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Drone Laws in Portugal

Drone regulations and links for people flying drones in Portugal.

drone laws in PortugalPortugal Drone Regulations

According to Portugal’s national aviation authority, the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC), flying a drone is legal in Portugal, but we recommend being aware of and compliant with the drone regulations listed below before doing so.

If you’d like to contact ANAC directly before you travel with any questions you might have, here is their contact information: drones@anac.pt / +351 212 842 226

flying a drone in Portugal

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

General Rules for Flying a Drone Within the European Union

Portugal 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, Portugal 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 Portugal

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

  • Drone insurance is not mandatory, but ANAC recommends that civil liability insurance be contracted to cover any damage that may result from the use of remotely piloted aircraft.
  • Drones may not be used to capture images or video without permission from the National Aeronautical Authority.
  • Drone pilots must maintain a visual line of sight with their drones at all times while flying.
  • When flying a drone, manned aircraft always have the priority and the right of way.
  • Toy drones (i.e. drones that weigh less than 0.25 kg) must not be flown over people nor higher than 30 meters.
  • Drones, regardless of weight, must not be flown over concentrations of persons in the open air, with more than 12 persons considered as such.
  • To fly a drone weighing more than 25 kilograms (55 pounds), at night, or beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), special permission must be obtained from ANAC.

No Drone Zones

Drones are prohibited, banned, or conditioned in the following regions:

  • Drones are prohibited in open air concentrations, in the specific operational protection areas of airports and aerodromes, and in facilities where sovereign bodies, embassies and consular representations, military installations, security services, police and civil protection missions, prisons and educational centers of the General Rehabilitation and Prison Services Directorate.
  • Drones are banned or conditioned in most national parks. To fly over a protected national park, you must complete this form (Portuguese/English) and send it to the ICNF, IP, to the following e-mail address: rtn@icnf.pt

For more information on Portugal’s drone laws, see this informational webpage on drones created by the Portuguese government.

Know something we don’t about drone laws in Portugal? Send us an email at support[at]uavcoach[dot]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 Portugal can change throughout the year, and those changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.

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