Open category

The open category contains low-risk operations with drones weighing less than 25 kg.

In the open category, these common rules apply: 

  • The drone must weigh less than 25 kg
  • The pilot must maintain a visual line of sight (VLOS) with the drone
  • The drone must always fly within 120 meters from the closest point of the earth
  • No flying over assemblies of people
  • No carriage of dangerous goods
  • No dropping of items
  • The drone must be marked with the operator's registration number

The open category is divided into three subcategories: A1, A2 and A3. These are the main differences:

A1- Fly light drones with few distance restrictions to uninvolved persons.
A2 - Fly drones in built-up areas with a minimum of 50 meters from uninvolved persons. (30 meters with a C2-class drone).
A3 - Fly drones up to 25 kg, minimum 150 meters from residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas.

Registration and competency requirements

In order to fly in the open category, all pilots must be registered on the Icelandic Transport Authority's registration website (excluding pilots of C0 class drones without camera equipment). In order to fly drones which weigh more than 250 gr. pilots must read the learning material and pass the A1/A3 exam on the registration website. After passing the exam pilots can fly drones up to 900 gr in subcategory A1 and up to 25 kg in subcategory A3. In subcategory A2 it is allowed to fly very close to people and therefore it is considered the riskiest subcategory in the open category. There are more requirements for pilot competency in the A2 subcategory and pilots must pass a special A2 exam which is held at the Icelandic Transport Authority or other approved organization.

Drones-table1 (click on the table to get it in full size)

Maximum altitude

Maximum altitude must be 120 m from the nearest point of the earth. It is also possible to fly even higher if you fly within 15 meters from an artificial object and have the owner's approval.


Night flying

It is allowed to fly at night, as long as you can see the drone (VLOS). In order to do that, some lights on the drone will be necessary. It is mandatory to have a green flashing light on the drone when flying at nighttime.

Operation manual requirement

If you are one person that acts both as operator and pilot, no operation manual (OM) is required.
If you are an operator with several pilots, it is minimum required that you:

  • Have procedures for the operations.
  • Have a list of all personnel with responsibilities.

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