Drone regulations in Sweden

In this article, we will explain the legal framework for the use of drones in Sweden.

Since February 2018, new laws have been in force for the use of camera drones in Sweden. The rules have been greatly simplified, and you do not require as many permits as before.

Sweden in general doesn’t differentiate between commercial and private drone use anymore. However, it has introduced different categories of which numbers 2-5 require special permits:

  • Category 1: less than 7 kg, flying within pilot’s line of sight
  • Category 2: 7–25 kg, flying within the pilot’s visual line of sight
  • Category 3: 25–150 kg, flying within the pilot’s visual line of sight
  • Category 4: flying beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight
  • Category 5A: flying more than 120 meters above ground or water if near obstacles like masts or buildings
  • Category 5B: flying beyond pilot’s line of sight but within line of sight of observer
  • Category 5C: all other operations which do not belong to any of the other categories

For drones under 7 kilograms (category 1), no permission is necessary anymore. However, the copter must always be marked with the name and a telephone number of the operator.

Maximum altitude: In Sweden, multicopters may only be operated below 120 meters above ground.

Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: Your drone should only be operated within the direct line of sight.

Compulsory insurance: For the private use of drones up to a take-off mass of 20 kg no liability insurance required. Nevertheless, the Swedish Aviation Authority recommends having drone insurance. For commercial use, liability insurance is mandatory and should be in accordance with Regulation (Ec) No 785/2004 of the European Parliament and of The Council of 21 April 2004.

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): For a take-off weight below 7 kilograms, no further approval is necessary.

Distance to airports: You may operate your drone only in a distance of 5 kilometers or more to an airport’s runway.  This rule applies to airports with a control zone. To heliports, a distance of 1 kilometer must be considered. If you want permission to fly in controlled airspace, you need to contact air traffic control and have to abide by any rules they may set.

Other safety distances: A safety distance should always be chosen so that no other persons, animals or objects are disturbed or endangered.

No-fly Zones:  NFZs can be checked on this map. Also, it is forbidden to use a drone during rescue operations.

Permits to fly: Conservation areas may require the consent of the nature conservation authority.

Operating hours: Flights at night are permitted in Sweden if the drone is equipped with the lighting required for night flights.

Special rules: If you want to publish your aerial footage (including YouTube or Facebook), you’ll need permission from the Lantmäteriet. This authority is responsible for protecting geographical data. To obtain approval, you must complete a form and then upload your recordings so the agency can review them. You can find more information about the process here.

Requirements for commercial pilots: Commercial pilots no longer need a permit from the Transport Authority. But approval for the publication of aerial photographs is required.

Good to know: If you want to fly within a controled zone, you do not need special permission as long as the drone does not fly faster than 90 km/h, not higher than 50 meters above the ground and at a minimum distance of 5 kilometers to the runway of the airport. Around the following military airports, your drone should not be flying higher than 10 meters: Karlsborg, Linköping / Malmen, Linköping / SAAB, Luleå / Kallax, Ronneby, Såtenäs, Uppsala, Vidsel, Visby, Hagschult, and Jokkmokk.

Helpful Links: Transport Styrelsen, Transport Styrelsen

We have researched the drone rules for Sweden listed here to the best of our knowledge. Unfortunately, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the information. If you want to play it safe, contact the Swedish Aviation Authority. Alternatively, you can ask the Swedish Embassy in your country for more information on the regulations. Please leave a comment when you hear news or have your own experiences with your copter in Sweden!

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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

  • Stefan Skare | 09.07.2017

    Hi!

    Please note that on June 20th, 2017, the Swedish Government removed the drone ban, effective Aug 1st, 2017. (https://www.riksdagen.se/sv/dokument-lagar/arende/betankande/kameraovervakningslagen-och-mojligheterna-att_H401JuU31)

  • Mikael Svelander | 06.11.2017

    Hi,

    you need to update regarding Sweden.
    There is now leagal to fly a drone with camera. New law take action from 1st of August 2017.

    There will be new rules from 1st of January 2018. You don’t need permission to start flying, but there will be regulations for which hight you flying on.

    https://transportstyrelsen.se/sv/luftfart/Luftfartyg-och-luftvardighet/Obemannade-luftfartyg-UAS/

    BR,
    Mikael

  • Rolf Rosenquist | 03.01.2018

    Update Sweden: From august 1st 2017 drones with camera is no longer prohibited. The earlier camera law is no longer applicable.

  • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

    Hi guys,
    Thank you for your support. I updated the article.

  • Mattia | 06.06.2018

    Hello, thanks for your article, I’m a tourist and a YouTuber from Italy, could you confirm that I can fly in line of sight with a DJI Mavic Pro in Stockholm?
    I’ve read the regulation with a translation from Sweden, it seems to be ok… could you please tell me something about it?

  • Lukasz | 21.06.2018

    Hello,

    What about comercial use of drone? I would like to record work on field of my company. Im from Poland. I had insurance which cover Europe and permissions for VLOS and BVLOS operations.

  • Urs Pfister | 27.08.2018

    Does someone have experience with drone video approval in Sweden? I sent a file to Lantmäteriet for approval. How long does it take to get a descision? I actually wait over 10 days. Is this normal?

  • Parul | 15.10.2018

    This is great information, thanks for compiling. Is the permission also needed for uploading on Instagram? I just got a DJI Tello, lightweight so I think I’m well within the rules of the drone weight and height of flying. Just wondering about uploading. Thanks!

    • Francis Markert | 26.10.2018

      You’re welcome 🙂
      As far as I know, you don’t need permission for your Tello drone.

  • Emmett | 02.01.2019

    I have recently purchased a DJI Mavic Air. So from what I read so far I don’t need to get a permission to fly, BUT there is a drone fly zone chart that I have been informed by a friend here https://daim.lfv.se/echarts/dronechart/.
    The thing is in the chart it says for example for Umea region, I cannot fly any drone in a 5 km radius distance to the runway which unfortunately covers all the old and interesting part of the city in Umea, but if I may read the Swedish description properly it says drones with less than 90 km speed and no more than 50 m height can fly in the control zone only. Does this mean that there is no chance to fly any drone in a 5 km radius from a runway at all or there are some exceptions that may apply?

    Would be great to know about your comments.
    Best

  • Rhace | 04.04.2019

    Hey sir. Can i hand carry my DJI Phantom 3 proffesional? luleå to stockholm and stockholm to Peking?
    Thanks

  • Drone | 26.08.2019

    Your post is awesome this will be definitely help us, thanks

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