Wed. Sep 20th, 2023
Overview of Drone Laws in Bulgaria

Drones have become increasingly popular in recent years, and Bulgaria is no exception. However, with the rise in drone usage comes the need for regulations to ensure safety and privacy. In Bulgaria, there are specific laws and regulations that govern the use of drones.

Firstly, it is important to note that drones are classified as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) is responsible for regulating UAVs in the country. According to the CAA, drones are divided into three categories based on their weight and purpose.

The first category is drones that weigh less than 500 grams and are used for recreational purposes. These drones do not require registration or a license to operate. However, they must be flown in accordance with the rules set out by the CAA, which include not flying higher than 120 meters and not flying within 5 kilometers of an airport.

The second category is drones that weigh between 500 grams and 20 kilograms and are used for commercial purposes. These drones must be registered with the CAA, and the operator must hold a license to operate them. The license requires passing a theoretical and practical exam, as well as obtaining liability insurance. The rules for flying these drones are more stringent, and they must not fly higher than 50 meters or within 3 kilometers of an airport.

The third category is drones that weigh more than 20 kilograms and are used for special purposes, such as military or scientific research. These drones require special permission from the CAA to operate.

In addition to the weight and purpose categories, there are also specific rules that apply to all drones in Bulgaria. For example, drones must not be flown over people or buildings without permission from the owner. They must also not be flown in restricted areas, such as military bases or national parks.

Furthermore, drones must be equipped with a GPS system and a camera that can record the flight. The operator must also maintain visual contact with the drone at all times and must not fly it beyond their line of sight.

Violating any of these rules can result in fines or even imprisonment. For example, flying a drone without a license can result in a fine of up to 5,000 Bulgarian Lev (approximately $3,000 USD), while flying a drone in a restricted area can result in a fine of up to 50,000 Bulgarian Lev (approximately $30,000 USD) and up to 5 years in prison.

It is important for drone operators in Bulgaria to be aware of these regulations and to follow them to ensure the safety of themselves and others. The CAA has also provided a mobile application called “Drone BG” that provides information on the rules and regulations for drone usage in Bulgaria.

In conclusion, the use of drones in Bulgaria is regulated by the CAA, and there are specific rules and regulations that must be followed depending on the weight and purpose of the drone. Violating these rules can result in fines or imprisonment, so it is important for drone operators to be aware of them. The “Drone BG” mobile application is a useful tool for staying up-to-date on the regulations and ensuring safe and legal drone usage in Bulgaria.