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All New Drone Laws in Greece (Hellenic Republic) In 2023

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: December 28, 2022

Drones are quickly becoming popular in Greece as technology continues to advance rapidly. Drones offer people the opportunity to capture spectacular views from the sky that would have been impossible to capture before.

Drone Laws in Greece

Many businesses and organizations use them to gain access to beautiful aerial shots of areas such as historical monuments and scenic landscapes.

Similarly, drone technology enables locals, tourists, and scientists alike to explore parts of the Greek countryside in a way that was impossible before. 

Greece is a beautiful country with many iconic sites, amazing weather, and an expansive coastline. For those looking to explore the Grecian skies on a drone.

There are now some important laws and regulations you must understand to be compliant with procedures. With increased interest from professional filmmakers and hobbyists alike, Greece has had its share of challenges dealing with drone operations in its bustling airspace.

This blog post will provide an overview of the current legislation and Drone Laws in Greece.

Is it legal to Fly Drones in Greece?

The Hellenic Republic offers an exciting opportunity for drone enthusiasts, as it is legal to operate drones within the country, provided that certain regulatory guidelines are followed.

Individuals who want to fly a drone must make sure that its weight does not exceed 25 kilos and must keep their aircraft in sight at all times. While these safety regulations may seem intimidating at first, they ensure a much more enjoyable experience for both travelers and local residents. 

General Drone Laws in Greece (2023)

As ruled by the HCAA and EASA, drones are legally permissible in Greece as long as certain regulations are observed.

Drone Laws in Greece
  • Access to UAS is strictly granted only to those thoroughly vetted and approved by request. At all times, it must be operated exclusively by authorized personnel.
  • The UAS will be operated at a maximum altitude of 400 feet AGL (above ground level).
  • For safety reasons, the UAS must be flown at a distance from airports and heliports.
  • The UAS must remain within the operator's direct line of sight while in flight.
  • In accordance with HCAA regulations, the UAS is only deployed during daylight hours.
  • The UAS must never be flown above crowds or in populated areas, including streets and parking lots.
  • Operating the UAS in adverse weather conditions is strictly prohibited.
  • To be eligible, obtaining a Pilot License and International Insurance Certificate is essential.
  • It is strongly advised that the UAS pilot maintain their cell phone availability for 30 minutes before the flight and preferably throughout its duration.
  • Before switching to a different area of operation, the UAS must first land in its original position. This precaution is necessary if multiple aerial zones are to be utilized during flight.
  • To ensure the utmost security and safety, EU citizens must provide their national state registration (UAS Registration Number in the requester's country of origin). For all other countries outside of Europe, CAA approval & registration policy will be taken into consideration.
  • Adhering to all applicable national and EU Data Privacy regulations is a must.

Drone Pilot Registration in Greece

EU Regulation 2019/947 mandates that UAS Operators (not the unmanned aerial systems themselves) must register to fly.

The Remote Pilot, or person behind the drone controls, is responsible for ensuring a safe flight by following all instructions given by their respective UAS Operator; whenever they operate any drone, the legal entity or individual involved carries all responsibility.

In most cases in the OPEN category, where someone is piloting and operating solo, these two roles are held by one person.

  • For those under the OPEN category, registration is mandatory for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operators weighing more than 250g or operating at speeds over 90km/h with a camera or microphone installed.
  • In the SPECIFIC category, registration is an absolute requirement for all operators.
  • Legal persons must register in the country where they primarily conduct their business activities. It is important to note that registration can only be done within one Member State at a time.

The UAS operator registration process starts at the online registration link. This number is valid for one year and must be consistently renewed by following the same procedure unless you permanently opt out of the register.

The operator will always use their current number as long as they remain registered in this system.

Rules for Commercial Use of Drones in Greece

If you're planning to use drones for business purposes, here are some additional points to remember:

Drone Laws in Greece
  • If you intend to use any UAS Category for commercial purposes, you must first obtain a special license issued by the HCAA/Air Transport and International Agreements Division. To do so, each individual or entity should make an appropriate request in line with current European or National Law regulations.
  • The HCAA/Air Transport and International Agreements Division inspects the request to determine if it meets present UAS use and operation regulations. We will assess documents for accuracy to ensure they adhere to our general guidelines as well as any special conditions.
  • The HCAA/Air Transport and International Agreements Division grants the operator a twelve-month license to operate with the specified UAS, which will be issued in their name. Once this authorization expires, they must submit an updated application along with any additional supporting documents as well as pay a new fee if they wish to prolong operations.
  • When the requirements of the legitimate use of UAS, as outlined in this regulation, are no longer met or upheld, approval will be suspended or revoked.
  • To submit a request, an individual Operator or their legal representative must include a copy of their Criminal Record for General Use from the last decade. Additionally, it must be clear that they have not been convicted of any offenses outlined in Annex 1 Paragraph 1 of the National Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.

