Runway Operation

Drones and their use in the vicinity of the airport

Notice

Current information and recommendation for passengers:

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Information on the airport's protective measures can be found HERE.

Welcome to the Prague Airport’s webpage that is devoted to the topic of unmanned aircraft’s, commonly known as drones and their use in the vicinity of the Prague Airport.

Near the airport, the planes’s are in the most critical phases of the flight, which are take-off and landing. To keep a civil aviation safe, it is necessary to regulate the use of drones, as they have become a new participant of air traffic. It is important to keep in mind that, when you are flying drone near the airport, you are in the Controlled Traffic Region.

If you want to fly your drone in the vicinity of the airport safely, just remember to follow these simple rules:

  • Do not fly with your drone at a distance of less than 5.5 km from the airport’s aerodrome reference point (50 06 03 N, 014 15 36 E)
    – see Figure 1
  • When being within the Controlled Traffic Region (CTR LKPR), do not fly your drone more than 100 m above the ground

Figure 1

cedule_no_drone_zone_800x450.jpg

In order to fly the drone safely, it is necessary to be aware of the division of the airspace. If you do not know what the Controlled Traffic Region is or if you are not sure how the airspace is divided, the following application’s will help you:

If you are not sure with maximum height of your flight or whether you are interfering with Aerodrome obstacle limitation surfaces, watch out not to fly higher then buildings in surrounding area.

Under certain conditions, it is possible to fly the drone at a distance of less than 5.5 km from the airport’s aerodrome reference point or at a height of 100 m above the ground within the Controlled Traffic Region. These conditions are described in detail in a diagram available at the website of Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic.

In case of violation of regulations a fine up to 5,000,000 CZK may be imposed! To report a suspicious drone, please contact Prague Airport’s Security Control Centre at 220 111 000.

Terms

The term “drone” refers to any flying device without a human pilot aboard. In our case, it covers all terms used in legislation, such as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), unmanned aerial system (UAS) or model aircraft.

When flying a drone, always comply with the following :

Létejte bezpečně

Fly safely and obey rules
 

Respektujte soukromí

Fly respectfully, respect the privacy

Buďte pojištění

Fly responsibly and be insured
 

Legislation

On 31. 12. 2020, new European Drone regulation comes into force, which harmonizes all drone operation rules in all EU member states. New laws apply to all unmanned aircraft systems (drones) including aircraft models.

An amendment to Act No. 49/1997 Sb. on Civil Aviation is expected to be released in 2021 to significantly cover the aforementioned EU regulation on drone operations.

Mandatory registration

The most notable change for the aviation public is without a doubt the mandatory registration of drone operators, who can register at https://dron.caa.cz/. The subject of registration is not the drone itself, but its operator. After the operator registers, they receive a drone operator registration number that must be displayed with a sticker on all drones they possess. Besides the operators, all drone remote pilots must register as well. They also must pass mandatory training and to demonstrate acquired knowledge of safe drone operation by passing an online exam.

The registration is not mandatory only for operators of drones that weigh less than 250 g and which

  • are not equipped with a camera or another sensor capable of recording personal data
  • are toys. This means drones that have already been pre-developed as toys for children under 14 years of age, have been identified by the basic CE marking and which state that they comply with Directive 2009/48 / EC.

Rules of operation

The regulation brings another significant change, and that is a new categorization of drone operation and the rules of drone operations. Specific requirements for individual categories and subcategories of drone operation can be found in respective European regulations – for example Commission Regulations (EU) No 2019/947 and No 2019/945.

The maximum flight altitude of safe drone operation changes to 120 metres. During the drone operation, the pilot must constantly maintain visual contact with the drone, must be aware of the current situation in their surroundings and must ensure safety to themselves, as well as to other persons and assets on the ground.

It is prohibited or restricted to fly the drone in the vicinity of airports, protection zones and other zones now defined as geographical zones. Details of these zones can be found in the following chapters.

All drone pilots must always give way and avoid piloted aircraft operation.

Drone operation classification

European legislation introduces a new approach to drone classification. Instead of their purpose, it focuses primarily on operations risks. Based on this approach, 3 new categories of drone operation have been defined:

  • open category (OPEN)
  • specific category (SPECIFIC)
  • certified category (CERTIFIED)

Open category (OPEN)

This category addresses operations of lowest risks, therefore the drones falling in this category are not required to have prior authorisation from a competent authority or a declaration.

The open category is further subdivided into three subcategories A1, A2, A3 to define specific rules. They specify operational restrictions, requirements for remote pilots and technical requirements for the unmanned aircraft system.

To define specific drone flying rules, you need to know the class of your drone. These are divided into C0, C1, C2, C3, C4.

