Discover all the secrets of drone regulation in Iceland.
Drone regulation in Iceland.
What should I know?
Updated on 30/03/2020
We all like aerial images, with no doubt. And in the recent years the use of drones in Iceland has become rapidly popular. So it is easy to find several amateur drone pilots when we are traveling around the island of fire and ice. However, it is not so easy to fly a drone in Iceland safely and legally, the Nordic country has several regulations that we must comply with, not only due to the legal framework, but also because the environmental and nature protection.
Ready? Lets reveal these secrets!
1. Do I need formal capacitation or licence to fly a drone in Iceland?
It’s no needed any kind of course or special license for drone flying if they have less than 25kg. But it’s needed that they’re gonna be used for leisure purposes.
2. Do I need to register my drone?
Only for those with commercial intentions is needed to register their drones. This includes: professional photographers, press related workers, scientists, engineering corporations, etc. The register form can be found in this website and it’s free.
3. Can I fly my drone wherever I want?
No. It’s completely forbidden to fly a drone over:
- Over a crowd of people
- Close to airports with scheduled traffic
- Close to private houses and public buildings
- Above 120 meters
- Beyond visual line of sight of the pilot (BVLOS)
4. What about the National Parks?
In Iceland we do have 3 National Parks: Þingvellir, Vatnajökull & Snæfellsjökull National Park. In all of them is completely forbidden to fly a drone without a special permit for it.
For more information:
- Þingvellir National Park: thingvellir.is/en
- Vatnajökull National Park: https://www.vatnajokulsthjodgardur.is/en/about-us/basic-information/drone-restrictions
- Snæfellsjökull National Park & protected areas: ust.is/english
But…I’ve heard about the protected areas. Can I fly my drone over them?
In Iceland we do have 114 protected areas under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Agency of Iceland. In order to fly over these areas, you have to seek permission from the Agency. You can check their website: https://www.ust.is/english/
Some of the places where the drone flying is forbidden are one of the most populars!
- Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
- Reynisfjara black sand beach
- Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss & Skógafoss watefalls
- Látrabjarg & Dyrhólaey cliffs
- Skaftafell Nature Reserve
- Dynjandi waterfall
- Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon
- And more…
5. So…where can I fly my drone?
Let’s do a quick check about where can I fly a drone if I’m doing it for leisure purposes.
You can fly your drone in Iceland if:
- You’re not in a National Park (Þingvellir, Vatnajökull o Snæfellsjökull) or in a Natural Reserve.
- Always you’re not flying it over crowds of people or private land.
- Always that the signs in the visited place does not forbid it: just be logical. If you arrive to a place and it doesn’t belong to any of the previous statements, inform yourself about the flying regulation of this place. It’s easy!