Drone regulations in Austria

Flying drones in Austria

In this article, we explain the legal situation for the use of drones in Austria.

Since 2014, very strict rules for the operation of unmanned flight systems apply in Austria. Before you take your drone into the country, you should determine which category it belongs to. The weight and the desired altitude are important.

Overview: Drone rules in Austria

Recreational use of drones allowed? Yes, after registration or approval
Commercial use of drones permitted? Yes, after registration or approval
Maximum Altitude:150 Meter (492,1 Foot) in uncontrolled airspace.
Is drone insurance mandatory? Yes, for private and commercial drone flights. Learn more about drone insurance here.
Does the drone need a badge?No.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? Yes.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people
Contact information

Austro Control

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: +4351703 7111

Resources:Austro Control

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The drone categories

In Austria, drones are divided into:

  • toy
  • flight model
  • unmanned aircraft class 1
  • unmanned aircraft class 2

Most relevant to most of our readers are the “toy” and “Unmanned Class 1 Aircraft” categories.

Category “toy”

This category is about the kinetic energy of the device on impact. It must not exceed 79 joules. In addition, the device may reach an altitude of 30 meters maximum. This means that drones with a weight of 250 grams are considered toys if the maximum altitude is maintained and no people or things are endangered. Heavier drones could also be included in this category if the maximum altitude is reduced accordingly. No approval is required for this category, even if the drone is equipped with a camera.

Class 1 unmanned aircraft

Only flights with a direct line of sight to the drone (without technical aids) fall into this category. The decisive characteristic is that the flight is carried out commercially or not exclusively for the purpose of the flight itself. This is the case if you use your drone to capture photos or film (whether private or commercial). Pure streaming or FPV flights are not subject to authorization unless the recordings are saved.

Drones in this category require approval from Austro Control (exception is the toy category already mentioned). Austro Control differentiates between different categories depending on the location and weight:

Operating mass\AreaUninhabitedPopulatedDensely populated
up to and including 5 kgACC
over 5, up to and including 25 kgCCD
over 25, up to and including 150 kg CDD

Operating licenses for quadrocopters are only available for Category A, so the majority of drone pilots are only allowed to fly in undeveloped and uninhabited areas where there are no bystanders. For populated / densely populated areas, hexacopters or octocopters with corresponding redundancies are required.

The application

One thing in advance: the approval costs a lot. At the moment it is around 330 euros for a year.

The application includes:

  • the completed application form (in German)
  • confirmation of a drone insurance (minimum coverage 750,000 special drawing rights = about 1 million euros)
  • a copy of the photo IDs of the applicant and the pilot(s) (minimum age 16 years)

These documents should be sent to [email protected].

According to the experience of several applicants, the approval will be issued within a few working days.

Further regulations

The drone must always be flown within line sight, which means, either the pilot must be able to see his device with the naked eye or, during a FPV flight, a second person must be present who can intervene in an emergency.

Anyone who flies illegally without approval faces a fine of up to 22,000 euros.

Radio transmission is possible on the frequencies 2.5 GHz with a maximum of 10 mW and 5.8 GHz with a maximum of 25 mW.

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Austria to the best of our knowledge. We can not guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, please contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Austria!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!

Discussions

  • A. Twyers | 23.01.2018

    There is a quite common misunderstanding of Austrian drone regulations. Nowhere in these regulations the mass of 250 g has been mentioned. A drone is considered to be a toy (and as such not an interest of the Austro Control) as long as it flies below 30 m AND its impact energy does not exceeds 79 J.
    So, 250 grams falling down from height of 30 m reaches the energy of 79 J (now we know where this 250 comes from). But for instance the maximum energy of a 400 g drone operating below 20 m also is 79 J, and such a drone is treated as a toy according to the Austrian regulations.

    • silvia | 26.01.2018

      hi A. Twyers, where could i find the exact sentence of the law in German which implies that ” 400 g drone operating below 20 m also is 79 J”. so it means that i can put a camera on a 400 gr drone and film from as low as 10 meters?

