From January, the drone (unmanned aerial vehicle) can only be flown using the mobile application of HungaroControl, according to the bill of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM). In order to increase aviation safety, the app will provide information for drone operators about airspace usage opportunities, restricted or prohibited areas.

The general EU regulations on drones came into force last summer and should have been applied from July 2020, but the deadline has been extended to the end of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The elaboration of certain detailed rules remained the responsibility of the Member States; the ITM proposal contains the elements of the new Hungarian drone regulation at the legal level. The bill creates the necessary framework for safe operation, flexible and innovative use of drones. Under the bill, the aviation authority will also register drones, unmanned aerial vehicle systems and their operators,

after which Hungarian airspace can only be used by registered vehicles.

The newly introduced restrictions of drone usage have become reasonable, since not a long time ago an investigative journalist of a Hungarian news portal committed illicit data acquisition on the property of Lőrinc Mészáros.

The police are prosecuting the unknown perpetrator for the crime of illegal data acquisition, which offence may be punishable by up to 3 years’ imprisonment under the Penal Code – reported by Media1.

According to the new regulation:

  • Using the application of HungaroControl that provides up-to-date airspace information and informs droners about restrictions will be mandatory.
  • Game drones are exempt from this requirement.
  • Greater protection for the fundamental rights to privacy and peace of home will be provided.
  • Under the proposed provisions, an unmanned aircraft may only be used in ad hoc airspace over populated areas.

As the Hungarian news portal Telex reports, the designation of an ad hoc airspace for a maximum of seven days may continue to be requested from the military aviation authority. If this process is not carried out, droning within a populated area shall be considered a traffic offence. For the sake of undisturbed family life, a person who takes a photograph of an apartment or residence without the consent of the persons concerned may be held liable for a breach of privacy.

Along with the new regulations, the concept of an uncrewed toy aircraft will be introduced, referring to a drone as an aerial vehicle lighter than 120 grams and unable to move more than 100 meters away from the operator – which will not be subject to registration.

According to Gépmax, drone regulation is also urgent because various damages can be measured at any time with these devices; they can be used for area measurement, mapping with orthophotos, plant counting, yield estimation, plant analysis. They help to determine the nutrient supply of the soil, weed control, condition assessment of inland drainage and irrigation canals, control of the operation of irrigation equipment; furthermore, they will help in nutrient and pesticide application.

Accordingly, drones will play a revolutionary role from agricultural aspect as well.

The overall benefits of drones can be measured in billions of dollars. Regulation is also important because, for example, EU air traffic could increase by 50% over the next 20 years: by 2035, the unmanned aerial vehicle industry will directly employ more than 100,000 people and generate more than € 10 billion a year in economic activity.

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