drone rules in Portugal
height flight limit

120m max height

can't fly over crowds of people

Don't fly over crowds

plane icon white

2.5km from airports

Only line of sight

All Drone Laws in Portugal in 2020 (Ultimate Guide)

Portugal stands out as a model when it comes to drone laws. It might have foreseen a scenario when new EU laws would be drafted so they began by introducing their own laws back in 2016. In my opinion, the unique balance between public safety without curtailing the fun in drone flying has been achieved in Portugal.

Table of Contents

Can I fly my drone in Portugal?

Yes. However, here are some basics you must keep in mind. Compared to other countries, the laws governing drone flights in Portugal are quite lean yet they cover all aspects of security and safety. 

 

Who do I contact?

In Portugal, responsibility over the management of drones falls under the National Civil Aviation Authority, ANAC. You can reach them through:

Phone: (+351)212842226

Email:drones@anac.pt 

Laws around the flying of commercial and recreational drones in Portugal

Portugal regards both commercial and recreational drones into one Unmanned Aerial vehicle family. This does not mean there are no laws governing their use. The laws regarding the use of the drones here depend on weight and usage.

  • line of sight icon
    Line of sight
    All drones(commercial and recreational) should only be flown within the line of sight
  • plane icon
    No flying near airports
    Move 2.5km away from the closest airport
  • crowd icon
    Don't fly over crowds
    Your drone flights should not disrupt other people or expose others to risk
  • height icon
    Height limit of 120m
    Do not fly your drone above 120 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.
  • checkmark
    Drones must weigh less than 25kg
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    Avoid flying where there are more than 12 people concerned

How to apply for permission to fly a drone in Portugal?

If your drone has a camera capable of taking pictures or videos, you must apply for permission at the National Aeronautical Authority NAA website. To get a prompt response from the ANA abide by the contact times advertised on their website. Orders that are made outside of such timeframes will definitely be delayed. 

The online e-AAN platform helps you make a direct payment without going through what was previously a time-wasting manual submission process. 

Set up the free account and register yourself as a pilot. The website shall automatically to English should it be your language of preference.

The simplicity of the applications allows you to use Google Maps to simplify the radius of your desired point of flight. Next, submit the dates and the desired time of flight. Your submissions will undergo review by AAN who responds in a few days.

Upon familiarizing yourself with AAN and its portal, the next time will be much easier. 

If I do not want to capture photography, videos or images of anything, should I still seek permission to fly the drone?

The answer is still yes. This extends to FPV operation. Privacy in most European countries is very strict. Infringement on other persons private space or property can land you in legal trouble. 

Can I bring my drone to Portugal?

There are no existing restrictions as to why you should not bring over a drone from outside. Just ensure it’s under your ownership and it meets the requirements of the airline concerned. 

Do I need drone liability insurance to fly a drone?

No. No part of the law expressly mentions that a pilot must have insurance. 

Where can I fly my drone in Portugal?

This map provides a clear guide on where you can and cannot fly while in Portugal. Part of the no-fly zone areas is military zones, national parks and other areas of significant importance. 

If you plan on flying your drone above Government sites and historical buildings, educational centers, national parks, etcetera, seek authorization from the relevant local authorities. Examples of areas that definitely require prior consent are Belem Tower, Monsanto Prison, Terreiro do Paço, Sintra, and Alfeite Naval Base. 

National parks are run independently. To get approval for the parks, fill this form.

When complete, have it sent to rtn@icnf.pt 

If the authorities feel that your flight plan might interfere with endangered bird species, it will be rejected.

If around a seaside port, inform the authorities closeby. (We are yet to verify if this is mandatory) 

Do I need permission to fly my drone in Portugal?

As mentioned earlier you do not need a permit or license whether you intend to use your drone commercially or recreationally.

portugal drone shote stadium

What are my top drones to fly safely in Portugal?

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 Mavic Mini - The best international travel drone (under 250g)

DJI has surprised us with this incredible camera drone under 250g, which is half of the weight required for registering in the first place.

 

I have covered it much more in depth in my article review and even compared it with the DJI Spark and Mavic Air.

Advantages

DISAdvantages

2.Dji Mavic Air 2 - My favorite drone overall

mavic air 2 package fly more combo
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 it's price since it was first released.

Advantages

DISAdvantages

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

romania flying map dji

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