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The Ultimate Guide to Austria (Vienna) Drone Laws & Rules 2020

Updated: Mar 3

🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all law links & known rules about recreational & commercial drone use in Austria (Vienna). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in the Austria Drone Discussion Group. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.


Recreational vs Commercial drone use in Austria


Austria does not seem to differentiate commercial & recreational drone uses. Both are subject to restrictions and very strict code of conduct. Additionally, depending on the weight of your drone, different rules will apply.


✅ In Austria, drone regulation falls under Austro Control & they can be contacted anytime via:

  • Email: ulfz@austrocontrol.at

  • Phone: (+43) 1703 7111 (drone related matters)

✅ The country differentiates four flight categories:

  1. undeveloped drone flight area

  2. uninhabited drone flight area

  3. populated drone flight area

  4. densely populated drone flight area

Within these 4 categories, it also specifies 2 sub category for each which are:

  • Class 1 = within sight flights

  • Class 2 = out of sight flights

✅ The country additionally differentiates five drone weight classes:

  • below 250 g

  • below 5 kg

  • between 5 & 25 kg

  • between 25 & 150 kg

  • over 150 kg


Can I bring my drone to Austria?


✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Austria (Vienna) as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person).



🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.


💡 Smart! Get your drone batteries' firecase today and make sure you're complying with aviation safety rules.

NEW! Airlines & Drones' Best Practices!


Where can I fly my drone in Austria?


✅ Austria built a detailed drone flight map showing flight restricted areas for recreational use mainly. It is available over Google Android & Apple App Store. Unfortunately for us, we do not have matching devices to download it so we took a screenshot of the App Store.

Source: AustroControl Google Play
💡 Smart! Pack some spare drone batteries, you never know how close is the next power plug overseas. Also make sure you have a travel adaptor for Austria.

Recreational & Commercial Drone use in Austria


The Austrian laws are very strict & we had a lot of difficulty to bring this one together but we believe we have a reasonable sum up below as most rules differ grandly based on your drone's weight.


🎥 Important, you're not allowed to film, take photos for leisure or commercial use without an appropriate authorisation delivered by Austro Control. Live broadcast is also forbidden.


For drones under 250g

✅ Good things first, you will not need a permit or a license to fly your drone for recreational purposes if its weights less than 250 g & you keep your flight altitude below 30 m.


For drones weighing between 250 g & 150 kg flying in class 1 sub-category (within sight).

🚨 Within the permitted zones, you will need to follow a few rules according to your flight category (1, 2, 3 & 4). To make things easier we built this table below to sum up your flight conditions:

In every case, you will need

  • to be at least 16 years old.

  • you will need to register your drone with local authorities.

  • hold an insurance (coverage around 1 Million €).

  • in case a second pilot has the ability to control the drone, he/she will need to declare a suitability to do such in writing as well & attach his/her drone license copy.


For flights categorised as A:

  • you can only used reliable accessories on your drone when flying

Documents to provide upon application:

  • your insurance confirmation

  • a description of your drone (attach a 3 sided view photo) & the installed accessories

  • a noise measurement report (if other than electric engine).


For flights categorised as B:

  • you can only used reliable accessories on your drone when flying

  • + you will need an airworthiness certificate & operation safety analysis of your flight.

  • + there is a engine noise maximum tolerance

Documents to provide upon application:

  • your insurance confirmation.

  • a description of your drone (attach a 3 sided view photo) & the installed accessories.

  • + a noise measurement report.

  • + an operational safety analysis of your drone flight.


💡 Smart! Thinking to fly over these Austrian lakes? Water glare is a killer when flying above them, make sure you have a lens filter before heading there.

For flights categorised as C & D:

  • you will need an airworthiness certificate & operation safety analysis of your flight.

  • you can only used reliable accessories on your drone when flying

  • there is a engine noise maximum tolerance

  • + you will need to create a safety pre-flight checklist to complete before each flight.

  • + an aero medical certificate not older than 5 years (Austrian driving license fitness assessment works).

  • + an Aerobatic certificate (you're exempt if you hold an Austrian skydiver, hanger or paragliding license), here's a sample example (only available in German).

Documents to provide upon application:

  • your insurance confirmation.

  • a description of your drone (attach a 3 sided view photo) & the installed accessories.

  • a noise measurement report.

  • an operational safety analysis of your drone flight.

  • + your pilot's license (& your co-pilot's if relevant).

  • + your recognised medical certificate.


🚨 For drones over 150 kg or any drone flying in class 2 sub-category (out of sight).

You will need in any case an approval from EASA, (EC) 216/2008. The regulations from EASA are also effective for class 2.


NEW! Travel Guides from our experiences around the world!


How to obtain my drone license for commercial use in Austria?


First things first, you will need to be eligible by:

  • being at least 16 years old

✅ The exam has to be passed during a sitting at Austro Control (see here centres). The registration for the examination has to be done 10 workdays before the requested date via examinations@austrocontrol.at. Exams take place between Tuesday and Friday from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm.

💲 The fees can be found here.


NEW! Drone Reviews!


What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Austria?


🚨 The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such. It seems it can go up to 22,000€


Once you got everything in order, you can start flying above Austria's awesome landscapes and create videos like this one:


🎬 INSPIRING! Follow our aerial videos around the world on Youtube!


🌍 TRAVELLING FURTHER? Check out our Drone Rules World Map; country by country!

✅ Please leave a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in Austria! Have fun and safe flight! #austria #austrian #regulation #law #laws #legislation


💡 You're a local, have a question or want to share a travel experience? Head to our Austria Drone Discussion Group


Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone rules and regulations.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links meaning we will get a commission if you decide to purchase via them. This has no costs for you but helps Dronemade stay free for all. If you need to buy anything on Amazon or DJI stores, think of us.


Source

Austro Control Website


Other resources

Aerobatic Certificate Test Example

Operations for drones under class 1

Austro Control Administration Fees

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