As the clock ticked over into 2021, Hungary also saw brand-new drone regulations come into practice, requiring registration and testing. Those flying drones without a camera that weigh under 120 grams won’t be affected by the new regulations.
Who has to register?
Anyone flying a drone over 120 grams or with a camera must become a registered pilot and register the drone. There are three registration categories: open, specific, and certified based on how heavy the drone is and how it will be used.
Flying a drone that weighs less than 120 grams with no camera is considered a toy and doesn’t have to be registered. Under the toy classification, you can’t fly a drone more than 100 meters away.
To become a registered pilot, you must complete a training course and take an exam. The country hasn’t regulated the testing and exams currently. Those who have gotten a pilot’s certificate before 2021 will be required to retake the training and exam under the new regulations.
If you want to fly in a restricted area, you will be required to get a permit from the Ministry of Defence, which must be done at least 20 days before the flight takes place. The process is free and doesn’t require anything other than special licenses to do. It is recommended that you submit the flight request at least 45 to 60 days before.
All drone pilots will be required to use a government-created app to check for no-fly zones and any other airspace warnings active on the day of a flight. This is similar to how the FAA and Australia’s CASA have partnered with companies to develop drone safety apps.
If you are caught breaking any of the new drone rules, you can expect a fine of up to HUF 100 million (USD $339,000). The penalty price will be decided based on several factors, including the amount of danger caused by the unlawful operation. If you are caught filming or capturing sound from someone’s property, you will face a 60-day confinement sentence, with repeat offenders getting up to one year in prison.
From the rules and the large fines, it appears Hungary wants to really get a handle on all of the drone pilots and operations in the country. The fines seem like they will ensure all pilots stay within the rules. It will be interesting to see how certain drone operations are affected by these new laws.
Photo: Jason Blackeye