🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all law links & known rules about recreational & commercial drone use in Bulgaria (Sofia). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in The Forum. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.
Recreational vs Commercial drone use in Bulgaria
Bulgaria does not differentiate commercial & recreational drone use - see our post to differentiate recreational vs commercial drone usage. However both are subject to restrictions and code of conduct. Additionally, depending on your drone's weight and where you want to fly your drone, different rules will apply.
✅ In Bulgaria, drone regulation falls under the Bulgarian Air Traffic Authority Services (BULATSA) & the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), both can be contacted anytime via:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (BULATSA) & email@example.com (CAA)
Fax: (+359) 2 945 91 80 (BULATSA) & (+359) 2 937 10 47 (CAA)
Can I bring my drone to Bulgaria?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Bulgaria (Sofia) as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person).
🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.
Where can I fly my drone in Bulgaria?
✅ We did not find a complete one in all drone fly map of Bulgaria and its flight permitted zones, if you have any information about this, please let us know & we will update this page.
🚨 Be aware that Sofia is often subject to drone bans due to large scale events, see below a temporary fly ban zones effective until June 2018 in preparation to the Bulgarian Presidency of the European Council - more info here.
🦅 National parks & reserves are on a case by case permission & you might need to check directly with the park or reserve authorities (note they are not represented on this map).
🚨 Do not fly our drone in Sofia on Army Day (6th of May) before 12 pm & its preparation days (3rd - 5th) before 3 pm
Recreational & Commercial Drone use in Bulgaria
✅ Good things first, you will not need a license to fly your drone in Bulgaria. However, if its your first time you fly your drone in the country, you will need to register it.
We didn't find any official rules around drone use in the country, however we would always recommend you to:
mark your drone with your full contact details
fly your drone at a maximum altitude of 120 m above the ground
fly your drone during day time & always in sight.
fly away from people or large crowds & respect individuals' privacy.
fly your drone away from airports & give priority to all other categories of aircraft. If you see a plane or helicopter during your flight, land immediately your drone.
do not fly near a natural disaster or somewhere emergencies will need to intervene.
How to register my drone in Bulgaria?
✅ You only need to register your drone once, before undertaking your first flight within Bulgaria. The process happens in 3 easy steps:
Complete a letter describing your flight operations (date, time, location, person in charge, and contact details) to the attention of the Directorate General “Civil Aviation Administration” (CAA) You can contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Once approved, BULATSA will produce a NOTAM (Notice of Airmen) message & send you its response informing you about their decision
What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Bulgaria?
🚨 The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction.
Once you got everything in order, you can start flying above Bulgaria's awesome landscapes and create videos like this one:
✅ Please leave a comment or update when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in Bulgaria! Have fun and safe flight!
Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about drone rules.