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Specific category

The Specific category of operation is intended for drone operations that exceed the limits set for the Open category. Operation in the "spec" represents greater risks compared to operation in the Open category, and therefore it is necessary to obtain an authorization from the CAA for this type of operation.

The information is based on the European regulatory framework, which is gradually being introduced into the legislative environment of the Czech Republic. We clarify and update the information with regard to the current situation.

European legislation allows multiple ways of operating drones in a Specific category. First, we will focus on the most common method in the Czech Republic, the operational authorization.

The operational authorization is issued by the CAA based on a submitted application. Please note that the application must be supplemented with the required attachments, which are generally described below:

Do I have everything I need to apply for an operational authorization?

All necessary forms are available on the CAA website, where you will also find a detailed description of the required attachments. Before submitting your application, you must check whether you have:

  1. a completed application form for an operational authorization,
  2. a completed form identifying the site(s) of the operation and determining the risk level of the operation (SAIL level),
  3. developed operational concept (ConOps),
  4. developed Operational Manual (only if the operation will be carried out according to the assessment of point 2 as a higher risk (SAIL level II and above)),
  5. completed declaration of the operator on the protection of personal data,
  6. drone/s equipped with the DRID/NRID system,
  7. drone/s fulfilling requirements for Containment (independent flight termination system).

The issuance of an operational authorization is associated with an administrative fee of CZK 4,000. A change of the operational authorization costs CZK 400. The change can be, for example, a change or addition to the approved operating sites of, so in practice it is an authorization for each additional flight of the given operator. The time limits for issuing an operational authorization correspond to the standard time limits according to Administrative Code.

You can use the Portal managed by the Civil Aviation Authority for submitting your application for the operational authorization. The entire process through the Portal can be significantly accelerated and simplified thanks to pre-prepared interactive forms including a map interface. Another advantage is the simple administration of already submitted applications and valid authorizations. Necessary prerequisites for using this tool are an established virtual identity of the citizen in the case of an individual applicant, or data box in the case of legal entities.

The above-mentioned documents represent only one possible way to comply with European regulation in this matter. Applicants have the possibility to use all the methods given by the current European regulatory framework. However, these are used only exceptionaly.

In order to simplify the entire process of applying for and issuing an operational authorization, it is advisable, if it is sufficient for the considered operation, to use 1 of the 5 predefined risk assessments, the so-called PDRA.

Standard scenarios

Since 1 January 2024 it is possible to operate in accordance with the standard operating scenarios. These scenarios are a set of predefined operational boundaries, with a processed risk assessment and mitigating measures, approved on the basis of the operator's declaration. The operator only declares that it will comply with the conditions set out in the specific scenario during operation. The Authority then simply acknowledges receipt and completeness without delay.

If the flight is operated in accordance with one of the standard scenarios, but you do not have a drone with required class label (C5 or C6), you can use a simplified application for an Operational Authorization according to a set of predefined risk assessments (S series PDRA) can be submitted.

LUC

The last option, which is absolutely exceptional in the Czech Republic, is the granting of a Light UAS Operator Certificate (LUC). The certificate is issued by the CAA to professional operators. This certificate will enable individual assessment of operational risks and subsequent self-approval of their flights in a Specific category. A prerequisite for obtaining this certificate is that the operator has sufficient operational experience in applying certain European procedures.