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New Drone Laws in Italy (2023 Updated)

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: December 24, 2022

Drone technology has come a long way in recent years, with models now small and portable enough to take on vacation with ease. While they offer a unique perspective when used for capturing holiday memories. It's important to be aware of any drone-related laws or restrictions in the country you're visiting. 

Drone Laws in Italy

In Italy, there are currently no overarching drone regulations as such. However, each Italian municipality is free to enact its own rules governing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), so it's important to check with the local authorities before flying your drone.

For the most part, however, Italians seem fairly relaxed about drones remember to keep your flights low and slow near populated areas and flight paths. And, of course, always respect private property rights if you're flying close to someone's home or business.

In this blog post, we'll take a look at the drone laws in Italy and what you need to know before flying your drone there.

Also Read: Drone Laws in Finland

Is it legal to fly drones in Italy?

Yes, it is legal to fly drones in Italy as long as you abide by the regulations set forth by ENAC. These regulations include things such as maintaining a safe flying height, keeping the drone within your line of sight at all times, and registering any drone over 5kg / 11lbs with ENAC.

Drone Laws in Italy

Additionally, commercial pilots must obtain special permission and training before they can legally operate their drones for any form of compensation. As long as these rules are followed, there should be no issues when flying a drone in Italy.

General Rules For Drones in Italy (2023)

In order to operate a drone in Italy, you must first register it. Once registered, please make sure to follow these guidelines.

Drone Laws in Italy
  • Drones can fly no higher than 50 meters in the Open category and 120 meters for those in the Specific category. ENAC (The Italian Civil Aviation Authority) may give specific category drone operators an exception to this rule.
  • You must always be able to see the drone, and it should never fly more than 500 meters away from you.
  • It is best to avoid flying in or near heavily populated areas. 
  • It is recommended that a safety buffer zone of one kilometer be maintained around residential areas.
  • A safety distance of 500 meters from isolated buildings, people, vehicles, animals, and structures is required unless the owner/person consents.
  • For safety, avoid flying near airports or heliports. Stay at least eight kilometers away from airports and three kilometers from heliports.
  • Flying a drone at night is strictly prohibited.
  • You are not allowed to fly over, within, or near military installations, public utility installations, archaeological sites, or public or private facilities.

Also Read: Updated Drone Laws In Turkey: Rules You Must Know

Operation Categories in Italy

Italy has classified drones into three distinct categories, each with its own specific set of rules and regulations that must be adhered to.

Open Category

Drones that meet the following criteria do not require authorization or a declaration from the operator

  • maximum takeoff mass of 25kg or less,
  • operated within a visual line of sight
  • altitude does not exceed 120m.

Specific Category

Flights in this category come with a moderate level of risk. Operators must get permission before the flight, except for in specific scenarios where an operator declaration is enough. The permission is given after taking into account the mitigation measures from an operational risk assessment.

Certified Category

Drones are a potential safety hazard, so you need to be certified to fly one. If your drone can carry people, you will need a Certified pilot license.

The Organizations That Regulate the Aviation Sector in Italy

There has been increased media coverage of drones in recent years. While some people are concerned about privacy breaches, others believe drones could make our lives easier. It is crucial to be aware that several organizations currently manage drone regulations.

Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC)

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) is the national agency responsible for regulating aviation in Italy. Founded on 25 July 1997, ENAC is tasked with ensuring the safety of aircraft and passengers and promoting the development of the Italian aviation industry.

Drone Laws in Italy

Among other things, ENAC develops and implements regulations governing the use of drones in Italian airspace. It also manages drone registration and licensing, and investigates incidents involving drones.

In addition, ENAC works to raise public awareness about drone safety and promote the responsible use of drones. As the authority on all things related to aviation in Italy, ENAC plays a vital role in ensuring that drones are used safely and responsibly.

This reform aims to establish a safe and unified drone market throughout Europe. If an operator has been authorized by their state, they will be allowed to fly drones freely in any European Union country.

The new legal framework will introduce three categories of drone operations based on the level of risk involved: Open, Specific, and Certified. All drone Operations must comply with the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 (as amended).

European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is a world-renowned aviation safety organization. Founded in 2002, EASA's mission is to set and enforce safety standards across all of Europe's aviation industry.

Drone Laws in Italy

These standards help keep passengers safe and comfortable during their flights and encourage pilots and other aviation professionals to maintain a high level of competence. One of the key areas of EASA's work is drones.

The agency is responsible for developing regulations for the safe operation of drones in European airspace. In addition, EASA works with member states to ensure that drones are operated safely and in accordance with the law.

Also Read: European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

Registering as a Pilot in Italy

According to European Regulation (EU) 2019/947, UAS operators must register (not the UAS itself). The person physically controlling the flight of the unmanned aircraft system during operation and fully responsible for its safety is known as the remote pilot or drone operator.

