Romania is a beautiful country to visit and fly drones, with impressive landscapes and places for unique aerial shots, such as Transalpina, Transfagarasan, Cheile Bicazului, and more.
Or maybe you want to capture some aerial shots of Dracula Castle? It’s doable here!
Like in any other country, there are drone laws in Romania, and in this case, they are enforced by the RCAA. EASA also implements drone laws at the European level.
Romania has adopted its requirements, restriction zones, and registration process under EASA.
For this reason, drone registration can be confusing. We’re here to help.
Summary of drone laws in Romania
Drones are allowed in Romania for both personal and commercial use.
However, depending on your flight category, you must have the required certificates plus registration to fly a drone.
Here is an overview of Romania’s drone laws.
- Drones can fly in Romania under EASA drone laws (European Union Aviation Safety Agency).
- Romanian CAA supervises and implements drone restrictions in Romania.
- Drones must be registered in Romania only if the drone needs a certificate of airworthiness or restricted certificate issued by RCAA, solely if the risk of the operation requires it. According to EASA, drones in the Open category do not need to be registered.
- You must register as a drone operator in Romania to fly a drone. The drone Operator ID will be applicable in all EASA member states.
- You must display a label with your Operator ID on any drone you fly.
- If required, you must undertake the competency A1/A3 exam and, optionally, if needed, A2. The Certificate A1/A3 will be mandatory for drones above 250 grams and will be available for 5 years.; for drones under 250 grams, you only need to register as a drone operator.
- You must fly your drone under a maximum height of 120 meters (400 feet).
- You must always fly with your drone in your visual line of sight.
- Always check if you’re allowed to fly your drone in your area with UAS geographical zones and/or if you need further approval to fly your drone.
- You cannot fly your drone over densely populated areas without special permission from the RCAA.
- Don’t fly above uninvolved people; keep a safe distance from others.
- You may need approval from the Ministry of National Defense for aerial filming/photography activities or photogrammetry and from the entity if you want to fly in the Open category ONLY in some restricted airspace, where the entity is the responsible party (e.g., control tower).
- In the Open category, the drone must have a mass of less than 25 kilograms at takeoff.
- Don’t use your drone for any kind of dangerous transportation.
Where can I fly my drone in Romania?
Drone flight is allowed across the country. However, some areas have restrictions, from airports to prisons, but most are from military exercise sites.
Since the war with Ukraine, Romania has often conducted military training, including aerial flights. In our case, as drone operators, all these areas are restricted.
These restrictions can be as long as hundreds of miles across the west to the east part of the country. However, they are temporary.
That’s why the best approach is to use the UAS Geographical Zones map for drones, a unique mapping program in Romania (part of the EASA identical mapping program) that will show all restricted areas where you cannot fly a drone, where the restrictions end, appropriate parties to apply for authorization.
Using UAS Geographical Zones (map)
Here is the link to the UAS Geographical Zones map for Romania. You should save this link on your computer and mobile phone if you plan to fly your drone in the country.
As a note, DJI follows the same geolocation restrictions in Romania, but it is best always to check the UAS Geographical Zones.
On the right corner of the map, you will find the overlay with two zones: Current restrictions issued by NOTAM (orange) and Restricted zones for UAS (purple).
The yellow zones are active restrictions in place by NOTAM across the country, where you cannot fly any drone without approval. However, in some areas, you may be able to.
To find out more about the area, just click on the orange restricted zone, and you will find all the contact information required for permission.
The purple zones are restricted for UAS, but most are inactive restrictions that could be activated at any time, usually for military exercises.
Clicking on any purple area, you will find all the information required if the zone is restricted, including phone numbers, email addresses, and the code for the area if you will be required to apply for permission to fly a drone there.
The Romania map looks heavy with restrictions (if you enable both layers), but most are inactive, and as far as we know, you can freely fly a drone without approval.
Moreover, if you are unsure, email or phone the required party and request information if the area you want to fly the drone is restricted.
Sometimes, DJI may restrict you from taking off with your drone. If this happens in an unrestricted area or you have the required approvals to fly a drone there, you must unlock your DJI geo-restricted area.
