Frequently asked questions - FAQ

What is a remotely piloted aircraft/drone?

Unmanned aircraft that is remotely piloted, i.e. flown by using remote control systems.

Do I need formal training and/or licence to fly a drone ?

There is no requirement for special training/licence to fly drones under 25 kg, provided they are used for recreational purposes.

Do I need to register my drone?

Only those, who intend to use drones for commercial purposes need to register their drones. This includes professional photographers, people of the press, scientists on research projects, engineering firms, real estate firms, etc. The registration is on the Icelandic Transport Authority webpage and is free of charge.

You can register your drone for commercial use here.

Is it mandatory to register the drone?

- Recreational flights: No need to register. 
- Commercial flight: Drone needs to be registered, including drones used for research purposes. 
Here you can register a drone which is used for commercial purposes.

Is the registration of a drone free of charge?

Yes! The registration of drones used for commercial purposes is free of charge.

Is insurance for drones mandatory?

- Commercial use: Insurance is mandatory.
- Recreational use: Insurance is not mandatory.

Where are drones prohibited?

- Over a crowd of people
- Close to airports with scheduled traffic
- Close to private houses and public buildings
- Above 120 meters
- Beyond visual line of sight of the pilot (BVLOS)

Detailed limitations are in article 12 of Regulation no. 990/2017.

Can I fly over National Parks?

For flying over National Parks you need to apply for a permit to do so. For further information, check the following websites:
- Þingvellir National Park: thingvellir.is/en
- Vatnajokull National Park: vatnajokulsthjodgardur.is/en 
- Snæfellsjökull National Park and protected areas: ust.is/english.

Can I fly over protected areas?

In Iceland, there are 114 protected areas under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Agency of Iceland. In order to fly over these areas, you have to seek permission from the Agency. Check the website: ust.is/english.

Can I fly in close proximity to airports?

A permit from Isavia, the airport operator, is required for flying a remotely piloted aircraft within:
a) 2 km from the boundaries of Keflavik Airport, Reykjavik Airport, Akureyri Airport and Egilsstadir Airport.
b) 1.5 km from the boundaries of other scheduled air service airports, with the exception that flights operated below the height of the highest structures in the immediate vicinity of the flight trajectory of the aircraft, do not require permits.

You can apply for an exemption from this rule from Isavia. Check Isavia website.

Can I get an exemption from the Regulation?

Those who use drones for commercial purposes can apply for exemption from the Regulation on certain conditions, which are stipulated in article 18 in the Regulation.

 

In article 12 of the Regulation no 990/2017 there are the main restrictions of drone flights. Generally, you are not allowed to fly:
- over a crowd of people
- closer to private buildings than 50 meters
- closer to public buildings and private buildings outside urban areas than 150 meters
- over 120 meters
- closer to airport with scheduled operations than 1,5 – 2,0 km
- beyond visual line of sight of the pilot (BVLOS)

 

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