Drone Laws in Italy

If you want to fly a drone recreationally in Italy, you must first register as an operator in the ENAC-approved D-Flight portal. The only exemption is those flying drones that weigh less than 250 grams.

The portal requires the registration of all drones with HD cameras or other devices that could invade the privacy of others, even those weighing less than 250 grams.

You must renew your UAS operator registration number yearly following the same procedure. You will continue to use the same number unless you become deregistered from the register, in which case you will be given a new number.

The UAS Operator is responsible for overseeing drone operations and giving flight instructions. The operator also bears all responsibility for the drone(s) being operated on their behalf.

In many cases, such as in the OPEN category or with an individual, the Pilot and Operator are one and the same people.

If your operation falls under the OPEN category, then you must register:

  • Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) with a mass of 250 g or more.
  • UAS that are less than 250g and can go faster than 90km/h with a camera or microphone attached.

All operators must register under the SPECIFIC category. Legal personnel must register in the country where their headquarters are located. Registration can only be done in one European Union country at a time.

Also Read: Drone License Renewal & Changes To Part 107 Testing

Things to Keep in Mind for Recreational Purposes

You are allowed to fly your drone privately in Italy, but you must follow these rules:

Drone Laws in Italy
  • A drone's maximum flying height is 70m / 229ft.
  • You need special permission from the FAA to fly higher than 70m / 229ft.
  • It is critical that the drone always stays in your line of sight.
  • Drones should have a maximum take-off weight of 25kg / 55 lbs or less without special permission.
  • Drones are only allowed to fly during the daytime in Italy.
  • Flights of drones at night require special approval.
  • Labeling requirements are not necessary.
  • Always ensure your drone avoids liability issues.
  • Your device should output a frequency of 2.5GHz or 5.8 GHz at most 100 milliwatts.
  • Please maintain a safe distance from others in public and be respectful of personal space.

Things to Keep in Mind for Commercial Purposes

ENAC requires commercial drone pilots flying low-risk flights to submit a statement of compliance with certain requirements and a 94 Euro processing fee. If your goal is to commercially operate a drone, you'll need to get training and an operating certificate, as well as a health certificate.

If you want to fly a commercial drone in Italy, you must follow these guidelines:

  • Do not fly your drone more than 100m / 328ft above the ground.
  • You'll need special permission to fly your drone above 100m / 328ft.
  • You must always be able to see the drone (line-of-sight).
  • Take-Off Weight should not exceed 5kg / 11lbs without special permission.
  • A license is needed to fly a drone for commercial purposes. (since October 2017)
  • You are only allowed to fly a drone in Italy during the daytime.
  • If you want to fly your drone at night, you need special permission.
  • Labeling requirements are not necessary.
  • You must always have liability insurance for your drone.
  • The ideal FPV frequency is 2.4 GHz to 5.8 GHz, with a power output of 100 mW.

Also Read: 10 Best Professional Drones

No Drone Zones

No Drone Zones are typically areas with a high air traffic density, such as airports or helipads. Drones can pose a serious safety hazard to both manned and unmanned aircraft, so they are not permitted in these areas.

Drone Laws in Italy

In some cases, No Drone Zones may also be established in order to protect sensitive areas from unwanted intrusion or spying. For example, many prisons have designated their grounds as No Drone Zones in order to prevent contraband from being delivered by drone.

Whatever the reason, it is important to be aware of No Drone Zones before flying a drone. Otherwise, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a hefty fine.

How to know about No Drone Zones?

Signs at the entrance typically indicate no Drone Zones, or you can find them online. Every country has its own laws regarding No Drone Zones, so it is important to check your local regulations before flying in any area.

Additionally, many drone pilots use apps to determine if they are entering a No Drone Zone. These apps list all of the applicable restrictions for each country and provide helpful tips on how to safely fly a drone within that country's airspace.

Also Read: Drone Laws in Arizona

Conclusion

Drone flying in Italy is legal as long as it follows the applicable regulations set forth by ENAC. It is important to ensure that you are aware of any No Drone Zones and to obtain adequate liability insurance before taking to the skies.

Keeping this set of rules in mind, you can enjoy the great country of Italy from a unique aerial perspective.

We hope this article has been helpful in understanding the laws and regulations surrounding drone flying in Italy. If you have questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.

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Richard J. Gross

Hi, my name is Richard J. Gross and I’m a full-time Airbus pilot and commercial drone business owner. I got into drones in 2015 when I started doing aerial photography for real estate companies. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out that police were called on me shortly after I started flying. They didn’t like me flying my drone near people, so they asked me to come train their officers on the rules and regulations for drones. After that, I decided to start my own drone business and teach others about the safe and responsible use of drones.

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