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Drone Laws in Austria

Drone regulations and links for people flying drones in Austria.

drone laws in AustriaAustria Drone Regulations

According to Austria’s national aviation authority, Austro Control, flying a drone is legal in Austria, but we recommend being aware of and compliant with the drone regulations listed below before doing so.

If you’d like to contact Austro Control directly before you travel with any questions you might have, here is their contact information: ulfz@austrocontrol.at / +43 (0) 51703 7111

flying a drone in Austria

Why fly a drone in Austria? To get great aerial shots like these!

General Rules for Flying a Drone Within the European Union

Austria is a part of the European Union and therefore must abide by the drone regulations put in place by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). In addition to these regulations, Austria also has regulations that are country-specific.

Based on our research and interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone within the European Union.

There are three operational categories that determine drone regulations based on the weight of the drone and the intended operation. This section will only cover the Open Category, to see all European Union laws and categories, click here.

A drone can be operated in the “Open “category if:

  • The drone has one of the class identification labels 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4.
  • The drone was purchased before 1 January 2023, with no class identification label as above.
  • The drone has a maximum take-off mass of less than 25 kg (55 lbs).
  • The remote pilot keeps the drone at a safe distance away from people.
  • The drone will not be operated directly over people unless it has a class identification label or is lighter than 250 g (0.55 lbs). (Please refer to subcategories of operations: A1, A2, and A3 to find out where you can fly with your drone).
  • The remote pilot will maintain a visual line of sight (VLOS) or the remote pilot will be assisted by a UA observer.
  • The remote pilot will not operate the drone above 120m (400ft).
  • The drone will not carry any dangerous goods and will not drop any material.

General Rules for Flying a Drone in Austria

Based on our research and interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Austria.

  • Drone pilots must be 16 years of age or older.
  • Liability insurance is mandatory for all drone operators.
  • No flying in “the immediate vicinity of airports” without special permission.
  • Only Austro Control may grant an aviation permit to a pilot.
  • Even after the operating license has been granted, specific aviation-related authorizations in accordance with the 2014 Air Traffic Rules may be required for certain areas.

For more information on Austria’s drone laws, see §§ 24c to 24l of Austria’s Aviation Act.

Know something we don’t about drone laws in Austria? Send us an email at support@uavcoach.com. We are not international aviation attorneys and do our best to keep this page up-to-date for drone pilots, but the reality is that given the pace of the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) industry and how governments are responding, drone regulations in Austria can change throughout the year, and those changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.

Permit Requirements in Austria

Note: Austria classifies drones by joules of kinetic energy, which is a measurement that includes both weight and speed. So long as you follow the requirements detailed in the bullets below you should be fine, but if you’d like to learn more about the rules you can read about them in this article.

Here are the permit requirements for flying a drone in Austria:

  • A permit is not required to fly a toy drone. A toy drone in Austria is defined as “up to 79 joules kinetic energy, which corresponds to a weight of approximately .55 lbs (250 grams), at an operating height of 98 feet (30 meters).”
  • A permit from Austro Control is required “if 79 joules are exceeded or if the drone is flown above 98 feet (30 meters).”
  • A permit from Austro Control is required to fly a drone for commercial purposes.
  • A permit from Austro Control is required to take photos or record video with your drone regardless of operating mass and even if the photos/footage are for private use.

The application form to submit to Austro Control for a permit can be found here. When applying for a permit, you must determine the applicable airworthiness and serviceability requirements for your drone using the table in Figure 1 of this document.  The requirements will depend on the location you wish to operate in and the operating mass of your drone. Applications can be submitted at ulfz@austrocontrol.at. The cost of a permit for one year is about $392 U.S. (330 Euros).

Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in Austria? Here you go: