Operation of unmanned aircrafts, also known as drones, has nowadays become more and more deployed. Drones are not only used for military purposes but also private individuals and companies use this innovative technology for providing new services and to improve the existing ones.

This subject matter is regulated by the Air transport law (“Off. Gazette of RS”, no. 73/2010, 57/2011, 93/2012, 45/2015 and 66/2015 – hereinafter: “Law“) and the Regulation on unmanned aircraft (“Off. Gazette of RS” no. 108/2015 – hereinafter: “Regulation“) which stipulates conditions for the safe operation of unmanned aircrafts, their classification, recording, maintenance, including the conditions to be met by persons using unmanned aircraft.

The Regulation shall not apply to unmanned aircraft with an operating mass of less than 0.5 kg, if their maximum speed is less than 20 m/s, while reaching maximum distance up to 15 m and a maximum height of 10 m. The Regulation shall also not apply to unmanned aircraft that are designed, manufactured and operated for operational purposes for the authorities responsible for defense, home affairs and customs, as well as indoor operation.

If you plan to operate a drone in Serbia for commercial purposes, or drone, whose operating mass is higher than 0.5kg, with maximum height of flight higher than 50 m, maximum speed higher than 30 m/s and maximum range higher than 100 m, you must registered the drone in the aircraft register managed by the Directorate. All drones or unmanned aircraft are divided according to their application into commercial and noncommercial drones and are also classified into four categories depending on the weight, speed and range.

Flying of foreign unmanned aircrafts within the airspace of the Republic of Serbia shall not be allowed without the prior permission by the Ministry of Defense. Operator of unmanned aircraft and a person controlling the unmanned aircraft who are foreign legal or natural persons can operate the unmanned aircraft in the territory of the Republic of Serbia in accordance with the rules stipulated by the Regulation and provided that the Civil Aviation Directorate of the Republic of Serbia (hereinafter “Directorate”) approves the appropriate certificate of qualification to operate the unmanned aircraft, issued to that person by the competent authority of the foreign state.

The operation of an unmanned aircraft shall take place only within the allocated portion of airspace. Unmanned aircraft operator shall for each flight submit the application for the allocation of airspace to the unit for the civil-military coordination at the Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency SMATSA LLC Belgrade not later than five working days prior to the intended flight of an unmanned aircraft. The unmanned aircraft shall not be permitted to operate within the portion of airspace extending to 5 km from the airport reference point unless it is in particular authorized by the Directorate.

Unmanned aircraft shall be operated only during the day, while the person operating such an aircraft ensures constant visual line of sight. The maximum permitted flight altitude of an unmanned aircraft shall be 100 m above the ground, unless the Directorate in particular approves that the flight can be operated at a higher altitude. The maximum permissible horizontal distance of the unmanned aircraft from the person operating the unmanned aircraft shall be 500 m.

It is strictly prohibited to operate the unmanned aircraft on or from a moving object, or to operate multiple unmanned aircraft simultaneously. It is strictly prohibited to operate unmanned aircraft at a horizontal distance of less than 500 meters from a major infrastructure or other facilities such as power plants, high-voltage electrical installations, government buildings, military facilities, water treatment plants, highways, correctional institutions, etc., unless the permission from the owner or an occupant of the property is obtained. The operation of unmanned aircraft shall not be allowed if their operating mass is more than 150 kg, including the unmanned aircraft fully controlled by a computer located in the aircraft.

The transportation of people, animals and dangerous goods by unmanned aircraft is strictly prohibited. Ejecting liquids and objects from unmanned aircraft, carrying any external load not being an integral part of the structure and equipment of the same aircraft is strictly prohibited as well, unless prior permission is obtained from the Directorate.

A person in charge of an unmanned aircraft shall (i) ensure that the flight of the unmanned aircraft is carried out fully within the allocated portion of airspace and that it does not pose threat to lives, health and property of persons and that it does not disturb public peace and order, (ii) maintain safe horizontal distance from other persons, while operating the unmanned aircraft, that shall not be less than 30 m (iii) not be under the influence of any intoxicant or psychoactive substance, nor shall be in such a mental or physical state so as to unsafely operate the unmanned aircraft, (iv) be available to the air traffic control unit for necessary communication and (v) ensure functionality of the systems of the unmanned aircraft prior to the flight.

The operator of an unmanned aircraft may operate such aircraft for commercial purposes if the Directorate accepts the statement of qualification for the performance of the intended activities, which includes: (i) name/title and address/place of business of the operator, (ii) description of the intended activities, (iii) designator of the unmanned aircraft, (iv) information about the person operating the unmanned aircraft, (v) statement that he/she is familiar with the provisions of Regulation and that the unmanned aircraft is to be operated accordingly.

Person operating unmanned aircraft used for commercial purposes, including the person operating unmanned aircraft which mass is higher than 0.5kg, with maximum height of flight higher than 50 m, maximum speed higher than 30 m/s and maximum range higher than 100 m shall only be adult, medically fit person who has passed the knowledge test in Air Law.

When operating an unmanned aircraft, the person operating such aircraft must carry the manufacturer’s manual of the unmanned aircraft, as well as the original or certified copy of the permission of the Directorate and the certificate of having passed the knowledge test.

Penalty provisions are stipulated by the Law. For the operation of unmanned aircraft in such a way that endangers the safety of air traffic, or contrary to the conditions laid down in the Regulation, the legal person shall be fined for offense from 500.000 to 2.000.000 RSD and the natural person from 50.000 to 150.000 RSD.

Our Law Firm is at your disposal for any further questions regarding the operation of unmanned aircraft.

Attorney at law Damir Petrovic

The information contained herein has been provided only for the purpose of general information and cannot be considered as a legal opinion or legal advice. Accordingly, the Law Firm Petrovic & Partners disclaims all responsibility and accept no liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents contained herein.