By Paul Sinka
Romanian authorities have decided that drones weighting less than 150 kilos should be registered and insured before being used in Romania.
The move brings regulation to a new area, yet an increasingly popular one, as drones have started to be used more and more beyond military purposes.
The Romanian Ministry of Transport recently issued an order to regulate the use of drones in the country. The ministerial order about “ operating conditions in the national airspace of the unmanned powered civil aircrafts” appeared in The Official Journal last week. It will take effect in 30 days and will be applied until January 30, 2016.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones are known most for military purposes, but come in variety of shapes, sizes, configurations, and characteristics and are being used in a small but growing number of civilian applications, including amateur filmmaking.
According to official reasoning, until 2016, the European Union regulations cover drones bigger than 150 kilograms, while those under this weight remain subject to national regulations.
However, from now on, drones between 1 and 150 kilograms, and over, will have to be registered and insured in order to be used in Romania.
The law does not apply to drones with weight under 1 kilogram, unless they have equipment for filming and data transmission. However, they should be operated without exceeding the field of view of the person who controls it, according to the regulations.
The order does not mention any sanctions for those who do not comply with the new rules.
Critics of the new order say that the government wants to stop aerial shooting of important investments as in the past years several sections of highway under construction were filmed and posted on the internet via recording by drones.
Drones have become popular amongst amateur filmmakers, who upload their shootings on community websites like teamdronat.ro (translating “I droned you”, or in Romanian ‘te-am dronat’).
Some of the companies specialized on aerial filming also switched to drones because of the lower costs.
The biggest Romanian mobile provider is selling a quadricopter which can be controlled by smart phone or tablet and is capable of taking HD still shots and 720p HD videos at the price of EUR 369 Euro.
Eyeinthesky has been making aerial photos of Timişoara, the third biggest Romanian city, since May 2013.
It all started from the creator, Valentin’s passion for gadgets and photography and the desire to have a radio-controlled aircraft. After some research on the Internet, he found the perfect combination and bought his first drone.
A month later, when he got used to the technology and was amazed by the results, the 34-year-old started the Eye in the Sky project on a dedicated website.
“Overall, a law on UAVs is welcome, as they have become and continue to become more affordable and more efficient, and those piloting them should be somehow forced to be more responsible, because they could represent a danger to persons, animals or property” he told Romania-Insider.com.
His videos have become popular of Facebook and were featured in several local publications.
“I’m interested in the first place in how easy it will be for me, as the citizen with an “eye in the sky” to submit a request, what is the maximum area and allocation period, because I don’t want to submit such requests every day or week” he said.