Are you a professional drone operator and do you already have an authorization?
Here is what you need to know:
The European framework for operating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) entered into force with 31 December 2020, introducing a standardised regulation for flying drones in EASA member states, which include all EU member states, Norway and Liechtenstein. It is expected that the European regulation will become applicable in Switzerland and Iceland.
You can find extensive information on the European Framework for drones, the different categories and frequently asked questions on the EASA Website.
No-Fly-ZonesBe aware that drone flights are not allowed in certain areas or a special authorization is necessary before conducting a flight. You can find these areas here and in the Austro Control Dronespace App.
The ‘open’ category
The ‘open’ category is the main reference for most leisure drone activities and low-risk commercial activities.
If you comply with the relevant requirements of the subcategories (A1, A2 and A3), no operational authorisation is required before starting a flight.
The following conditions must be met:
- The drone operator has to be registered.
- All operated drones need sufficient insurance coverage.
- The drone pilot needs a proof of competency.
- The drone must be kept in visual line of sight (VLOS) at all times.
- The drone is flown at a height of no more than 120 meters above ground level.
- The drone must not carry any dangerous goods or drop any material.
Depending on the weight of your drone and the area of the operation, different requirements apply:
The ‘specific‘ categoryThe ‘specific’ category caters for riskier operations not covered under the ‘open’ category. To operate in this category, the drone operator requires an operational authorisation from the national aviation authority of the member state of registration before the operation takes place, following the specific operation risk assessment (SORA) process.
Authorisation for EU residents:
- Authorisations issued by the national aviation authority of one member state will be valid in the rest of Europe. The drone operator is required to first receive an operational authorisation from the national aviation authority of the state of registration.
- If you want to operate your drone in Austria, you must ensure that the mitigating measures submitted in your original risk assessment are appropriate to the new operational environment you plan to operate in or update them if necessary.
- Send an application with a copy of the operational authorisation granted by the national aviation authority of the member state of registration, including the location(s) of the intended operation and the updated mitigation measures together with the relevant form, to .
Authorisation for Non-EU residents:
- As a non-EU resident, you are required to register with the national aviation authority of the first EU country where you intend to operate in.
- If you intend to operate in the ’specific’ category, you must apply for an operational authorisation at the national aviation authority of the member state of registration
- If you registered in Austria, you must send your application to . The relevant forms can be found in the download section.