Operation Categories in European Union

The European Union outlines three distinct categories of drones, all with their own unique regulations and restrictions to follow.

Hellenic Republic (Greece) Drone Laws

Open category

If you want to fly a drone without special authorization, consider an "open" category unit. All open-category drones must weigh less than 25kg and are non-commercial; however, pilots must abide by the EASA's safety regulations once procured.

With this craft, there is no need for prior permission - though that doesn't mean ignorance or recklessness should go unpunished.

The European Union is experiencing a surge in the use of open-category drones due to their broad range of advantages. Not only are these unmanned aerial vehicles accessible and cost-effective, but they provide an array of uses, from leisurely activities to business operations.

Drones are easier to maneuver than other unmanned aircraft systems, and they have the potential to transform aviation and transportation as a whole.

Of course, there remain some barriers to drones in the EU; however, it's clear that these flying machines will be essential components of our future transport network.

Specific category

By comparison to the open category, the specific category is often considered more restrictive, and not all commercial activities are unlimited. For instance, you would need explicit permission from participants if you were going to film or take pictures of them with a drone.

To avoid any risk of violating regulations during operation, it's highly recommended that one consults EASA beforehand to clarify various restrictions governing usage within this particular domain.

If you're interested in piloting a drone for commercial purposes, Lowest Price Drones has the perfect option for you. These drones weigh between 25kg and 150 kg and require explicit permission from governing authorities before they can take off - something that's easily done by obtaining an EASA permit. So if your business is in need of a reliable aerial solution, this is the way to go!

Certified category

A certified-category drone is an approved, safety-certified model that meets the regulatory standards set by EASA--the European Union's aviation regulator.

For any individual wishing to operate a drone of this kind, it is necessary to speak with the agency beforehand and acquire permission if their unmanned aircraft exceeds 150kg in weight. Once given authorization from EASA, those drones are able to be used for commercial operations.

Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA)

The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) is an independent air navigation service provider and regulator of the Greek aviation industry.

Drone Laws in Greece

It pursues its mission of providing a safe, secure, and orderly aviation system in Greece by providing safety oversight, ensuring that international civil aviation standards are implemented in Greek airports, guaranteeing compliance with European regulations, monitoring aircraft movements, and managing license issuance for personnel.

The HCAA is dedicated to maintaining high levels of safety in the country's airspace through regular safety assessments, enforcement of operational rules, and responding to any incidents that arise.

HCAA provides essential services such as aeronautical information publication and air traffic control services, among many others. Thus, the HCAA plays a major role in upholding one of the highest levels of safety standards in the global aviation sector.

European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is a centralized body responsible for ensuring and maintaining its member states' highest aviation safety standards.

Drone Laws in Greece

It also sets these standards when approving aircraft that originate from non-EU countries. EASA works alongside the European Commission to develop harmonized legislation and rules governing civil and military aviation across Europe.

This includes pilot licensing, air traffic control services, and air operation certification. Consequently, this helps promote continuous regulatory efficiency throughout Europe’s widely diverse airspace and improve aviation safety.

In addition, EASA provides a platform for members to share skills, expertise, collective information, and technological advances to improve their airspace operations further.

No Drone Zones in Greece

No drone zones are areas in which the Hellenic Republic of Greece has restricted the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and drones due to safety and security concerns.

Drone Laws in Greece

All Hellenic airspace is divided into specific no-drone zones across the country, where it's illegal to fly a drone without permission from designated aviation authorities. Strictly enforced penalties are applied for unauthorized use.

Unfortunately, drones are not limited to just Hellenic airports or public-use areas; these zones cover large swaths of Hellenic land and extend well beyond major urban centers and military installations.

As technology advances and drones become more accessible, monitoring safe usage in these sensitive locations is increasingly important.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to note that Greece has strict laws and regulations in place when it comes to operating drones. All pilots must be registered with the Greek government and obtain a Pilot License as well as an International Insurance Certificate.

They must always maintain direct contact with their cell phone, fly during daylight hours, stay within 400 feet AGL, keep their drone out of populated and crowded areas, and always adhere to all applicable national and European Data Privacy Regulations.

By following these rules, you can make sure your drone flight experience is safe and enjoyable. We hope this article was useful for you, and if you have any queries or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out with a comment.

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Richard J. Gross

Hi, my name is Richard J. Gross and I’m a full-time Airbus pilot and commercial drone business owner. I got into drones in 2015 when I started doing aerial photography for real estate companies. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out that police were called on me shortly after I started flying. They didn’t like me flying my drone near people, so they asked me to come train their officers on the rules and regulations for drones. After that, I decided to start my own drone business and teach others about the safe and responsible use of drones.

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