Dronesgator logo

All Drone Laws in Iceland in 2023 (Ultimate Guide)

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea
iceland-drone-laws.jpg
height flight limit 1

120m max height

cant fly over crowds of people 1

Don't fly over crowds

plane icon white 1 1

Don't fly near airports

image 33

Don't fly over Reykjavik

Iceland is a country of breathtaking scenery and music fits. The place offers exclusive scenery for photography. The collection of glaciers and stunning waterfalls is endless as you fly about the open landscapes with hardly anyone in sight. 

This article is a collection of deep research on where to fly, where not to fly, what to do, how to do it, and so forth. I hope you find it helpful

Are drones legal in Iceland?

The answer to this is yes -whether you are a local or a foreigner. It would be unfair to rob the best photographers of an opportunity to get a piece of the beautiful Iceland landscapes. 

Who do I contact?

For any queries or clarification on drone rules and regulations in Iceland, the body concerned is the Icelandic Transport Authority.

image 36

What are the drone laws in Iceland?

Island took more of an open-arms approach when it came to drone flying. The liberal approach has attracted drone pilots from far and wide, even nurturing a budding drone industry. Just as with everything that goes unchecked, cases of unfortunate incidents such as drones flying into airports or sensitive government areas have been reported.

In 2016, the public raised concerns over the unregulated state of the drone industry in Iceland. Their concerns centered on the high number of pilots and the minimal level of experience. Here are the reviewed drone laws as of 2018

  • Avoid hospitals and airports
  • Don't fly over Reykjavik
  • The airport is in close proximity
  • Don't fly over crowds
  • Don't fly over and close to someone’s property
  • Height limit of 120m: Do not fly your drone above 150 meters. Fly within the airport control zone but maintain a 3 Km distance away from the runways. 

The maximum distance of flight is 50 meters. Do not fly your drone above a crowd of people. Always maintain a 50-meter gap.

  • Drones should be marked with numbers and contact information.
  • Avoid government facilities; NO access for drones close to sensitive government facilities or military installations
  • No night flying; Restrict your drone flight to daylight hours

How can I register my drone in Iceland?

Only drones intended for commercial use need to undergo registration. Registering a drone is simple and absolutely free. You can do it here. Once you register your drone, you will be given a confirmation number. It’s worth noting that a recreational drone weighing above 25 Kg needs express authorization from the Transport Authority before the first use.

Can I fly a drone in Iceland without having it registered?

Yes. But this is limited to drones used only for recreational purposes. You can also fly drones above water with the same regulation.

What happens if my drone isn’t licensed?

If you are a commercial drone user and your drone is not licensed you can get yourself into trouble. Now, why would you want to do that?

Can I travel with my drone to Iceland by Airplane?

Many people ask this question, the answer is yes. However, not every airline has the same policy when it comes to drone travel. Before you book your flight ticket, run a search of the flight policy, regulations, and rules guarding the airline concerned. If you happen to fly with Delta, the rules are quite vague, others like American airlines have a crystal clear policy.

American airlines give their passengers leeway to transport their drones provided they do not package anything above 160-watt hours.  In several cases, you are mandated to eject the batteries and store them in a different compartment. 

The argument or rationale behind this is to contain the worst in the vent of a fire. Lithium-ion batteries do create a stubborn fire, a fact most airlines would rather take preventive measures over. 

What are the restricted areas for flying drones in Iceland?

Drones are prohibited from National Parks and popular tourist attractions. If you happen to approach a site that features a yellow sign with the picture of a drone and a red line running across it, this indicates a no-fly zone.  

What are the best locations for drone photography in Iceland?

Recreational drone use in Iceland

The global drop in prices for recreational drones has seen more people purchase them

The wealth of natural attractions, open spaces, and exclusive attractions make Iceland an incredible tourist attraction. 

The place draws in the best photographers and filmmakers from far and wide. In 2016, recreational drones were banned in the national parks as part of regulations aimed at protecting wildlife by preserving the peace and calm of their natural habitats. 

image 24

What are my top drones to fly safely in Iceland?

My following two recommendations are 2 great compact drones that are quite silent and also small enough to travel with and not stand out as annoying.

1. DJI Mini 2- The best international travel drone (under 250g)

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

31 min

range-icon-spec

10 km

drone-icon-spec

No follow-me

image 25

DJI has surprised us with this incredible camera drone under 250g, which is legal to fly in most countries without registration.

It comes at a very cheap price for its incredible specs.I have covered it much more in-depth in my article review and even compared it with the Mavic Air 2.

2. DJI Mavic Air 2 - My favorite drone overall

camera-icon-spec

4k 60p

battery-icon-spec

34 min

range-icon-spec

10 km

drone-icon-spec

Follow me

image 26

If you want more control over things like shutter speed, iso, and such, the best professional drone that still falls under the 500g category is the DJI Mavic Air.

It's made mostly for people who want to play around with settings and enter into the pro category.

DJI lowered its price since it was first released.

Restricted Areas and Geofencing (Drone Flying map)

The best way to figure out what areas you can fly in, while you're here is by consulting DJI's official map.

They do a great job mapping the places that one should avoid while flying in every country:

  • airports
  • military bases
  • prisons
  • power plants
  • any high-risk areas

These would be the current updated drone laws for Iceland I suggest checking my full map with all the countries' drone laws to see where it's best to travel.

Conclusion 

If you are going to visit Iceland, make sure you’ve learned all the dos and don’ts of flying drones in this region. This will help you have a safe journey and enjoy flying your drone without getting yourself into trouble.

Also, keep in mind that, commercial and recreational drones are treated differently in most countries therefore you will need to prepare yourself accordingly. Last but not least, always follow rules and regulations and make sure to respect the laws of every country.

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.
paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.

Get a FREE Beginner Drone  Checklist

drone-preflight-checklist-free-graphic.png
This checklist is made so you can always make sure you bring the things and do what's important before you fly. 
LET'S GO!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram