portugal-drone-laws
height flight limit 1

120m max height

cant fly over crowds of people 1

Don't fly over crowds

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2.5km from airports

line of sight law 1

Only line of sight

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 laws back in 2016. In my opinion, the unique balance between public safety without curtailing the fun of drone flying has been achieved in Portugal.

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 pretty lean yet cover all aspects of security and safety. 

Who do I contact?

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

Phone: (+351)212842226

Email:drones@anac.pt 

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Laws around the flying of commercial and recreational drones in Portugal

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

Line of sight

All drones(commercial and recreational) should only be flown within the line of sight

No flying near airports

Move 2.5km away from the closest airport

Don't fly over crowds

Your drone flights should not disrupt other people or expose others to risk

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.

Drones must weigh less than 25kg

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 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 as 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 out 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 close by. (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.

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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 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

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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

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4k 60p

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34 min

range-icon-spec

10 km

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Follow me

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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 Portugal. 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 Portugal, 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.