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Update of the LKR10UAS regulation - changes as of 1/1/2024 and their practical effects

The Civil Aviation Authority (the Authority) in accordance with §44 paragraph 4 of Act No. 49/1997 Coll. on Civil Aviation (Aviation Act) on 19/12/2023 issued an update of the previously issued measure of a general nature (OOP, 31/12/2020), specifying the conditions for the use of restricted airspace LKR10 by operators of unmanned systems.

The changes contained in the OOP are partly based on the end of the transition period of the applicable European legislation for the operation of unmanned systems in the open category of operation and further on the instructions of the EASA standardization inspection based on the audit carried out in 2023.

Among the fundamental changes that directly relate to the operation of unmanned systems, in particular, is the introduction of a new authorization institute called "Authorization to flight" for a certain type of operation within the open category. This new authorization institute generally refers to situations where, according to the previous legislation, it was necessary to switch to a specific category of operation and apply for an Operational Authorization (OkP).

It will now be possible to apply for a Authorization to flight (abbreviated OkL) in the open category of operation. OkL will be required under the following conditions:

1

Operation in prohibited (LKP), restricted (LKR), dangerous, (LKD) other user-activated temporarily segregated (TSA) and temporarily reserved (TRA) airspaces

2

Operation in the LKR9 airspace in situations where OkL is required (in a densely populated area, according to the conditions of other areas in the given place, outside the framework of the conditions for free operation in CTR and MCTR)

3

In a densely populated area (HOP) outside the scope of conditions for free operation

4

In protective zones::

  1. Along the above-ground transport structures;
  2. Routes of above-ground engineering networks;
  3. Routes of above-ground telecommunication networks;
  4. Inside specially protected areas (except zone IV of PLA);
  5. In the vicinity of water sources;
  6. Objects important for the defense of the state.

For clarification, we add that the operation of drones within the subcategory of operation A3 in the open category of operation is not possible in a densely populated area (HOP) on the basis of a Flight Authorization. This also applies to all older drones heavier than 250 g without a class C label (e.g. DJI Phantom; DJI Mavic 1 and 2; etc.), which after the end of the transition period on 31/12/2023 fall into subcategory A3 operation . Operators of these drones who want to operate in HOP can continue to follow the conditions for operation in a specific category of operation and apply for an Operational Authorization.

OkL application process

OkLs will be issued by the CAA in administrative proceedings in the form of a decision, on the basis of an application submitted primarily through the web portal dron.caa.cz, or also by the traditional procedure regulated by the administrative regulations (data box, electronically signed email, paper form).

In both cases, the procedure will be very similar as in the case of submitting an application for the issuance of an Operational Authorization in the Specific category of operation. Again, the usual identification data of the operator, the pilot, the unmanned systems used, including the indication of the relevant class C, and then data on the intended operation will be required. In particular, this includes:

  • precise geographical and operational definition of the intended site of operation;
  • a description of the security measures taken, including a risk analysis;
  • ConOps document, possibly also Operation Manual ;
  • the operator's declaration on personal data protection;
  • user manuals for used unmanned systems;
  • other additional permits, consents or statements of the entities concerned, which are the subject of protection in the sense of the management of protective zones (above-ground transport structures, engineering networks, telecommunications networks, specially protected areas, water sources, objects important for the defense of the state).

The CAA then assesses the supplied documentation and decides (usually within a few days) whether or not to issue an OkL. The process of submitting an application or issuing an OkL will not be associated with any administrative fee.

More detailed information on the entire procedural procedure can be found on the website of the CAA.

Summary of significant differences between OkP and OkL authorizations

Type of authorization
OkP OkL
Category of operation Specific Open
Class of UAS All classes (C labels), but also without a plate, also individual constructions All classes (C labels), but also without a plate, also individual constructions
Technical requirements Mandatory direct remote identification – drone class C1-3, 5, 6 or additional equipment No identification requiered
Independent system of termination of flight (Containment) Without the obligation of an independent flight termination system
Administrative fees 1st issue/change (4,000 CZK/400 CZK) No fees
Statement of the CAA Decision + OkP Decision + OkL
Insurance Individually for each drone Only for A3 operation above 4 kg and for A2, it is possible in bulk for all planes

Other related OOP changes

The new OOP also removes passages related to the organization of aerial public performances, the movement of the remote pilot (by vehicle) during the drone operation, the transport of dangerous goods, the dropping of objects in flight and some redundant passages that are specifically covered by the existing European regulation or amendment to the aviation law (e.g. the obligation to have insurance liability -so-called compulsory liability).

On the contrary, some connections are highlighted here in the sense of the pilot's responsibility for preventing collisions with aircraft with and without a pilot on board, or the service of providing traffic information outside the framework of conditions for coordinated operation in CTR, MCTR, ATZ and in the vicinity of registered areas for the operation of sports flying equipment.