Drone regulations in Portugal

Picturesque landscapes with idyllic, dream-like beaches, rugged cliffs and green mountains – the diverse country in the west of the Iberian Peninsula offers many great locations and good conditions for drone pilots. In this article, you will find all the information you need to know for a trip to Portugal with a drone.

In general, flying itself is handled very loosely, but you need a permit to take aerial photographs. You can find details on this below. There is already a registration and insurance obligation in Portugal. However, these are apparently linked to the possibility that the drone owners can transmit their data via an electronic platform. Since this platform still seems to be in development, it is not yet possible to register in practice.

Overview: Drone rules in Portugal

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?No.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? Yes.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people
Contact information

AAN: [email protected]

Resources:Voa Na Boa

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Further rules for drone pilots in Portugal

A drone is allowed to ascend up to 120 meters in Portugal. Toy drones (maximum weight of 250 grams) should not fly higher than 30 meters.

Flight maneuvers with a drone are only allowed within line of sight.

So far there was no compulsory insurance in Portugal. However, like registration with the ANAC, this is already planned. This affects drones from 900 grams. We definitely recommend that you insure your copter even if you do not have to do so.

The maximum take-off weight is 25 kilograms. Drones which are heavier than that, need a permit from ANAC (Autoridade Nacional Da Aviacao Civil).

Safety distances and flight bans

The distances and permitted flight altitudes near airports differ. Please check the links on this page for relevant information. For many smaller airports, the distance is 2.5 kilometers. You have to keep a distance of 1 km to helicopter landing sites.

Flights are not permitted over gatherings of people (from 12 persons), embassies, military services, security agencies, rescue services, prisons, and education centers. Further no-fly zones can be determined using the Portuguese Voa Na Boa app (Download via the link above).

A separate flight permit may be required for flights at historical sites and in national parks.

Night flights are not allowed in Portugal.

In Portugal the same rules apply for hobby pilots and commercial pilots.

Aerial images

Over land

The above rules apply to drone use per se. However, if your drone has a camera, you need special permission from the Autoridade Aeronáutica Nacional (AAN). It is irrelevant for what purpose the recordings are made.

You can submit applications via the e-AAN portal, where you should register in good time. Once you have created your account there, you will receive an email with a declaration, which you must sign and send back to the AAN by post. Only then will your account be activated. So far, this has worked quickly for our readers.

You can then add pilots and drones in the portal. A lot of data is queried, which you should enter as best you can. You will also be asked for a registration number. In Portugal, the registration of drones from 250 grams is planned, but this is supposed to be done in connection with another platform that does not yet exist. According to an AAN information sheet, the field can be filled in with “N/A” or “Não Aplicável” until implementation.

You can now submit applications for your flights via e-AAN.

Over water

If you want to take aerial photographs (photo or video) over water (e.g. ocean, lake, and beaches) in Portugal, you need special permission from the Autoridade Marítima Nacional (AMN). Apparently, they sometimes ask for an administration fee (around 20 Euros).

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Portugal 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 Portugal!

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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!


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