Drone flight and the volcano in Reykjanes


Now that the volcanic eruption has started again in Reykjanes, the Icelandic Transport Authority wants to, given the occasion, reaffirm the rules that apply to drone flights and are intended to ensure separation of drones and other aircraft, including:

  • DO NOT fly a drone higher than 120 m above the ground.
  • Drones shall Always give way to manned aircraft.
  • Drones shall not be flown beyond visual line of sight ( BVLOS).
  • The operator of the drone is responsible for any damage that may result from its use.
  • For commercial drones, additional requirements are in place, for example regarding registration.
If violations are detected that may endanger safety, it may be necessary to take measures to impose significant restrictions or a ban on drone flights near the volcano.


Priority for research flights

Due to the eruption, there will be a need for the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management to conduct recurrent flights with experts and scientists to assess the situation. These flights will be given priority over other flight.

To ensure safety, an area will be defined as a danger- or restricted area for operation of aircrafts and helicopters. Parallel to this a prohibited area for drones will be defined while such scientific flights are conducted. A short time notice can be expected for such areas to be established and the geographical scope and time limit will depend on circumstances each time.

• Drone operators shall monitor latest notices on such prohibited areas published on the website of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management .
• Danger – and restricted areas for aircraft other than drones will be published with NOTAM .

Further information can be found in the AIP and on the drone website of the Icelandic Transport Authority .