Drone flying in Cyprus | What are the rules?

Drone flying in Cyprus | What are the rules?

Do I need to have a licence in order to fly a drone in Cyprus?

This depends on several parameters (such as the total take-off weight and the purpose for which the drone is used).

In order to determine the category of your drone and whether you need a licence or not, please follow this flowchart:

Please note that even if operators of drones under the OPEN category are not required to hold a licence (from the Cyprus Department of Civil Aviation), they do have to follow the rules as specified in the relevant law. As for the special category drones, an operating permit as well as a drone pilot licence is required.

What is the OPEN and what is the SPECIAL category?

  • The OPEN category covers the use of a drone (i.e. unmanned aircraft), having a total take-off mass of less than three (3) kg, which is only used for non-commercial recreational, sports, training, racing or display purposes.
  • The SPECIAL category covers all drones that are used for commercial activities (independently of their weight) and all drones the take-off weight of which exceeds three (3) kg independently of the nature of their use (commercial / non-commercial etc.).

Is drone registration required?

Yes, according to section 4 of the Law, drone owners are expected to register their aircraft to the Civil Aviation Department by e-mail, providing the information specified in the form: ΤΠΑ/ ΜΕΑ/01 – DCA/ UAV/01.

How high is it possible to fly a drone?

  • Open category drones:  up to 50 meters above ground or sea level;
  • Special category drones: up to 120 meters above ground or sea level. (Exceptional exemptions may be granted to special category drone operators by the competent authority).

How far is it possible to fly a drone? Does the operator have to keep direct visual contact with it?

Yes, the direct visual contact with the drone is mandatory and the distance between the operator and the drone should not exceed 500 meters. This provision aims to ensure that collisions with other aircrafts, people, animals, vehicles, buildings and installations are avoided.

What safety distance has to be maintained from residential areas, buildings etc.?

  • One (1) kilometre from residential areas;
  • Five hundred (500) metres from isolated buildings, people, vehicles, animals, structures, etc. unless the owner/person has given his/her consent.

What are the safety distance requirements from airports and heliports?

  • At least eight (8) kilometres from an airports;
  • At least three (3) kilometres from a heliports.

Is it possible to fly drones at night?

No, drones should be operated only during daytime, provided that the conditions are satisfying for a safe flight. In case of deterioration of the said flight conditions, the flight must be interrupted.

Is it permitted to drop objects from a drone?

Dropping any object or material during a drone flight is not allowed.

Is it possible to fly more than one drone at the same time?

The operator of a drone should not fly more than one aircraft concurrently.

Are there any other restrictions to keep in mind?

  • Drones should not be flown within prohibited, restricted, dangerous and reserved areas as mentioned in the relevant publications of the Department of Civil Aviation.
  • No drones are allowed above, within, or in proximity to military installations, public utility installations, archaeological sites and public or private facilities (unless the owner has granted his/her consent).
  • Aerial photography/videography of National Guard installations and infrastructure is prohibited.
  • The drone operator should comply with the laws in force in respect to the Right to Privacy and Personal Data Protection.

Please note that the above information is provided for guidance purposes only and cannot be considered as legal advice. If you have a specific question on drones in relation to safety, personal privacy, security issues or on the procedure to follow in order to get a drone operating licence, we recommend that you us.