🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all drone law links & known rules about recreational & commercial drone use in the Portugal (Lisbon). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in the Portugal Drone Forum. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.
💡 This article is also available in French
Recreational vs Commercial drone use in Portugal
Portugal does not differentiate commercial and recreational drone uses. However both are subject to restrictions and code of conduct. Additionally, depending on the weight of your drone, different rules will apply.
✅ In Portugal, the use of drone for any purpose falls under the permission of the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC). You can contact them anytime via:
Phone: (+351) 212 842 226
Can I bring my drone to Portugal?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Portugal 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.
Where can I fly my drone in Portugal?
✅ Here's a very useful map designed by voa na boa referencing all the non fly zones of the country including airports, military zones and national parks which are all forbidden to fly without authorisation.
🏰 Special note for drone operators looking to fly over Historic or Governmental sites as you will need a local authorisation before taking off around these places. Some examples could be; Sintra, Terreiro do Paço, National Parliament, Belém Tower, Jerónimos, Monsanto Prison Facilities or Alfeite Naval Base, etc.
🦅 National Park flights are controlled independently and you will need to find the local authority's approval for all kind of flights in these areas. To obtain an authorisation to fly over a Portuguese National Park, you need to complete this form and send it to: email@example.com. Be aware that many are denied as there is a law protecting birds 🐦 explaining that no aircraft should fly below 300 m in these zones when you are bounded with drone rules limiting you at 120 m...
🚢 If you're close to the shore, you should contact the nearest seaport authorities to inform them about your flight. Most of the ports are not aware of this free formality but be aware that some will ask for 60€; if this is the case, try next closest one. Some won't allow a private flight over popular beaches during summer. You can find a list of the local "capitania" here (Portuguese sea police). Just go to "norte" "centro" "sul" "Açores" "Madeira" to find the relevant list of contacts according to your location in Portugal.
Recreational & Commercial Drone Use in Portugal
✅ You do not need a permit or license for drone recreational or commercial use in Portugal* (*see below, extra conditions for commercial use). However, there are strict rules depending on your drone's weight, your flight zones and a code of conduct to follow for all operators.
🚨 Important if your drone has a camera you need to sign up at AAN and ask for a permit for each and every flight location. This is true even if you are not planning to record or photograph anything or even if your drone is a toy but has a camera.
🕔 Allow 4 working days for each permit to be processed.
When operating a drone for recreational or commercial use in Portugal, you must fly:
at a maximum altitude of 120 m above the ground *Note; if your drone weights less than 250 g, then you are only allowed to go up to 30 m .
away from people or large crowds & respect individuals' privacy.
a drone weighting less than 25 kg.
do not fly if more than 12 people gather around the drone when flying.
at least 2.5 km away from airports (any area where aircraft take off and land) or 1 km away from heliports & give priority to all other categories of aircraft.
within your sight at all times & during day time (a buffer of 25 mins before sunrise & after sunset is authorised).
avoiding sensitive areas including public services, governmental building, military facilities & national parks.
*Extra conditions to use a drone for commercial purposes in Portugal: if you wish to realise images or films in the country, your point of contact will be firstname.lastname@example.org as it falls under the National Aeronautical Authority (AAN) of the country.
You will also need to have:
navigation lights as a safety feature
a third party liability insurance covering up to 1 million euros
✅ If you wish to apply for an exemption you can do it by sending this form to the National Civil Aviation Authority at least 12 working days prior your flight enquiry date. It might be sent to email@example.com or via a post to "National Civil Aviation Authority , Rua B, Edifício 4 - Humberto Delgado Airport, 1749-034 Lisbon - Portugal"
What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Portugal?
🚨 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. However, failing to comply with local drone laws and regulation could expose you up to 2,500€ in fines & sanctions.
Once you got everything in order, you can start flying above Portugal's awesome landscapes and create videos like this one:
✅ Please leave a comment or update the Portugal drone Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in Portugal! Have fun and safe flight!
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 regulations.
Flight map: Voa na boa
National Aeronautical Authority: for images & films.
National Park application form to send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Portugal Regulatory Profile - Dronerules.eu
Drone rules; article n°1093/2016