      • Justin | 29.11.2018

        I am not sure the exact wording of the law in German but the Austrian Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie has put out a German pamphlet explaining the law. You can find it at https://infothek.bmvit.gv.at/assets/uploads/2015/10/Flugblatt-Drohnen_20150921_v3.pdf

      • Justin | 29.11.2018

        The German wording of the law can be found at https://www.jusline.at/gesetz/lfg/paragraf/24d

        Google translates the German as follows:

        Insofar as unmanned devices with a maximum kinetic energy below or equal to 79 joules, which can be used independently on the fly, are not operated more than 30 meters above ground, care must be taken to ensure that no persons or property are endangered by the operation. Apart from this, these devices do not fall within the scope of this Federal Law.

    • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

      Hi,
      Yes, you’re right. My formulation is a bit misleading. I will explain the 79 Joule rule in more depth here in the near future.

  • Bryony | 02.04.2018

    Does anyone know what the consequences are if found without a license?

    • Francis Markert | 02.07.2018

      In Austria, penalties of up to 22,000 euros are possible.

  • michel | 20.06.2018

    Here you can find more about the 250 grams, i going to take my spark or Mavic Air to Austria next winter.

    Just to shoot some pictures on the mountain, whne there is nobody around. First this summer to Lake Garda, and the Italians are so relaxed about this, did it last year, had no problems.

    • Giulio | 22.11.2018

      Hi micheal. I will also be in Austria, in Seefeld, from December 23rd to 30th with my Mavic 2 Pro. I hope to shoot good videos. I am informing about the Austrian drone laws to avoid problems.

  • Wally Gargett | 17.07.2018

    I am going on a bus trip from the UK to Austria.
    I would like to take my Mavic Pro with me to take some holiday snaps in open spaces. I am a hobbyist pilot. Registered with Drone Safe and Insured. Is there any rules I should know before taking my drone?

  • Jon Garratt | 02.08.2018

    I have a Mavic Air, Can anyone tell me if you are likely to get stopped at the airport in Austria for carrying the drone. I was thinking of taking it and only using it in wide open and unpopulated areas but wouldn’t want to risk having issues at the airport for even having one in my luggage. Thanks

    • Emrah | 26.08.2018

      Any update?

      • Warner | 10.10.2018

        I have flow to Austria many timew with a drone and they have never checked my bagged or said anything.

      • jon garratt | 04.01.2019

        it was fine

  • Toni Giskemo | 19.08.2018

    Thanks for the great post! I’m planing a commercial shoot for a hotel I Seefeld Austria in mid December, and it involves some drone-shooting. Do you know of a drone insurance that will cover commercial shooting/flying for multiple nations? I’m a Norwegian currently living in Spain.

  • TC | 23.08.2018

    We are also going to be travelling to Vienna, Budapest, Prague in Winter. I was thinking of foraying into drones with the new Mavic 2 Zoom or Pro. Any comments about laws on filming the beautiful architecture in these countries would be appreciated. Are they prohibited? How can I get the Drone Safe & Insured Status?

  • Anushka | 01.09.2018

    Can anyone please share the problems faced in Austria due to drones?

  • Loredana | 19.12.2018

    I fly my drone already in Austria Vienna and I don’t have problems because I have the smallest one dji spark and is 300 g. I don’t know where to record my drone and if its necessary.

  • Jon G | 04.01.2019

    I went there for a week and flew my M air in rural areas.
    I think its slightly exaggerated how bad it is if im honest. At the end of the day its using common sense and using it away from people. That’s kind of my rule using it anywhere really as people rightfully get pissed off if you fly it in built up, crowded areas.

  • Francis Markert | 07.01.2019

    Thank you for sharing your experiences!

  • Vlad | 29.07.2019

    Hey all, I’m sorry for maybe stupid question, but I did not get it: I have a Mavic Pro + insurance. Question: Should I fill in any applications and register something somewhere? Maybe I did not fully understand the requirements, so hope you can clarify that for me. Thank you in advance!

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