Let’s fly: rules to follow when flying a drone

Let’s fly: rules to follow when flying a drone
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, have become a part of our life. They are used for taking photos and recording videos, delivering small packages and simply for fun. Here are some rules to remember when flying a drone.

The popularity of UAVs is growing every year and so does an owners’ liability. According to recent legislative amendments, several regulations must be observed when flying a drone. First a drone must be registered, then the owner must receive a permit to use the airspace over Moscow.

Why do drones need to be registered?

Currently, UAV registration is regulated by Federal Law No 291 of 3 July, 2016 On Amending the Aviation Code of the Russian Federation”. According to amendments to Article 33, unmanned civilian vehicles weighing between 250 grams and 30 kg must be registered. This regulation came into effect on 5 July 2017, which means that all flying equipment from drones to radio controlled toy helicopters and planes must now be registered.

These strict measures were introduced because of the potential problems that UAVs can create in the local airspace. Uncontrolled drones can interfere with normal aircraft and confuse air traffic controllers. Also, not all drone pilots comply with safety regulations which can lead to serious accidents. UAV registration and further technical support will help maintain safety in the skies.

How will it happen?

Despite the Federal Law having entered into force, there is still no drone registration process at this point because a regulation on the registration process has yet to be approved. But a draft resolution has been developed and is being prepared for the Ministry of Justice and the Russian Government.

Registration will be provided by the Zashchitainfotrans federal state unitary enterprise, which is subordinate to the Ministry of Transport. To undergo the procedure, an owner must register on the single web portal of the register system operator. The drone owner will be required to submit personal data including full name, date of birth, post and email addresses, and other information. After submitting the application, the owner will receive notification of UAV registration by email. The applicant will then receive a registration mark by post, which must be attached to the vehicle. It will include a special RFID plate. This will allow the drone to be identified from up to 300 metres away.

The registration procedure will be free. Drones weighing less than 250 grams can be used without registration.

Prior to the registration regulation coming into effect, there will be no legal consequences for owners of drones or other UAVs weighing under 30 kg. They can be owned and flown, but only if the owner has a flight permit.

As for drones weighing over 30 kg, they are regulated by Federal Law No 462 of 30 December 2015, On Amending the Aviation Code of the Russian Federation Concerning the Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. This came into effect on 30 March 2016. Such drones are registered by the Federal Agency for Air Transport (Rosaviatsiya). Applications can be submitted to a territorial department of the agency in person, via a legal representative, by post or courier. The application must include a receipt for the permit fee (350 roubles) and the title documentation for the UAV. The application will be reviewed within 10 days, after which the agency will either register the drone or reject the application with justification. It is important to know that the owner of the UAV can be denied registration if he or she has previous convictions or documented drug use.

How to get a flight permit

However, registering the drone is not the end of it. Today the airspace above Moscow is closed, which means that a special permit is needed to launch a flying vehicle. A UAV owner is required to file an application with the city Department of Regional Security and Anti-Corruption Activities.

Legal entities should indicate the full name of the company, the type of business, Primary State Registration Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and the address and the full name of the head of the company. Individuals are required to submit their full name, insurance number of the individual ledger account, passport data, telephone number, and email address.

The following is required for an application: the aim of the flight, the date, time and location, altitude and duration of work, as well as the UAV model, ownership, state and registration numbers, serial number, noise specifications and the number of motors. The application must be submitted with an ID document.

The application will be sent to the General Staff, the Interregional Territorial Administration for Air Transport of Rosaviatsiya’s central regions, Federal Guard Service, Federal Security Service’s Department for Moscow and the Moscow Region, Ministry of the Interior’s Moscow Main Department, Moscow Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development, Moscow Department for Environmental Management and Protection, and the state unitary enterprise Mosgorgeotrest.

This procedure will take no more than 24 working days. A response may be received in person, by post or via legal representative.