How to Fly a Drone in Portugal

How to Fly a Drone in Portugal

Portugal’s national aviation authority, the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC), flying a drone is legal in Portugal, but I recommend being aware of and compliant with the drone regulations listed below before doing so.

If you’d like to contact ANAC directly before you travel with any questions you might have, here is their contact information: / +351 212 842 226

General Rules for Flying a Drone Within the European Union

Portugal is a part of the European Union and therefore must abide by the drone regulations put in place by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). In addition to these regulations, Portugal also has regulations that are country-specific.

Based on research and my interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone within the European Union.

The drone has a maximum take-off mass of less than 25 kg (55 lbs).
The remote pilot keeps the drone at a safe distance away from people.
The drone will not be operated directly over people unless it has a class identification label or is lighter than 250 g (0.55 lbs). (Please refer to subcategories of operations: A1, A2, and A3 to find out where you can fly with your drone).
The remote pilot will maintain a visual line of sight (VLOS) or the remote pilot will be assisted by a UA observer.
The remote pilot will not operate the drone above 120m (400ft).
The drone will not carry any dangerous goods and will not drop any material.

General Rules for Flying a Drone in Portugal

Drone insurance is not mandatory, but ANAC recommends that civil liability insurance be contracted to cover any damage that may result from the use of remotely piloted aircraft.
Drone pilots must maintain a visual line of sight with their drones at all times while flying.
When flying a drone, manned aircraft always have the priority and the right of way.
Drones, regardless of weight, must not be flown over concentrations of persons in the open air, with more than 12 persons considered as such.
To fly a drone weighing more than 25 kilograms (55 pounds), at night, or beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), special permission must be obtained from ANAC.
No Drone Zones

Drones are prohibited, banned, or conditioned in the following regions:

Drones are prohibited in open air concentrations, in the specific operational protection areas of airports and aerodromes, and in facilities where sovereign bodies, embassies and consular representations, military installations, security services, police and civil protection missions, prisons and educational centers of the General Rehabilitation and Prison Services Directorate.
Drones are banned or conditioned in most national parks.

To fly over a protected national park, you must complete this form (Portuguese/English) and send it to the ICNF, IP, to the following e-mail address:

For more information on Portugal’s drone laws, see this informational webpage on drones created by the Portuguese government.

If I missed anything, please let me know in the comments below.


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  1. MR G on September 9, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    According to the Dronecast app, all of your flying here was illegal. No troubles?

  2. Artem Toderian on September 9, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    We don’t need a permission to fly the drone, but we all need a permission from e-AAN to shoot videos and take pictures –

  3. SPACE_RL on September 9, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    Beautiful 🤩

  4. KoningSlakkie on September 9, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    I have an EU operator number so I do not have to register with ANAC. But if I want to take video’s and take pictures in non-restricted areas I have to have authorization from AAN??

  5. B Rizzle on September 9, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    I’m going to Portugal next week and I plan on bringing my drone with me which is a DJI Mavic Mini (original version not the 2) and there have been conflicting statements about whether or not I need to register my drone despite it being 249grams

    ANAC (Portuguese Air Force) says any drone with recording capabilities has to be registered but when I’ve tried to do that via the website it won’t let me, what should I do? The last thing I want/need is to get into any trouble as I want to be 100% respectful of their laws.

    The only thing I want to do is hover the drone over the ocean where the water meets the land, I have no desire to fly over any populated areas like Lisbon I literally want to record the ocean with the camera pointed down.

  6. Navigator Nick on September 9, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    Learning how to fly a drone in Portugal? Check out this quick video for some tips.

  7. Carson Hammock on September 9, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    I registered my Mavic Air 2 for Portugal, but I saw something that I need to take a test through the EU. As an American, what would you recommend I do? Thank you!!!

  8. R B on September 9, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Great video, thanks! Any advice on flying into Lisbon, from the USA with a DJI mini 3? Any special things I have to do to get through customs?

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