A significant change for the operation of drones in the Czech Republic is the introduction of geographical zones (geozones). Their purpose is to clarify the areas in which, it is possible, impossible or conditional to operate drones. The need to digitally publish such areas arose mainly on the basis of recurring situations where drone pilots, perhaps even unknowingly, flew their drone into an area where, according to the applicable regulation, it is not possible to fly. Each EU member state therefore has the obligation to publish geozones and thereby specify the otherwise general European rules on its territory.
Geozones in the Czech Republic are currently handled in text form - the Civil Aviation Authority declared a general measure of a limited area LKR10-UAS over the entire territory of the Czech Republic, thus following on from the previous system of territorial protection of the state. The same legislative document also modified the operating conditions for flights in the vicinity of controlled and uncontrolled airports, prohibited, restricted, dangerous or temporarily reserved areas, densely populated areas, protective zones of roads, railways, high voltage wires, flights inside specially protected areas or water sources.
For more detailed information about drone operation near airports, see our article.
In the Czech Republic, drone operators are currently using the DronView application extensively. The application is ideal for familiarizing yourself with the layout of the airspace of the Czech Republic and for planning a flight in the part of the area where drone operation is possible. However, it does not show the related flight restrictions resulting from measures of a general nature, e.g. ground risks. Consequently, it is not currently a representation of the intended geozones and the data cannot be uploaded directly to the drone.
In the future, it is planned to launch a single digital tool - a so-called digital map, which will contain all valid geozones. Its development is currently underway. It is assumed that the scope of territorial protection will be precise enough to make the final tool as effective and practical as possible. Therefore, the issued general nature measure, which defines the LKR-10 UAS area, should be seen only as a temporary tool, not a permanent one.
The implementation, management, updating and publication of geozones in the form of guaranteed data will increase clarity for every pilot and thus the safety of air traffic.
Leading tech manufacturer, DJI, has been providing a similar zone system in its products for several years. However, these zones are not guaranteed by the state and in the current concept, they are not geozones defined by European legislation.