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.

Please note that Portugal, as a member of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), adopts the EU drone regulation, which will enter into force on 31 December 2020. Information about the new rules can be found in our overview article and on the pages linked there.

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: imagens.aereas@aan.pt

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!


  • Andrei G | 07.12.2018

    rules are changing…
    in Cancun, Mexico they customs put a duty tax on the drone!!! … just pocketing the money …
    so I would not want to be caught of guard
    I am flying from NYC to Delhi via Lisbon and Rome

    any info if I need to be aware of taking a drone through customs?
    thank you !!!

  • Denny | 15.10.2019

    Dear all,
    in Portugal are now little bit complicated rules. You need a permission to take a pictures !!
    You have to be registered – National Aeronautical Authority (AAN) here: https://backoffice.aan.pt/operators-drones-add
    How to do it: http://aan.emfa.pt/includes/AAN/conteudos/galeria/ficheiros/drones/e-aan-guiarapido-ingles_88.pdf

    General rules are mentioned here:https://uavcoach.com/drone-laws-in-portugal/

  • David hansson | 18.08.2020

    A drone was flying over my house. 20 meters. There was Noone around. Then it disapeared. I felt very bad with this intruder and I wonder what to do? I don’t want it around and I would prefer taking legal action instead of shooting it down.

    • Drone Traveller Team | 20.08.2020

      Hello David,
      We cannot give legal advice and without more information, we wouldn’t be able to because from what you wrote, it is not clear if the drone was there legally or not. Keep in mind that in general, sometimes, drones appear to be flying directly above your property, when in reality, they are above public grounds. Nevertheless, if you wish to find out who was filming and what, you could contact two authorities: One is ANAC (Autoridade Nacional Da Aviação Civil), the Civil Aviation Authority, where drones from 250 grams must be registered. Another would be the AAN (Autoridade Aeronáutica Nacional), where drone pilots must ask for permission if they want to take aerial images in Portugal. They might be able to tell you if there was a scheduled and approved flight in the area at that time. Both will also be able to give you tips on what to do if this happens again.

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