting better, the range and battery life is getting longer, and there are more and more new customers. All these factors also mean that there various incidents, caused by careless pilots, which are difficult to trace in the event of an accident, happen more often.

Muž s letícím dronem

The owner of a drone equipped with GPS navigation and a camera could be hundreds of meters away from his machine and in the event of any accident it was very difficult to find them. It is for these, and many others reasons, that new regulations have been adopted on a European level that introduce uniform rules depending on which drone you want to fly.

Dron s růžovými světly
Dron s růžovými světly • Source: Pixabay.com/pixel2013

Pay attention to the weight and the camera

First of all, it's not true that you have to be registered in order to release your drone. If you go flying with a drone weighing less than 250 grams, you don't have to register yourself or your drone. A drone lighter than 250 grams is usually a machine more for playing and flying for fun. Even a couple of drones equipped with a recording device fall into this category. As this weight limit had already existed in some countries (for instance, DJI came up with the Mini model, which weighs only 249 grams, yet can shoot 4K videos), another rule has been introduced. If the drone has a camera, you have to register it anyway.

Prodej luxusního bytu, Karlín - 100m
Prodej luxusního bytu, Karlín - 100m, Praha 8

Attention! Category A and category C

Anything over 250 grams is always subject to registration. Depending on the weight, the operating rules that you must follow differ. The new legislation divides drones into three categories, A1, A2 and A3, and according to a further division, they these are classified into C0 to C4. Category A specifies operating restrictions, category C is determined directly by the characteristics of the drone.

Muž na pláži s dronem
Muž na pláži s dronem • Source: Profimedia.cz

Division of drones by categories

So far, we have talked about the A1 C0 category, where the take-off weight (respectively the weight of the drone) must not exceed 249 grams, speed 19 m/s and you must not fly higher than 120 meters above the ground. The A1 C1 category then includes drones that are heavier than 250 grams and at the same time lighter than 900 grams, the maximum height is 120 meters for all categories. Drones with the C2 label can have both A2 and A3 operating restrictions; in any case they are drones lighter than 4 kilograms. It's probably very rare that someone purchases C3 and C4 models - a category in which the drones are heavier than 4 kilograms and lighter than 25 kilograms.

Dron nad bavlnou
Dron nad bavlnou • Source: Pixabay.com/DJI-Agras

Practical examples or With what and where you can fly

Let's give a few practical examples. In category A1 C0 you can fly over people not involved in the operation, but in category A1 C1 you will already need their consent. Once you fall into the A2 category, you have to keep a 30-meter distance from people. And the A3 is even stricter, not only must you be careful about not overstepping the 150 meters distance from people, but you must not fly over residential, industrial or commercial areas. In all categories, you must have a direct view of the drone and you cannot fly over the interventions of rescue services or over the assembly of persons.

Letící dron zblízka
Letící dron zblízka • Source: Pixabay.com/pixel2013

An expensive toy for which "parents" have to pass a difficult test

For new drones, you will find a label that tells you which category it belongs to. However, for the older models, it's necessary to recognize the category on your own. However, as it is obvious from the above, most pilots will have to register. They have to register not only themselves as pilots, but they also have to register their drone. Anyone can do so online on the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. To register as a pilot, you need to successfully answer 30 out of 40 questions, then you will receive proof of completion of online training of the remote control pilot. To register a drone, you must register as an operator, thus taking a responsibility for the drone. You must then provide your drone with an assigned identification number.

At the end, let's maybe quote the words spoken by the Czech humorist Pavel Kosorin:

"Wings can only grow for those that try to fly."

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