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Bulgaria Drone Laws in 2023 (Complete Guide)

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea
height flight limit 1

400ft max height

cant fly over crowds of people 1

Don't fly over people

plane icon white 1 1

Don't interfere with aircraft

line of sight law 1

Only line of sight

As drones become more and more popular, the need for regulation is becoming increasingly apparent. In 2021, Bulgaria released a set of laws governing the use of drones. This guide will explain those laws and what they mean for drone users in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria's drone laws are divided into two categories: general regulation and specific regulation. 

The general regulation applies to all drone users, while the specific regulation applies to certain types of drones or activities such as commercial drones.

We highly recommend reading this article to the end and getting yourself familiar with the drone laws in Bulgaria to avoid any legal trouble.

Can I fly a Drone in Bulgaria?

The first question that comes into mind is whether you are legally allowed to fly a drone in Bulgaria or not. The answer is yes.

According to the Bulgarian Air Traffic Services Authority (BULATSA), you can fly a drone in Bulgaria as long as you follow the general regulation.

These rules are put together by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency as Bulgaria is one of the European Union members. Besides that, there are also some country-specific drone laws that we are going to discuss in a moment.

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What Are Some General Rules to Know Before Flying a Drone in Bulgaria?

There are different types of rules and regulations imposed by various levels of Govts in countries. If you want to fly your drone without getting into trouble then you must obey these rules. For this purpose, you will need to be aware of each law.

We have created a list of some general rules for drones in Bulgaria that are imposed by the European Union Airline Safety Agency and BULATSA.

  1. You are not allowed to fly your drone above 400ft
  2. You must keep your drone within visual line of sight at all times
  3. You are not permitted to fly your drone within a five-mile radius of airports
  4. You are not permitted to operate your drone over a group of people
  5. You are not allowed to fly your drone at night without lights and reflectors
  6. You are not allowed to fly your drone above wildlife directly or near it
  7. You are not allowed to fly your drone over military bases
  8. You must not interfere with other aircrafts
  9. You can't use your drone for hunting purposes

So those were some general rules that every drone pilot must keep in their mind. However, there are some laws specifically related to the type, weight, and size of the drone too.

Let's take a look at laws for commercial and recreational drone pilots in Bulgaria.

Do You Need a Permit to Fly Recreational Drones in Bulgaria?

Recreational pilots might be worried about permits. Do you need a permit to fly your drone in Bulgaria?

No, you don't need permits if you are flying for recreational purposes only. However, there are some limits that you need to keep in mind and you should only fly inside those limits such as not flying your drone near airports or above people, etc.

For those of you who don't fully understand the term "recreational flyer drone" we can explain it like this:

You are a recreational flyer if you are flying your drone only for fun and not for any commercial gain. So, as long as you are not making money out of your drone flights, then you are fine and don't need a permit.

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Do You Need a Permit to Fly Commercial Drones in Bulgaria?

Now, if you are planning to use your drone for commercial purposes then things are a bit different. In that case, you will need a permit from BULATSA in order to fly legally.

There is also another restriction for commercial flyers which is that they can only fly drones that weigh less than 25 kg. If your drone weighs more than that, then you will need special permission from BULATSA.

So, these were the basic permit requirements for flying drones in Bulgaria. Remember that these requirements can change at any time so it's always best to stay up to date by checking the latest drone laws on the BULATSA website.

What to Do if You Want to Fly Your Drone in Bulgaria for Different Activities?

According to our research, there are no special laws imposed by the government of Bulgaria for drone pilots. However, you will need to get permission directly from the Civil Aviation Administration (DG CAA) at the moment. 

The process is as follows:

You will need to submit a letter to the DG CAA at least 8 days before flying your drone. The example letter provided by the BULTASA can be found here

You must describe the activity, the necessary zones, and the date of the activity in the letter. Also don't forget to mention the starting and ending hours of the activity too along with a cell phone number. 

A scanned copy of the obtained permission by the DG CAA needs to be emailed to amc@bulatsa.com at least 8 days before the operation. For your information, the letter is also referred to as "Application for the use of airspace" on the official site of BULATSA.

Based upon the approval, the airspace management cell will produce a NOTAM message. This message is sent to the applicant along with other useful information about their approved flight as soon as it is published. 

for further information about drone laws in Bulgaria you might want to visit the BULATSA website

Is it legal to transport a drone on a plane in Bulgaria?

Besides flying a drone, transporting it from one place to another can also be tricky sometimes due to the rules and regulations of different airports. You might be wondering whether or not you can take your drone with you on a flight in Bulgaria. 

The answer to this is yes, you can as long as the drone is inside carry-on luggage. Apart from that, if your drone is worth more than $1000 then you can't bring it onto the plane. 

Under such conditions, you might want to use third-party shipping services such as DHL, FedEx, or UPS. They will ensure your drone reaches you safely and without getting damaged. 

Can I Take my Drone Batteries on a Plane in Bulgaria?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions by drone pilots. The answer to this question is that it depends on the type of battery you have. 

If your drone batteries are Lithium-based (LiPo) then you can take them with you on a plane as long as each battery doesn't exceed 100 Wh. If a battery is more than 100 Wh then you will need to get special permission from the airline.

As for the other type of batteries such as NiCd, NiMH, and Li-ion, there is no limit on how many you can take with you. However, it's always best to check with the airline first before packing your drone batteries.

Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.

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paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.
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