Hungary publishes new, stricter drone regulations

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The Hungarian airspace control agency, HungaroControl, has issued its national regulations regarding drone flights that will come into effect on January 1, 2021, national news agency MTI reports.

According to the regulations, as of January 1, only registered drones will be allowed to fly in unrestricted airspace, which usually means outside of populated areas and below the airspace used by regular aircraft. Any other flight must receive approval from the country’s military flight control at least seven days prior to takeoff, and half an hour before takeoff, the drone operator must confirm whether the flight will be performed.

HungaroControl released the test version of its air control application for drones this summer, for Android and iOS systems. Every drone’s software will also have to be updated with the drone’s unique identification number, which will be seen by all national air control operators in the European Union.

EASA, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, published the new drone regulations last summer; those were supposed to become mandatory starting in the second half of this year, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline was extended to December 31, 2020.

The Hungarian regulation is largely in line with the European one, with one notable exception: While the EASA exempts drones that comply with the EU’s toy directive and are under 250 grams (8.8 ounces), the Hungarian threshold is 120 grams. This means that only a handful of drones will be exempt, primarily the Tello (80 grams) by Chinese drone manufacturer DJI or similar models based largely on the same technology.

Most other camera drones have been tailored to stay within the generally applied 250-gram limit.

While there are no official data on the number of drones in Hungary, estimates run between 120,000 and 200,000.

Title image: DJI Tello mini drone. (source: 


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