In connection with the incident, which occurred near Warsaw Chopin Airport, when the drone flew close to the drone the CAA reminds on the regulations concerning unmanned aerial vehicles operations and a few simple rules that will allow the safe use of unmanned aerial vehicles in the airspace.
The rules for operating in VLOS conditions (Visual Line of Sight - Operations within sight of the operator) have been included in the Regulation of the Minister of Transport, Construction and Maritime Economy of 26 March 2013 on the exclusion of some provisions of the Aviation Law for certain types of aircraft and to determine the conditions and requirements for the use of those aircraft. Flights must be conducted outside the controlled zones (CTR or controlled traffic regions), aerodrome traffic zones, military airport zones and other specific zones: R (Restricted Area), D (Danger Area) and P (Prohibited Area).
Each time, air traffic control inform the police of any dangerous incidents. Please note that use of lanterns, balloons, fireworks, laser beams is possible after obtaining permission of the air traffic service provider (Polish Air Navigation Services Agency).
In accordance with applicable aviation law, it is prohibited to use the laser beams or light from other sources in airspace toward the aircraft in a manner which may cause a glare, blinding of the pilot or crew. This could because of the hazard to aircraft safety.
Criminal penalties for failure to comply with these restrictions are set out in the Act of 3 July 2002 - Aviation Law. Violations of the law may be enforced by a fine, the restriction of liberty or imprisonment for up to 5 years.
Drones in the Polish law
The principles of use of drones in the Polish airspace are set out in the Act of 3 July 2002 - Aviation Law and its implementing regulations.
Detailed rules of operations of the unmanned aerial vehicles in Poland are described in three regulations of the Minister of Transport, Construction and Maritime Economy:
• Regulation of 26 March 2013 on the exclusion of some provisions of the Aviation law act for certain types of aircraft and determine the conditions and requirements relating to the use of these aircraft (it partly determines the rules of conduct of flights);
• Regulation of 3 June 2013 on certificates of competency, which sets out the rules of licensing of drone operators;
• Regulation of 26 April 2013 on the technical and operational rules on aircraft of special category, not subject to the supervision of the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The first two regulations are currently being revised. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Development forwarded them to the inter-ministerial consultations.
The Civil Aviation Authority has been also preparing the draft regulation on the specific method and conditions of flights by unmanned aerial vehicles in the Polish airspace and procedures for cooperation of operators of these aircraft with air traffic services providers. The regulation will define the rules of flights below the line of sight of operator (the person controlling the drone). Currently flying below the line of sight, for safety reasons is only possible in a dedicated an segregated airspace for this purpose.
Drones in the European law
The issue of unmanned aircraft is currently discussed within many EU Member States. The European Commission has also noticed the need to harmonize rules in this case. In March, 2015 in Riga there were adopted a declaration on the further development of remotely piloted aircraft systems. There are ongoing process to propose amendments to EU rules, allowing their development.
Safe use of drones
In Poland, the unmanned aerial vehicles can fly only within the line of sight of the operator.
For safety reasons, flying drones in the line of sight is limited in some areas of airspace. You cannot fly eg. in the airport controlled zone unless the permission from the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency is obtained 7 days ahead.
The operator must also ensure the safe execution of the flight, so that the drone does not pose a danger to persons, property or other airspace users.
For flights at the airport traffic zones, or in radius less than 5 km from the border of airport or airfield, the permission airport or aerodrome manager is required.
The operator of the drone of the maximum take-off weight of not more than 25 kg, used exclusively for VLOS operations, planning to conduct flights in controlled zones of airports, is obliged to notify the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency at least 7 days before the planned flight.
To carry out drone flights in a manner other than leisure and sports, the operator must hold a certificate, or a document confirming that the he can safely operate such a device, aero-medical certificate and insurance. All flights related to the provision of services, such as photography, video making require a certificate of competency issued by the President of the Civil Aviation Authority after passing the state theoretical and practical exam. Currently in Poland there were issued more than 1,500 certificates of competency of operator of an unmanned aerial vehicles.
In addition, to operate in the city center of the capital city of Warsaw the consent of the Government Protection Bureau (BOR) is requires. Detailed information on this topic is available on the BOR website.
On the Civil Aviation Authority website Guidelines for obtaining the conditions of flights in sight (VLOS) unmanned aircraft in the airport control zone (CTR) are available.
Sport and recreational flying drones is safe, as long you comply to a few rules:
1.Fly in the line of sight at open space
2. Do not fly near airports
3. Do not fly over people
4. Do not fly over cities and buildings
5. Do not fly over roads