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.
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!