Drone regulations in Italy

Flying drones in Italy

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

Since July 2020, a new law has been in force in Italy. The most important change is that drones now have to be registered and drone pilots need a to prove their knowledge. In the following, we break down the Italian rules.

Overview: Drone rules in Italy

Recreational use of drones allowed? Yes, after registration or approval
Commercial use of drones permitted? Yes, after registration or approval
Maximum Altitude:120 Meter (393,7 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?Yes.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? Yes.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people

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Is registration required at ENAC?

In Italy, all drone pilots must register as an operator in the D-Flight portal. Recreational pilots with drones weighing less than 250 grams are exempt, although the portal specifies that all drones with an HD camera or other equipment that could potentially invade the privacy of others must be registered, including those weighing less than 250 grams. This would mean that the DJI Mavic Mini, for example, would also have to be registered. That would correspond with the new EU drone regulation, but so far this information can only be found on the D-Flight website. Unfortunately, we have not yet received an answer to our question about this issue.

The D-Flight portal has been, at least in the beginning, still quite error-prone and had difficulties with displaying the correct information. To get to the registration, you best click on the login icon in the top right corner of the web app linked above (looks like the upper body of a person). There, you can access the registration mask via “Sign-Up”. Maybe this form is not displayed correctly and the form fields are called “register-user.register-id.username” or something similar. The last term, however, tells you what kind of information is requested. You can also try changing the language on the top right corner to Englisch or Italian.

You have to activate your account by e-mail, but you are not registered yet. To do so, you have to activate the option “SAPR Operator” under “Account Details”, fill in the required information and send a copy of your ID or passport by e-mail.

QR Code

Drones weighing 250 grams or more are to be identified with the help of a QR code. This is also somewhat cumbersome. For simple flight maneuvers, the code costs 6 euros per drone. You first have to buy “D-coins” at the D-Flight market place. They are worth one euro each. You can then redeem six coins for the QR code. Attention: A reader has already reported that some payment options did not work and he could only transfer the money. You get the QR code by activating your drone under “Fleet” using the drone model.

As already indicated, the portal has not been very user-friendly in the beginning. Therefore we linked the official manual above, which describes how it should work normally.

Knowledge test

The new rules also require proof of knowledge for drones weighing 250 grams or more. This certificate is valid for five years and can be obtained from the website of the Civil Aviation Authority ENAC. First, you have to take an online course, which seems to only be available in Italian at the moment, and then take an exam consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions. The certificate should cost 31 euros for normal maneuvers.

There have also been some problems here. After a cyber-attack on the course portal, taking this course is not required for hobby pilots until 1 September 2020.

Remote identification

From January 2021, a device for remote identification, i.e. an electronic radio transmitter, will be mandatory for drones weighing over 250 grams. This rule was actually supposed to be introduced in July when the law came into force, but because the exact requirements were not yet clear, the introduction was postponed.

Further rules for drone pilots in Italy

Italy basically differentiates between uncritical and critical flight maneuvers. In general, those under 120 meters in height, with drones under 2 kilograms and that do not take place over crowds are considered not critical.

The safety distances are 150 meters to populated areas and 50 meters to bystanders. In addition, the distance to metropolitan areas and sensitive infrastructure must be maintained.

The D-Flight portal will also provide information for further safety distances, for example around airports.

Flights must take place within visual line of sight, and sufficient lighting is necessary for night flights.

In order to be allowed to perform critical maneuvers, you must be registered as a professional drone pilot and require a permit. For certain standard scenarios, however, a declaration that you will adhere to the provisions is sufficient.

Radio transmission is possible on the frequencies 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz with a maximum of 100 mW.

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Italy 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 Italy!

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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

  • Tiago Carvalho | 21.12.2017

    Hi Guys, this is the second time I bumped into your blog while checking regulations in different countries. Congratulations for you blog and thank you for your service.
    I’m about to go to Italy and, there’s a question I have about their regulations, but, not towards the flying. I just want to know if I can take the drone in my backpack and there won’t be any trouble in the airport. I’m coming from Portugal by the way. I’m making this question because the first time I was researching regulations for Oman, and realised there are complications just for getting in the airport with the drone in the backpack. I’m hoping that travelling inside europe, between 2 countries of the EU, that will be simplified. But even so, I’d like to know your opinion about it.

    • Drone biker1973 | 31.01.2018

      Hi it is so happen that I am taking f my drone into Oman next week
      What kind of complications??

    • Francis Markert | 22.02.2018

      Nice to have you here! 🙂 I don’t expect any issues at the airport. Have a wonderful trip to Italy!

  • Alain | 31.01.2018

    Hi, I am going to Italy this summer, Rome, Cinqueterre, Venice and Dolomites. Is there any recent update on small drone use like a DJI Mavic for example. If I cant fly it I wont bother carrying it ! tx

    • Francis Markert | 22.02.2018

      Hi Alain,
      I have updated the article. As a private drone user, you cannot fly within the boundaries of cities. Best regards, Francis

  • Lourdes Stauffer | 11.03.2018

    Can I fly a Mavic Air while hiking in the Dolomites and Lake Brais?

    • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

      Should not be a problem as long as you are not in a National Park and you follow the Italian rules.

    • Roman | 11.04.2018

      I was in the Lake Brais this January and saw a sign that prohibits drones.

  • Jody Grenier | 23.03.2018

    Hi cronies wit dronies
    I would LOVE ❤️ TO fly my drone near the Alps or as close as I can for some premium foots and stills

    Does anyone know the do’s and donts

    • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

      I described them in the article above 😉

  • Matt | 01.04.2018

    Francis, the insurance is not compulsory for recreational use (not professional). It is suggested but not compulsory.

    • Francis Markert | 29.06.2018

      Hi Matt,
      Okay, thank you for this correction. Do you have a trustworthy source for me?
      Thanks in advance!

      • Elia Provini | 06.02.2019

        Hi, i’m Italian and I can confirm that for recreational use insurance is not mandatory.

        Flying on beaches is not forbidden as long as there are no people around!

        In italy is not easy to understand where you can and you cannot fly, you should use italian aeronautical maps to be sure.

        Anyway for recreational use it’s always forbidden to fly over cities/town, over people, near prisons, near military areas, over national parks, near airports (most of the times much much more than 5 km, you should consult an aeronautical maps anyway)

        • Tyler Bills | 02.04.2019

          Hey Francis & Elia!

          I am visiting Naples, Positano, Sorrento, and Capri in mid-May. Can I fly my DJI Mavic Air? I am looking to fly over the water, mountains, and the house we are staying in.

          Thank you!

  • Ray | 08.05.2018

    ” I would not start my drone unless I obtained the approval of the local authorities (such as the police or the magistrate).”

    Any idea how to get an approval? To fly my drone in Rome? Thanks

    PS1: Great blog btw!
    PS2: check out my channel : youtube.com/dronelivecam

    • Francis Markert | 29.06.2018

      Hi Ray,
      In your case, I would ask ENAC for assistance. I guess they can help you. Please share your insights with us 😉
      Have a nice trip!

      • Stephen Thorpe | 03.08.2019

        I’m thinking of going up Vesuvius about 5:00am, putting my Mavic Pro round it once on a mission with the sunrise and landing within ten minutes. Do you think I’ll be OK or are the police about that early?

  • Wiktor | 16.05.2018

    Hello Franics!
    I am going to Italy, and more specifically to Lake Como. And also to Courmayeur, If I can fly there Mavic pro?
    I don’t want to fly in cities – I know I can not go there 🙂 Best Regards

  • Josie | 04.06.2018

    Can I fly my drone for commercial use in Italy without a license or do same rules apply such as in the US?

    • Francis Markert | 29.06.2018

      Hello Josie,
      You find the answers in the article above 😉

  • Danny Ventura | 13.07.2018

    Hey Francis, I’m leaving for Italy tomorrow. I will be visiting Rome, Florence, Venice, and Sorrento, Im aware that drone flying in Rome is out of the picture but for Venice, if I fly strictly over water does this violate any laws? Can I fly over Florence? How about the Amalfi
    Coast and Capri?

  • Cezary | 30.07.2018

    Hi,
    I will be visiting Finale Ligure from 8-18 Sep.
    I found information that I cannot fly over beaches in summertime – usually until 15th September.
    Where can I check or asked if summertime locally has ended?

  • Ericson | 01.08.2018

    Can I fly my drone in Cinque Terre from water?

  • Uros Raztresen | 27.08.2018

    Hello,

    i would like to take some video clips for my commercial video, for a local company from Slovenia in this location:

    https://goo.gl/maps/qpMYKrNToX22

    Is this possible, or do I need to ask for any permitions?

    Than you for answer. Uros

  • denis | 10.12.2018

    Hello, ı will visit Florence,Cinque Terre and Genoa. How can ı fly my djı spark ? is it possible to use in these places? or do you know any exact place to fly?
    thank you 🙂

    • Francis Markert | 10.01.2019

      Hi Denis,
      It is not allowed to fly a drone in urban areas without permission. Have a nice time in Italy!

  • Craig | 15.01.2020

    Looking to purchase the DJI Mavic Mini, does this apply to the same laws given it’s small size/weight? Private use not commercial use, looking to take it to Venice… advice and facts much appreciated 👍

  • Diana | 24.08.2020

    Do I really need a label? There is nothing about it here and on the German blog it says yes? https://drohnen-camp.de/drohnen-gesetze-in-italien/
    Now I am confused?

    (Original) Brauche ich wirklich eine Kennzeichnung? Hier steht nichts davon und auf dem deutschen Blog steht ja? https://drohnen-camp.de/drohnen-gesetze-in-italien/
    Nun bin ich verwirrt?

    • Drone Traveller Team | 27.08.2020

      Hello Diana,
      Please excuse the confusion. The information on the German site is correct, the English site was not yet up to date.

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