Coordination of unmanned aircraft flights

Coordination of unmanned aircraft flights

Since September 20, 2021, the coordination procedure for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations has been in effect, outlining the guidelines for unmanned aircraft flights within the airspace of Riga International Airport (RIGA CTR) and the traffic information zone of Liepaja International Airport (LIEPAJA TIZ).

As per this coordination procedure, unmanned aircraft flights within the confines of RIGA CTR and LIEPAJA TIZ are permitted up to an altitude of 50 meters above ground or water surface, provided that the unmanned aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of up to 2 kilograms. These flights are permissible if conducted at a distance no closer than 5 kilometers from the runway thresholds of Riga International Airport or Liepaja International Airport.

We would like to draw your attention to the conclusion of the transition period, allowing exemptions from the C-class identification labeling requirement for unmanned aircrafts in the “open” category. Starting January 1, 2024, the C-class identification labeling requirement is in effect, necessitating the manufacturer’s declaration affirming compliance with specified requirements. Detailed information regarding C-class identification labeling can be found here.

For unmanned aircraft flights within the airspace of RIGA CTR and LIEPAJA TIZ at an altitude exceeding 50 meters above ground or water surface, and within a distance of up to 5 kilometers from the runway thresholds of Riga International Airport or Liepaja International Airport, coordination with the state joint-stock company “Latvijas gaisa satiksme” is mandatory.

Coordination of Unmanned aircraft Flights within RIGA CTR Boundaries

Unmanned aircraft flights necessitate coordination with the state joint-stock company “Latvijas gaisa satiksme” when planned to take place at any altitude within a distance of up to 5 kilometers from the runway thresholds of Riga International Airport or at an altitude above 50 meters above ground or water surface within RIGA CTR boundaries.

Coordination Type A (Within RIGA CTR Boundaries)

This coordination type entails unmanned aircraft flights occurring in time intervals between manned aviation flights, following instructions from the Riga Tower air traffic controllers. Unmanned aircraft flights are executed under the supervision of the LGS unmanned aircraft coordinator, who facilitates the essential data exchange between air traffic controllers and remote pilots. The engagement of the LGS unmanned aircraft coordinator is a service subject to a fee.

Title Price, EUR
Provision of Aeronavigation Information (fixed daily fee) 18.15 EUR per day, incl. VAT
LGS unmanned aircraft coordinator On-Site Visit (on weekdays from 08:30 to 17:00) 36.30 EUR per hour, incl. VAT
LGS unmanned aircraft coordinator On-Site Visit (outside of office hours, as well as on weekends and holidays) 72.60 EUR per hour, incl. VAT
Prices are valid from 20.09.2021.

The minimum cost for the service is 54.45 EUR, VAT included (Provision of Aeronavigation Information at 18.15 EUR per day + LGS unmanned aircraft coordinator On-Site Visit during office hours – 36.30 EUR per hour).

Application Procedure and Coordination Process

  1. The UAS operator completes the coordination request “Appendix A,” signs it using an e-signature, and forwards it to the email address bgk@lgs.lv, adhering to the following deadlines:
    1. 3 days in advance if unmanned aircraft flights are scheduled during office hours (working days from 08:30 to 17:00);
    1.  10 days in advance if unmanned aircraft flights are planned outside office hours.
  2. LGS employees process the received data, make necessary clarifications, and undertake preparatory work.
  3. LGS employees inform the UAS operator about the available time slots for unmanned aircraft flights (this information is accessible one day before the planned flight date).
  4. LGS employees and the UAS operator mutually agree on the date and time for coordinating unmanned aircraft flights.
  5. Remote pilots execute unmanned aircraft flights under the supervision of the LGS unmanned aircraft coordinator, adhering to the instructions provided by Riga Tower air traffic controllers.

Failure to adhere to application deadlines results in the preparation and coordination of unmanned aircraft flights being contingent on the reported activities of other airspace users and the availability of LGS unmanned aircraft coordinators.

It is crucial to highlight that this coordination type entails conducting unmanned aircraft flights in time intervals between manned aviation flights. The preliminary flight list utilized for planning purposes becomes accessible one day in advance. Hence, this coordination method involves additional communication and the refinement of coordination times.

Coordination of Unmanned aircraft Flights within LIEPAJA TIZ Boundaries

Unmanned aircraft flights require coordination with the state joint-stock company “Latvijas gaisa satiksme” for planned activities within a distance of up to 5 kilometers from the runway thresholds of Liepaja International Airport or at an altitude exceeding 50 meters above ground or water surface within LIEPAJA TIZ boundaries.

The coordination process for unmanned aircraft flights within LIEPAJA TIZ boundaries encompasses two solutions:

  • Coordination Type A, involving unmanned aircraft flights conducted in the presence of an LGS representative;
  • Coordination Type B, allowing unmanned aircraft flights during a specified time period without the presence of an LGS representative.

Coordination Type A (Within LIEPAJA TIZ Boundaries)

Unmanned aircraft flights occur during the operational hours of Liepaja International Airport and the Liepaja Air Traffic Information Service operator. In this solutions, unmanned aircraft flights are scheduled in time intervals between manned aviation activities. The LGS unmanned aircraft coordinator oversees these flights, facilitating essential information exchange between the Liepaja Air Traffic Information Service operator and the remote pilot. The deployment of the LGS unmanned aircraft coordinator is a fee-based service.

