FAQ n.136915

Is it allowed for a Russian citizen to fly an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for an operator registered in the European Union? Does it matter whether they are resident in a Member State or Russia?


Russian citizens, as employees (or similar), are permitted to fly a UAS for the benefit of operators that are not subject to the sanctions. It does not matter whether those Russian citizens have a residence in the European Union or not.

However, Russian citizens are not allowed to fly Russian-registered UAS or non-Russian registered UAS that are owned or chartered(2) or otherwise controlled(2) by a Russian natural or legal person, entity or body. This means, for example, that Russian citizens cannot fly their own UAS in the European Union or use a UAS operated by an EU company or a company from a third country which is controlled by a Russian natural or legal person.

Note 1: The concept of ‘control’ is understood in the ‘economic’ or ‘financial’ sense and not in the ‘technical’ or ‘operational’ sense (cf. para 48 of Judgement of the General Court Case T-233/22).

Note 2: The EU aviation law does not define ‘aircraft charter’. Member States authorities should apply the definition of ‘charter’ in accordance with their national legislation and relevant international agreements.

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