How do I know if can fly in a location?
All states are required to publish maps identifying geographical zones where all drone flights are forbidden or where you need to have a flight authorisation before starting the operation. In most of state, apps for mobile phones are available to easily identify where you can fly. Please check the website of your NAA (https://www.easa.europa.eu/domains/civil-drones/naa).
Flight authorisations are different from the operational authorisation required for the specific category. A flight authorisation is applicable to all operations in ‘open’ or ‘specific’ category and is issued by the authority/entity identified in the maps by the state. For example a state may want to restrict the flights over a natural park or a riskier area such as industrial area or over a prison etc. The state may then publish a geographical zone requiring that all drone operations conducted in these zones must have a flight authorisation issued by the authority managing the area (e.g the park authority or the owner of the industry etc..).
Other types of geographical zones are those where one or more of the limitation of the open category are alleviated. For examples area where the state may authorise all drones to operate up to a height more than 120m or with drones heavier than 25kg or in BVLOS etc., without the need for an authorisation or a declaration. This may be very useful to fly model aircraft for example.
Make sure you check the geographical zones before starting the operation and you always respect them.
Regulatory reference Article 15 of EU Regulation 2019/947