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Rules around airports

Drone pilots increasingly choose locations near airports or even the airports themselves for their flights. Not everyone knows that there are several types of airports, and the rules for flying a drone at or around them vary.

Controlled airports

Flying in the vicinity of controlled airports

Controlled airports are those airports where the air traffic control (ATC) service is provided and they are located in the so-called Controlled Area - CTR (in the case of military airports, it is MCTR). All these controlled airports are shown in the DronView application, which also integrates the GRID map layer. This layer is displayed by default when the application is launched and provides users with a simplified graphical representation of the protected zones with height restrictions on structures in a specific location within the controlled airspace.

For a basic overview, colour maps with maximum grid heights of controlled airports can be downloaded here: Maps of controlled airports with grids.

The rules for drone operation in the vicinity of controlled airports are illustrated in the following image by colored sectors, thanks to which the pilot can easily find out how to operate in the given area.

Diagram UAS Flight rules - controlled aerodromenes CTR & MCTR

Aiport reference point (ARP)

The determined geographical location of the airport, focused close to the original or planned geometric center of the airport, which usually does not change even during the subsequent development of the airport.

Airspace marked in green

In these parts of the airspace, it is possible to fly below the protection zones with any drone up to 25 kg MTOM up to a height of 100 meters above the ground without the need for any coordination. However, ATTENTION, protection zones are often located lower than 100 m above the ground even in these locations, and therefore it is advisable to check the maximum possible flight height before each flight, at least in the basic map overview of controlled airports, or in detail in the GRID map tool in the DronView application.

Airspace marked in orange

The rules for the operation of drones in this part of the airspace are derived from their weight. With drones lighter than 0.91 kg, it is possible to fly below the protective zones of the airport with height restrictions of buildings without the need for coordination. The maximum possible flight height with regard to the course of the protective zones can be verified in the GRID map tool in the DronView application.

At a distance of less than 5.5 km from the airport reference point (i.e. from its centre), all operation of drons weighing more than 0,91 kg as well as drone operations up to 0.91 kg above the grid height, are only possible after coordination with ATC and the airport operator.

Coordination is carried out according to the procedure described in detail here: Procedure for coordinating drone flight with the airport.

Airspace marked in grey - flights inside the protective zones of the airport

The pilot of any drone that is operated in the protection zone of the airport is obliged to coordinate its flight with the ATC and the airport operator.

The coordination procedure is the same as for the airspace marked in orange.

Airspace marked in red – drone operations higher than 100 m above the ground level

A drone operation higher than 100 m above the ground level can only be performed in the controlled area of the airport with an operational authorization issued by the Civil Aviation Authority for flights in a Specific category. For more information, visit the Civil Aviation Authority website.

The conditions under which the pilot can perform his flight can also be verified in the following flow chart.

Diagram Conditions for unmanned aircraft flight concerning grid

Non-controlled aerodromes

Flying in the vicinity of sports aerodromes

At sports aerodromes where the conventional air traffic control service is not provided, a so-called Aerodrome Traffic Zone - ATZ is established, which serves to protect local aerodrome air traffic, and AFIS or RADIO information service is usually provided here. Sports aerodromes and ATZs are graphically represented in DronView application. The following decision diagram can assist the pilot in planning drone operations near sports aerodrome. The ATZ is defined horizontally by a circle with a radius of 5.5 km from the airport reference point and vertically by the earth's surface and an altitude of 1200 m. Some ATZs may be reduced in shape and height, depending on whether they extend into another type of airspace.

An ATZ is an airspace of specified dimensions that serves to protect aerodrome traffic. If the dimensions of the ATZ interfere with the space with a higher priority (CTR, TMA, TRA, TSA, ...), the ATZ is limited by this space.

Information on individual ATZs of non-controlled aerodromes in the Czech Republic can be found in the VFR Manual of the Czech Air Traffic Control Service; the link to the information on a specific aerodrome can be found directly in DronView application.

Flying in the ATZ is allowed only on the basis of:

  • Compliance with the conditions set by the Aerodrome operator, a;
  • in coordination with the Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFIS) or the Known Traffic Information Unit or the Aerodrome operator (if neither of the previous services are provided).


Certain controlled airports (e.g. Karlovy Vary Airport or Kunovice Airport) have their own operating hours. Outside these operating hours the adjacent area switches from CTR to ATZ mode.

The conditions set by the operator of each aerodrome can be found in the VFR manual (VFR AD section) or by contacting the selected aerodrome by telephone. Contact details are also listed in the VFR manual. A link to the information for the specific aerodrome can be found directly in DronView application. If you want to operate drone lighter than 0.91 kg MTOM in the ATZ, the flight can be carried out without prior coordination, but only up to a height of 100 m above the ground and outside the protective zones with height restrictions of the aerodrome buildings. The course of the protective zones can be found out from the aerodrome operator. In practice, this requirement can be met in the easiest way by the pilot flying to the maximum height of surrounding obstacles (e.g. trees or buildings). Unless otherwise specified, the operation of drones in the ATZ at a height higher than 120 m above the ground is only possible if the AFIS service is provided or the Provision of information to known traffic is ensured. However, for such a flight, an operational authorization issued by CAA is not required.

The following flowchart can help a pilot plan the operation of an unmanned aircraft in the vicinity of sports aerodrome.

Diagram Conditions for unmanned aircraft flight in ATZ

SLZ fields

Flying on SLZ fields

A special type of airfield is the so-called field of Sports Flying Equipment (SLZ). It is not directly an aerodrome in the true sense of the word, but a field used for take-offs and landings of SLZ, which are e.g. ultralight aircraft or powered hang gliders. SLZ fields are divided into registered and unregistered, as well as public and non-public.

The list of registered SLZ fields can be found in the VFR manual (section VFR-SLZ). They are then shown graphically in the DronView application. However, in addition to the registered SLZ fields, there are also unregistered fields, which are shown in AisView as non-guaranteed SLZ fields.

AisView negarantované plochy

For flights in the area around a registered SLZ field, the operation of an unmanned aircraft is possible only on the basis of meeting the conditions, set by the operator of such a field.

To use non-public fields, remote drone pilots must obtain the consent of the operator of the field.

The Aviation Amateur Association of the Czech Republic sets the conditions for the use of SLZ fields, registers the fields, keeps records of registered fields, their operating rules and approves the eligibility of registered fields.