This bulletin summarizes key developments in the region related to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. The increasing use of UAV across Eurasia requires the introduction of the national regulation on the use of drones in various spheres. DR Analytica is monitoring the current developments of the UAV regulations and could provide additional information on request.
Some of the regional states develop national drone industry independently, like Russia. Others participate in various International initiatives introducing UAVs. For instance, the eDrone project was launched in Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, and Moldova. Within three years, European experts will train specialists from the Eastern Partnership countries on the latest technologies of the unmanned aerial vehicles to stimulate research and production. The €1 million project is funded by the EU.
In the exclusive interview with Artem Dmitriev, senior manager at PwC Legal, who is an expert in the field of intellectual property and technology, he said that the initial regulation of drones in Russia appeared in April 2016. The first approach was to apply to the UAV the same strict regulation that is used for manned aircraft. As a result, these rules blocked the legal use of drones for both commercial and personal purposes and were soon greatly simplified.
In July 2017, the new regulations came into force. Thus, drones with the weight of more than 30 kg require registration, a certificate of airworthiness and a pilot’s certificate; drones under the weight of 30 kg require registration only. Also, a fine of about USD $43 for management of an unregistered drone was introduced.
Artem Dmitriev positively assesses the potential of drones in Russia and emphasize that the key to a successful use of UAV is in the regulation, based on a differentiated approach that will provide a balance between security, necessary restrictions, and business development.
On September 1, 2017, the law limiting the use of drones came into force in Georgia. The new regulation requires all drones with the weight above 5 kg to be registered. It prohibits the use of drones in densely populated areas and places of congestion, such as city streets or parks. The maximum allowed height for operating a drone is 400 feet (122 m). The use of drones will be forbidden within a radius of 5.5 km from airports and 50 m from buildings. The registration of drones will begin on November 1, 2017, and from January 2020 the Civil Aviation Agency of Georgia will begin to certify drones.
The spread of the UAV use in Georgia is increasing. One of the first to use drones were Georgian Rangers. Foresters began to use UAV to detect fires. In 2013-2016, the environmental NGO Nacres, together with the Agency for Protected Areas, monitored the behavior of large mammals in the Borjomi Reserve with the help of drones. Another sphere where drones are used is the commercial photography and video shooting. Small businesses quickly realized the advantages of new technology for their activity.
In May 2017, the Unmanned Aircraft Federation (UAF) was established in Belarus. The Federation advocates the commercial use of drones and demands more liberal regulation on the use of UAV. Recently we interviewed Deputy Chairman of the UAF Gleb Bondarik. Bondaric thinks that it is necessary to develop a regulation that will describe and take into account the development of UAV technologies. He suggests to clearly distinguish amateur and commercial use of drones: the amateur devices should be maximally liberalized, while the commercial use should have strict and at the same time clear regulation.
Initially, the government of Belarus planned to allow the use of drones at a frequency of 2.4 Hz with a transmission power of up to 100 mW. The State Commission on Radio Frequencies within the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus is preparing to transfer that radio frequency from the Ministry of Defense to the owners of drones. However, the definition of “drones” has not yet been established in the official documents.
The state may keep total control over the use of UAV. As it became known to the DR, several state security agencies are in favor of maintaining a tough policy, since they are concerned about the free use of drones out of the control of the officials.
Eurasian states are developing the national standards of the use of UAV. In the most cases, legislators are adopting policies similar to those adopted in the US and the EU. The expansion of drones into commercial dimension opens the window of opportunities both for drone developers and investors who are interested in doing business in Eurasia.
The recent examples from the region show how many new options for the enthusiasts of UAV exist. The National Bureau of Vine and Wine of Moldova will use a drone to monitor the vineyards. Ukraine will supply its agricultural drones to the US and Canada. Even Uzbekistan that had completely banned the use of UAV in 2014, recently announced the initiative to organize the production of drones.
Contact DR Analytica to get the access to the most prominent experts on drone regulation to develop your business interests in Eurasia.