🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all law links and known rules about recreational and commercial drone use in Latvia (Riga). 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 Latvia
Latvia does not seem to differentiate commercial & recreational drone uses. However, both are subject to restrictions & a strict code of conduct. Additionally, depending on your drone's weight & your destination within the country, different rules will apply.
✅ In Latvia, drone laws falls under the Latvian Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA), & they can be contacted anytime via:
Phone: (+371) 67 830 936
🤔 Interesting fact, your drone should be equipped of a self-destruction mode in case the pilot looses control.
Can I travel to Latvia with my drone?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Latvia 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 Latvia?
✅ Latvia built an online map to allow you see the no fly zones of the country. You can find it here anytime, please note that it is regularly updated as new amendments come in to protect more spaces and infrastructure in Latvia (see below).
Latvia drone fly map
🚨 You should not fly above or within 500 m of military installations, warships, prisons & other strategic infrastructure. Fly away from airports & any aerodromes or airports in the country
🦅 National parks, reserves & forests are on a case by case permission & you will need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities. 🌲 This is a condition for your registration and flight approvals if you intend to fly there.
🗻 Fly away from the country's meteorological & hydrological observation stations or posts & around other official State fixed monitoring points & posts.
🤑 Do not fly near the Bank of Latvia without a pre-coordinated approval with them.
Recreational & Commercial Drone use in Latvia
✅ Good things first, you will not need to register your drone in Latvia to be able to fly it. If your drone weights less than 1.5 kg, you will not need an insurance either (but you remain responsible of your activities so it is advisable to always have one).
✅ To be eligible, you need to be at least 18 years old if you intend to fly a drone that weights more than 500 g higher than 50 m in the sky. If you're younger, you will need an adult near you when operating your drone.
🚨 For all other uses/drones, you will need to register & obtain a permission prior flying your drone in Sri Lanka. There are also strict rules depending on your flight zones and a code of conduct to follow for all operators.
Additionally, you must fly:
a drone that is marked with your personal contact details & you as a pilot while flying (e.g. a hat or a t-shirt with a drone emoji on it).
at a maximum altitude of 120 m above the ground, during daytime & always in sight or 500 m away from you, which ever occurs first.
fly a drone that weights less than 20 kg
a drone that does not have metallic propellers or any sharp edges (this is very logic, yet the first country to mention it in its drone regulations).
fly 50 m away from private property, vehicles in movement, roadways, railways, people or large crowds & respect individuals' privacy. *If your drone weights less than 250 g, then this does not apply.
without being under the influence of any drugs & alcohol
at least 10 km away from airports (any airport, seaplane base or area where aircraft or helicopter take off & land) & give way to all other type of aircraft.
without carrying or dropping anything from your drone while flying.
away from areas where its use could interfere with police or first responders.
🚨 If your drone weights more than 1.5 kg, an insurance is compulsory. note that there are many small restrictions based on your drone's weight & the areas you will fly, so lease check the full law article in the source, at the bottom at this page.
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What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Latvia?
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 and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such.
Once you've got everything in order, you can start flying above Latvia's awesome landscapes and create videos like this one:
✅ Please leave a comment or update the Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in the Latvia! 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 local drone regulations.
Regulation n°737 (UAV in Latvia)