In this article, we explain the legal situation for the use of drones in Italy.
On the Internet, there are many different views on the laws in Italy.
As in most other countries around the world, Italian lawmakers also differentiate between private (model airplanes) and commercial use of multicopters.
Is registration required at ENAC?
Registration with the ENAC is not required for private drone users, even if the drone has a camera installed. That was the biggest issue in the past. However, the ENAC makes it clear on its website that even model airplanes are allowed to take amateur photos without registration. You can also publish such aerial photographs in private networks on social networks.
Many of our readers have already received this interpretation from the local authorities.
Overview of drone rules for Italy
If you want to fly in Italy with a drone, the following conditions have to be fulfilled.
Maximum flight altitude: In Italy, the maximum flight altitude for private drone operations is 70 meters, and commercial copter flights are 150 meters.
Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: There is a limitation in Italy on how far a drone can be removed from the pilot. This limit is for private pilots at 200 meters and commercial pilots at 500 meters.
Compulsory insurance: For Italy, a drones liability insurance is necessary, which covers damages of at least 750.000 euro.
Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): 25 kg is the maximum weight limit for private pilots.
Distance to airports: Drones have to keep a distance of at least 5 kilometers to airports.
Other safe distances: Private drone aviators may only start in undeveloped areas and have to maintain sufficient distance to buildings of all kinds.
Flight bans: In Rome, over the Vatican and in Venice (including associated islands), flight bans for drones apply. In other cities, too, I would not start my drone unless I obtained the approval of the local authorities (such as the police or the magistrate).
A reader of our blog knew nothing of it and was arrested on suspicion of terrorism because he flew in Rome with his copter. Newspapers also repeatedly report arrests of major sights such as at the Colosseum or in the Vatican.
Also, it is forbidden to fly on beaches, if there are other people there.
Time of operations: Drones flights are permitted only in daylight. Approvals for night flights can be requested.
Regulations for commercial pilots: The requirements for commercial copter pilots differ according to the type of flight maneuvers envisaged. For low-risk operations, it is sufficient to submit a statement of compliance with specific requirements. There is a processing fee of 94 €. For drone flights with higher risk, additional requirements (certification, health certificate, training certificate, etc.) must be met. More information can be found on the ENAC website.
Regardless of the risk assessment, any commercially used copter must be registered and marked with the registration number.
Good to know: Frequency determinations for FPV on 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz with a maximum of 100mW possible.
Helpful links: English translation of the Italian rules
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!