What is EASA, and how does this affect drone laws in Romania?
From this point, every country may have developed restrictions in place and have its registration process for EASA Operator ID and A1/A3 + A2 certificates, but the general drone laws are widely shared.
Be aware that EASA does not issue A1/A3 and A2 certificates nor Operator IDs. This falls on the state member where you want to take the competency certificate and register.
If you register for an Operator ID in any European country under EASA laws (including Romania), it will be available and active across all states.
The same goes for having an A1/A3 and A2 certificate of competency. If you take them in Romania, you can fly your drone under any EASA state member.
» MORE: Can You Bring a Drone to Europe?
Drone laws in Romania, in detail
- Controversially, from what some drone bloggers say, you do not need permission from the Ministry of National Defense to film or photograph with a drone. This applies only to some restricted airspace.
- In exchange, if you want to do photogrammetry, you may need to apply for authorization in many areas with possible restrictions, even if you can fly the drone there.
- Romanian CAA supervises and implements drone regulations in Romania, but EASA creates, changes, updates, and implements drone laws across all European state members and four more.
- If you want to fly a drone in Romania, the minimum you must do is register as a drone operator and get your Operator ID (it’s free). You can fly only with drones under 250 grams, classified under the C0 & A1 category and subcategory.
- If you want to fly your drone in the Open category above 250 grams but below 25 kilograms, you must get the A1/A3 certificate of competency and A2 if required. (source)
- The certificates of competency and Operator ID can be acquired even in other countries and used in Romania, according to EASA, and the ones obtained in Romania can be used across EASA countries (source 1, source 2).
- Always keep your drone in your visual line of sight. You can also use an observer or more and directly communicate with them to keep the drone in a visual line of sight, especially if you are flying FPV drones.
- Indeed, if you fly FPV, by law, you must have a spotter – which keeps the drone in the VLOS and communicates with you.
- Always fly under 120 meters. This is the maximum altitude at which you can fly your drone without special permission from RCAA. Above that threshold, you will enter the national airspace where planes usually fly. However, you can fly above 120 meters if you are closer than 50 meters to a taller object (e.g., tower, cliff, etc.) and don’t go more than 15 meters up from the top. (source)
- Flying a drone over densely populated areas and groups or assembly of people is forbidden even for drones under the C0 category. You will need special permission from the RCAA to do that.
- Flying a drone over or close to uninvolved people will depend on the category of your drone (see below subcategories section). In detail, on the CE Class Mark 2 and subcategory A2, you have to follow the 1:1 rule. If you fly at an X height (e.g., 50 meters), you should keep the distance from uninvolved people at the same distance as Y (same 50 meters) but a minimum distance of 30 meters. For an 80-meter height flight, keep a distance of 80 meters from people. (source)
- You must display a label with your Operator ID on any drones you fly. It’s the same ID you got when registering as a drone operator. The same code and label can go across a dozen drones, even custom FPV builds. (source)
- Across the EASA website, there is often a mention of remote identification (Remote ID), including on Romanian CAA. Still, there are no laws and regulations in place requiring a pilot to have a Remote ID device or setup.
- You don’t need to register a drone in Romania, but I highly recommend doing so. It is not mandatory for the Open category, but it takes two minutes and costs nothing. (source)
- The minimum age for remote pilots of drones in Open and Specific categories is 16 years old.
What are drone classes and subcategories in Romania?
- C0 – The weight of the drone is under 250 grams.
- C1 – Your drone weighs up to 900 grams.
- C2 – This class covers drones weighing up to 4 kilograms.
- C3 – Drone weights up to 25 kilograms.
- C4 – Same as C3, the drone will weigh up to 25 kilograms.
A1 – The A1 subcategory covers drones from the C0 and C1 categories and custom-built drones. Drones from the A1 category are usually lightweight drones with few restrictions if you want to fly close to or above uninvolved people.
