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New drone regulations 2021

New drone regulations 2021

31.12.2020 New regulations to unify aviation law in the European Union come into force, which apply to the performance of flights by unmanned aircraft (BSP).

The new regulations will apply to most drone users - even inexpensive flying toys or devices used for amateur filming. New drone regulations require registration and special course. Below are details of the regulations that will soon come into effect.

New drone regulations - drone registration rules

Drone registration is the most common thread related to the new drone law. Contrary to rumors circulating, we will not have to register a drone anywhere!

In that case, what's the deal with this registration? 

Wanting to fly a drone weighing more than 250g or a BSP (unmanned aerial vehicle) weighing less than 250g, but having a data recorder (e.g. a camera) in the open category (about the new drone classifications in a moment), we will have to register as an operator.

Open category drone registration description

Operator registration will be conducted through an electronic registration system on the Civil Aviation Authority as of 31.12.2020. In order to register, you will be required to provide the name of the operator, address of residence or registered office, telephone number and e-mail address of the natural or legal person on whose behalf the registration takes place. Each operator will receive an individual registration number, which they will have to put on their drone.

Persons over 14 r.ż. will be able to register with the consent of their legal guardian. Under the new law, people under 14.ż. cannot be full-fledged drone operators, so they cannot control drones such as the followingMavic Air 2 or even Mavic Mini.

Mandatory training for every drone operator

After mandatory registration on the ULC website, each operator will have to undergo a simple online training course, which will be completed by a test. The test will include 40 multiple-choice questions on aviation safety, airspace use restrictions, aviation procedures and regulations, privacy and data protection, general knowledge of the. drones, security and insurance.

Without passing the test, we will only be able to fly the smallest BSPs. 

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Where to fly a drone?

Currently, using a drone for recreational/non-commercial purposes, we are exempt from formalities such as the drone operator exam.we are only prohibited from flying out of sight, and in built-up areas and if the weight of the device exceeds 600 g, we must keep a minimum distance of 30 m from people and vehicles and min. 100 m from buildings and large gatherings of people. Flying a drone weighing less than 600 g, we can freely fly in built-up areas, ensuring a safe horizontal distance from other aircraft, objects, people and animals.
Of course, regardless of the weight of the drone, it is prohibited to fly over closed areas, nuclear facilities, military units and training grounds, as well as such facilities as power plants, heating plants, waterworks, sewage treatment plants, special production facilities, etc. (article. 5(5). 2 point 1 letter. a and b, point 2lithium. a and b and point 3 lit. a and b of the Act of August 22, 1997. on the protection of persons and property (Dz. U. of 2018. pos. 2142 i 2245)).

New drone regulations assume classification of flights performed based on the degree of risk of flight operations performed. There will be a division into open, special and certified categories.

What is very important - the division between recreational, sport and commercial flights disappears!

New drone regulations - flight categories

Open category

The open category will be for the lowest-risk flights. Flights in the category are performed in subcategories: A1, A2 and A3.

The following conditions must be met:

  • the drone belongs to class C0, C1, C2, C3, C4 or has been constructed for private use
  • the weight of the drone is equal to or less than 25 kg
  • the flight is performed in VLOS conditions (except when the flight is performed in the mode of following the base station or used as an observer)
  • the operator ensures that certain distances from people are maintained
  • the maximum flight altitude is 120 meters above the ground
  • no hazardous materials are carried or dropped during the flight

Subcategory A1 (flights over people) - class C0 drones (up to 250 g), C1 up to 900 g), self-built drones (up to 250 g); flying over bystanders is allowed, flying over gatherings of people is prohibited.

Subcategory A2 (flights close to people) - c2 class drones (up to 4 kg); prohibition to fly over people and gatherings of people, minimum distance from people is 30 m or 5 m if the drone has a function limiting the speed of flight to 5 m/s.

Subcategory A3 (flights away from people) - drones in class C3 and C4 or self-built (up to 25 kg); prohibition of flying over people and gatherings of people - horizontal distance from people and buildings minimum 150 m; areas by design without bystanders (field, meadow). 

Opis klasyfikacji dronów w grupie otwartej


Opis procedury uzyskiwania uprawnień do lotów


Special category

Flights that do not fall within the guidelines of the open category are classified into the special category, primarily due to the increased risk of operations to third parties. This group includes operations in VLOS and BVLOS conditions. Flights in this category will be conducted on the basis of: a statement of flight according to a standard scenario published by EASA or the ULC / approval of the President of the ULC / Certificate of Operator of a Light Unmanned Aircraft System.   

Certified category

In the certified category, we are obliged to obtain a permit to fly as in the special category. In addition, we must have a current operator's certificate. Detailed regulations have not yet emerged.


Fines for flying a drone

The new aviation law makes it easier to use a BSP if you fly for commercial purposes - then you don't need to have UAVO privileges, you just need to meet the conditions of the open category. However, we still need to make sure that we do not pose a risk to bystanders. 

When flying over other aircraft, objects, animals and people, we may be met with inspections, such as by the Police, Border Guard, ULC employees or other authorized entities.registry of drone operators will be available for state services.

We are also still obliged to comply with the established air zones in the airspace. Before each flight, we should make sure if flights are allowed in the location. We recommend using apps such as DroneRadar or from the Polish Air Navigation Agency website.


Illustrations from the article are from the ULC recordingEuropean drone regulations -Open category.

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Drones - bestsellers

Paulina Koreń
Graduate of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, majoring in Psychology. He likes simple solutions that enhance the quality of life and promote impactful work.
She is a lover of art and nature, so she is particularly captivated by the use of new technologies to protect nature and explore it from a different, broader perspective.
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