Title Price, EUR
Provision of Aeronavigation Information (fixed daily fee) 18.15 EUR per day, incl. VAT
LGS unmanned aircraft coordinator On-Site Visit (on weekdays from 08:30 to 17:00) 36.30 EUR per hour, incl. VAT
LGS unmanned aircraft coordinator On-Site Visit (outside of office hours, as well as on weekends and holidays) 72.60 EUR per hour, incl. VAT
Prices are valid from 20.09.2021.

The minimum cost for the service is 54.45 EUR, VAT included (Provision of Aeronavigation Information at 18.15 EUR per day + LGS unmanned aircraft coordinator On-Site Visit during office hours – 36.30 EUR per hour).

Application Procedure and Coordination Process

  1. The UAS operator completes the coordination request “Appendix A,” signs it with an e-signature, and submits it to the email address bgk@lgs.lv at least 10 days in advance.
  2. LGS employees process the received data, make clarifications as necessary, and undertake preparatory work.
  3. LGS employees inform the UAS operator about available time intervals for unmanned aircraft flights, emphasizing that these flights are scheduled in coordination with manned aviation activities.
  4. LGS employees and the UAS operator agree on the date and time for coordinating unmanned aircraft flights.
  5. Remote pilots conduct unmanned aircraft flights in the presence of the LGS unmanned aircraft coordinator, following instructions received from the Liepaja Air Traffic Information Service operator.

If application deadlines are not adhered to, the preparation and coordination of unmanned aircraft flights depend on activities reported by other airspace users and the availability of LGS unmanned aircraft coordinators.

Coordination Type B (Within LIEPAJA TIZ Boundaries)

Unmanned aircraft flights take place during the closure of Liepaja International Airport. Coordination Type B involves remote pilots conducting unmanned aircraft flights during pre-agreed time intervals without the presence of an LGS unmanned aircraft coordinator. Given the variable working hours of Liepaja International Airport, Coordination Type B includes several steps to specify current working hours and prepare coordination for unmanned aircraft flights.

Application Procedure and Coordination Process

  1. The UAS operator completes the coordination request “Appendix B,” authenticates it with an e-signature, and forwards it to the email address bgk@lgs.lv at least 7 days before the scheduled flight date.
  2. LGS employees process the received data, addressing any clarifications deemed necessary, and perform preparatory tasks.
  3. LGS employees inform the UAS operator about the anticipated operational hours of the Liepaja Air Traffic Information Service operator. It’s crucial to note that, as per Coordination Type B, unmanned aircraft flights occur when the Liepaja Air Traffic Information Service operator is not actively providing services.
  4. LGS employees communicate to the UAS operator the date and time when information regarding the Liepaja Air Traffic Information Service operator’s working hours will be made available.
  5. LGS generates and dispatches confirmation via email to authorize UAS operations. The confirmation explicitly outlines the date and time interval sanctioned for UAS operations.
  6. Remote pilots execute unmanned aircraft flights, adhering strictly to the specified time interval outlined in the confirmation letter.

Failure to adhere to the application deadlines will result in the preparation and coordination of unmanned aircraft flights contingent upon activities reported by other airspace users and the availability of LGS unmanned aircraft coordinators.

UAS operations within the “open” category, featuring unmanned aircrafts weighing 2 kilograms or more, are sanctioned within RIGA CTR and LIEPAJA TIZ boundaries provided the UAS operator possesses an operational authorization or alternative authorization issued by the competent authority for conducting operations in the specific category.

Additional information on the coordination of unmanned aerial vehicle flights within RIGA CTR and LIEPAJA TIZ boundaries

bgk@lgs.lv

+371 67300961

Useful information

Additional information on UAS categories:
Open category: https://droni.caa.gov.lv/darbibas-kategorijas/atverta-kategorija/
Specific category: https://droni.caa.gov.lv/darbibas-kategorijas/specifiska-kategorija/

Current information on airspace usage restrictions

Map with airspace restrictions: https://www.airspace.lv/drones
Aeronavigation information, NOTAM: https://ais.lgs.lv/notam
Aeronavigation information publications (AIP): https://ais.lgs.lv/aiseaip

Action in case of uncontrolled flight of unmanned aircraft (lost control)

If a remote pilot loses control of the unmanned aircraft, leading to an uncontrolled flight, immediate notification to the representatives of Latvian Air Traffic (VAS “Latvijas gaisa satiksme”) must be done. This can be done via phone at +371 67300645, +371 67300642, or +371 67783761. The following essential information should be provided:

  • Total takeoff mass of the drone.
  • Flight location (last known coordinates or clearly identifiable object).
  • Flight altitude (last known altitude, specifying the reference system – above ground/water surface (AGL) or above sea level (AMSL)).
  • Flight direction.
  • Estimated remaining flight duration.
  • Maximum flight speed.
  • Maximum flight duration.
  • Theoretical maximum flight distance.
  • Maximum possible flight altitude.
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