A2 – This subcategory covers drones from the C2 category. The drones from the A2 category may require you to keep a minimum distance of 50 meters from uninvolved people (and 30 meters for the C2 subcategory). (source)
A3 – This covers drones from C3 and C4 categories. Within the A3 subcategory are drones under 25 kilograms. You should keep a minimum distance of 150 meters from industrial, residential, or commercial areas.
Note: Drones that are covered under A1 or A2 subcategories can be used under the A3 subcategory.
Check the following external source if you want to know more about which subcategory you can fly under in the Open category.
How to get an Operator ID number in Romania
Important Notes: To register as a drone operator in Romania, you must have a Romanian ID and address for the application form. Alternatively, you can use any other country to register as a drone operator, which is available in Romania under EASA laws and regulations.
In this article, we explained in depth the best way to register as an operator and obtain a competency A1/A3 certificate with EASA.
To register as a drone operator in Romania, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Enter the Romania CAA website at www.caa.ro.
- Step 2: If required, click on the top right side English flag (language). Otherwise, the website will be in Romanian.
- Step 3: Scroll down and click on Professionalism: Drone Applications.
- Step 4: Click the Register button near the login credentials.
- Step 5: Verify your email address.
- Step 6: Refresh the above page. You should be automatically signed in to your account. If not, go back to step 4 and insert your credentials.
- Step 7 (optional): Click Administrare Cont and Personal Info to see if your language is set to English. The website is not optimized correctly and will be a mixture of English and Romanian.
- Step 8: Following the process, click on the highlighted box (“Completeaza toate datele din profile…”). The process from this point is in Romanian, and you cannot change the language to English entirely.
- Step 9: Complete the personal data.
How to get A1/A3 certificates on CAA Romania
Once you have registered as a drone operator in Romania, on the main page, you should see the A1/A3 and A2 options to take an exam and also documentation on the right side.
During the A1/A3 exam on Romanian CAA, you have 40 questions and must respond correctly to a minimum of 30 questions (75 percent pass mark).
Honestly, the didactic way we learn about drone laws and regulations in Romania is insufficient for the exam.
The questions on the A1/A3 certificate differ from what we are taught. Most information you can find on the EASA website.
» MORE: Can You Fly a Drone in Rome?
Can you fly FPV drones in Romania?
Yes, you can fly FPV drones in Romania, and you should follow the same EASA laws and regulations imposed by the Romanian CAA as with standard drones.
The only difference is that with FPV drones, you cannot see the drone because you will have goggles on your head.
For this reason, you must have an observer with you.
An observer keeps the drone in their visual sight while you fly it with the headset and communicates with you.
Also, be aware of the lack of safety features in an FPV drone and how you fly it. The authorities will quickly question you if they’ll see a chaotic FPV drone flight.
Can you travel to Romania with a drone?
Yes, you can travel to Romania from other countries with a drone by plane, car, or cruise ship.
To board a drone on a plane will depend mostly on the country where you board from and the airline you fly with.
Most companies will allow you to bring a drone in a plane. However, you should:
- Remove the battery from the drone, take it with you in a carry-on bag, and place it in the compartment in the plane above your head. Never put a drone battery in the cargo hold luggage area because that zone is uncontrolled by atmospheric pressure and temperature. This includes your drone remote controller.
- Ensure you check with your airline the maximum wattage of LiPo batteries you can take. Generally, even with three drone batteries, you should be fine.
- Have your EASA drone operator certificate and the certificate of competency, if required, for your drone.
I have personally flown from and to Romania with different airlines from multiple countries and different drones without any issues or questions asked.
Here are the contact details of EASA and the Romanian Civil Aeronautical Authority if you need more questions or have an issue.
- EASA Official Website – Link Here
- EASA Drone Section – Link Here
- Contact Details: Follow this Link (already in the Drone section) and scroll down. You need to fill out the form.
- General EASA contact details: This can be found here.
- Romanian CAA official website – Link Here
- Phone number: +184.108.40.206.08
- Fax: +40 21 208 15 72
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address: Sos. Bucuresti-Ploiesti, Nr. 38-40, sector 1, Bucuresti, România. Postal Code: 013695
- More contact information: Can be found here