Obrázek č. 2 Drony v otevřené kategorii

Obrázek č. 3

Pravidla pro létání s drony

Tabulky a obrázky jsou převzaty ze stránek ŘLP - https://letejtezodpovedne.cz/legislativa/jak_letame_nyni/kategorizace_provozu?clid=150

Detailed list of flying requirements and parameters in the OPEN category:

Open category – operational restrictions

A1

  • For aircraft of class C0, C1 or for privately built aircraft with MTOM up to 250 g and with a maximum operating speed lower than 19 m/s;
  • class C1 aircraft must not fly over gatherings of people.
  • other aircraft in category A1 only have to avoid flying over gatherings of people;
  • the pilot is familiar with the user manual and has completed an online course and exam for C1.

A2

  • For class C2 aircraft;
  • maintaining a safe horizontal distance of at least 30 meters from uninvolved persons (can be reduced to 5 m in low-speed flight mode);
  • the pilot is familiar with the user manual, has completed an online course and exam, submitted a declaration of practical training and passed another extended theoretical exam.

A3

  • For class C2, C3, C4 aircraft or for privately built aircraft with MTOM < 25 kg;
  • maintaining a safe horizontal distance of at least 150 meters from residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas and during flights in an area where the pilot reasonably assumes that persons not involved in the operation will not be put in danger;
  • the pilot has completed an online course and exam.
UAS classes in the open category:

parametres

C0

C1

C2

C3

C4 (models)

maximum take-off mass

< 250 g

< 900 g nebo < 80 J (kinetic energy)

< 4 kg

< 25 kg a 3 m

< 25 kg

maximum operating speed

< 19 m/s

< 19 m/s

adjustable < 3 m/s (excl. aircraft)

no

no

maximum above ground level

< 120 m AGL

< 120 m AGL

< 120 m AGL

< 120 m AGL

no

propulsion – restrictions

electro < 24 V

electro < 24 V

electro < 48 V

electro < 48 V

no

follow-me mode

< 50 m

< 50 m

no

no

no

failsafe system

no

yes

yes (excl. tethered)

yes (excl. tethered)

only preset position, no automatic flight

tethered drones

no

no

cable < 50 m

cable < 50 m

no

secured command and control link

no

no

yes (excl. tethered)

yes (excl. tethered)

no

limited noise level

no

< 85 dB (excl. aircraft)

< 97 dB acc. to MTOM (excl. aircraft)

no, only a mandatory label (excl. aircraft)

no

serial number

no

yes

yes

yes

no

identification during flight

no

yes
(serial No., operator's reg. No., position, altitude, route angle and speed and position of the pilot or take-off point)

yes (excl. tethered)
(serial No., operator's reg. No., position, altitude, route angle and speed and position of the pilot or take-off point)

no

geo-awareness

no

yes (warns the pilot about restricted areas)

no

low battery indicator

no

yes

yes

yes

no

lights for steerability and distinguishing

no

yes

yes

yes

no

user’s manual

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

EASA information leaflet

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

Source www.letejtezodpovedne.cz

Specific category (SPECIFIC)

The medium-risk category applies to operators who need to exceed some of the defined limits of the open category. Due to the higher risk of the operation in this category, the operator must have an authorisation from a competent authority issued on the basis on an operations risk analysis, the so-called „SORA“ (Specific Operations Risk Assessment).

The drone operation risk in the specific category may be mitigated if the technical equipment of the drone and pilot’s abilities comply with one of the following documents:

  • Standard scenario – STS
  • Light UAS operator Certificate – LUC
  • Operation authorisation issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (?)

Certified category (CERTIFIED)

The certified category is the category with the highest requirements for drone operators due to the high risk of drone operations. To operate a drone in this category, the unmanned aircraft system, the operator and the unmanned aircraft’s pilot must pass certification.

Geographical zones

The new European legislation also introduces the duty to publish geographical zones. European legislation leaves it to the individual Member States to determine the so-called „geographical zones“. These are areas in which the operation of drones is prohibited or permitted only under specified conditions.

Starting from 31. 12. 2020, each member state must define and publish these geographical zones. A verbal description of the zones suffices for the time being. The unified graphic representation of all geographical zones throughout the EU is expected 1. 1. 2022 at the latest.

The description of geographical zones in the Czech Republic will be published from 31. 12. 2020 at the website of Civil Aviation Authority - https://www.caa.cz/provoz/bezpilotni-letadla/zemepisne-zony/ .

As for drone operation in the vicinity of airports, the rules will in principle be maintained for the time being. We should see more significant changes with the advent of digitalization of geographical zones, where we expect the use of so-called „grids" at controlled airports. This is a more detailed division of the area around the airport with a drone flight restriction in order to ensure sufficient safety of the airport and commercial aircraft moving in its immediate vicinity.