Fly drones in Italy for fun: what you can, what you can’t

ominoItaly is a lovely place for enjoy your drone and take pics from the sky. But remind, there are laws you must respect for a safe and lawful fly. In the past, there was some accidents involving tourists and drones, they flew in places not suitable for this outdoor activity, and went in troubles. Please, READ THIS BEFORE FLY YOUR DRONE IN ITALY. There are just few rules, easy to understand and easy to follow.

Have a good time with your drone in our country.

NOTE: The following rules are for amateur and enthusiasts only.
For professional UAV flight, check here

Sure you can. In Italy you can fly any kind model airplane or drone, until weight is less than 25 kg (55 pounds) and power is under 15 KW: It means all the usual, commercial drones are allowed to fly under flying model rules. A flying model may never be used for work: it’s strictly forbidden for hobbyists any use but sport and leisure only.
Everybody can fly for amusement and sport, even if underaged, and without any license. Insurance is not mandatory for hobbyists, but it’s strongly recommended. Please check before leave if your insurance cover European Union countries. Usually they does.

In Italy you must fly your drone seeing it during the whole flight. You can use automatic navigation, RTH and similar functions only if you can see your drone, without any device but your eyes (and, of course, optical glasses if needed) and you can take the commands anytime. If you want to enjoy VR googles and/or FPV devices, you must have a buddy pilot that can see and fly the drone anytime.
Your drone must remain closer than 200 meters (650 feet)  away from you, and max 70 meters (230 feet) high.

You can fly daytime in any place where there is no people around, far away from houses, roads, railroads and so on. You must keep safe distance from people and buildings. Its’s strictly forbidden to fly over people.  Please, never try to take pictures from above flying inside our art cities: Venice is wonderful from the sky, that’s true, but in the past we had seen too much drones hitting San Marco’s church and fell over crowd: the local police is trained to stop any attempts to fly inside cities, and you may face criminal offence if you fly here.

In Italy you must not fly in towns, and your drone must stay 5 km (3 miles) away from airports. You must not fly in the CTR airport zone (you can download the free Android app Italian Airspace Lite to know where CTR are). It’s forbidden fly over schools, hospitals, jail, industrial and military settings and any “sensitive infrastructure”.
You must not fly over beaches during bathing season (usually from June, 15th to September, 15th) and you must not fly over nature reserve and national parks, it’s prohibited and you may harm wildlife.

Sure you can, and you can post it on any social network. But these shots must be for your amusement only and you can’t sell your drone footage or embed it into a professional work. Take in mind other people privacy rights. Italy adopt the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law to ensure people’s privacy. This means you can take shots of people being in the landscape, but you must not take picture of people in their home, workspaces and private spaces. If so, you must have their permission. Newer annoy people with your drone, never follow people flying, and respect private property.

In some areas, drone activity may be restricted by temporary rules. Please follow instructions by local police or authorities.



In depth: the Italian rules for flying models (ENAC RULES) 

Model Aircraft
Art. 35

General provisions

1. Model aircraft operator is responsible for operating aerial vehicle such as not to endanger persons or property on the ground and other airspace users, to maintain separation from obstacles, to avoid collisions during flights and to give way to any other airspace users.

2. Model aircraft operator is responsible for obtaining any permissions concerning the electromagnetic spectrum for the frequency used by the radio-control and for the respect of any relevant obligations.

3. Airspace reservation is not required if:

a) Model aircraft have the following characteristics:

1) Operating take-off mass less than 25 kg;

2) Maximum wing area of 500 dm2

3) Maximum wing loading of 250 g/dm2

4) Maximum total displacement of piston engine of 250 cm3; or maximum total electric power of 15 kW or maximum total thrust of turbine engines of 25 kg (250 N) or maximum total power of turboprop engines of 15 kW;

5) free flight or circular tethered flight;

6) hot-air balloons with the total weight of the gas container for the burners not exceeding 5 kg; and

b) the activity meets the following requirements:

1) is carried out in daylight and model aircraft operator maintains direct visual contact with the model aircraft, without aid of optical and/or electronic devices;

2) is conducted within specific areas selected by model aircraft operator, up to maximum height of 70 m AGL, within maximum radius of 200 m, over unpopulated areas, far enough from buildings, sensitive infrastructures and facilities;

3) outside ATZ or at a distance greater than 5 km from the airport (ARP o published geographic coordinates) where the ATZ is not established;

4) outside CTR;

5) outside active restricted areas and prohibited areas.

4. When operations do not meet the requirements set forth in points point 3 above, activities shall be carried out within areas established by ENAC for model aircraft activities or, alternatively, within segregated airspace. In case of operations above 70 m AGL, model aircraft operator shall hold a qualification for flying model aircraft issued by Aero Club of Italy.

When weight and power/thrust conditions do not meet requirements set forth in point 3.a) above, operator shall be at least 18 years old and shall hold the qualification for flying model aircraft issued by Aero Club of Italy.

5. In case of interfering traffic, model aircraft shall not have right of way and shall be kept at a safety height such as not to endanger other aircraft.

6. Model aircraft operator shall respect all the provisions issued by local administrative authority.

7. Model aircraft operating over public areas shall not have installed any device/system which enables it to be used for specialised operations.

8. Model aircraft air shows and operations of model aircraft during air shows shall be carried out according to Aero Club of Italy provisions.

9. Class FAI F1 free flight model aircraft with mass less than 1,5 kg, circular tethered model aircraft and model aircraft used indoor are outside the scope of this Regulation.

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