You are taking your drone with you on vacation to Italy while hoping to take some glorious aerial photos and footage of its landscapes. According to the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC), flying a drone is legal in Italy. However, it is best to be aware of, and compliant with, the drone regulations in the country to avoid potential problems.
General rules for flying a drone in the European Union
While drones are becoming increasingly popular, many countries still lack clear legislation regarding their usage. In fact, out of more than 200 countries, around 70 have no specific laws to regulate drones.
Meanwhile, only 15 countries currently ban the usage of drones completely, while others make it difficult to get permits, especially for tourism.
As Italy forms part of the European Union, drone users must abide by the regulations placed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). However, Italy does have its own regulations that are country-specific.
Do you need ENAC clearance to fly a drone?
From July 1, 2020, registration is required for drones with a weight of 250 grams (0.50 lbs) or more and a certificate will be required. Meanwhile, insurance is compulsory for any drone, whatever its usage. Due to people’s privacy, authorization is required when flying in open private areas. Should you wish to film private events and ceremonies, this is allowed, as long as you comply with the limitations.
Can you take the drone in your carry-on baggage?
To be on the safe side, check with your airline to find out conditions regarding the size of your carry-on. You should also check restrictions relating to lithium batteries, as they are considered dangerous goods on airplanes.
Where can you use your drone in Italy?
When using a drone in Italy, you must be able to see your drone during the entire flight. You can use automatic navigation, RTH and other functions only when you can see the drone clearly with your own eyes. Meanwhile, the device must stay less than 200 meters (650 feet) away from you. It can only fly at a maximum height of 70 meters (230 feet).
It might be tempting to take flyover footage of that beautiful beach. However, from June 1 through September 30 this is forbidden within 100 meters (325 feet) of the coastline. It is also forbidden at a height of fewer than 300 meters (985 feet) above the ground.
However, during the daylight hours, you can fly where there are no people around. In fact, you should stay far away from roads, railroads, houses, etc. and keep a safe distance from people and buildings.
While it is tempting to take aerial footage of Venice, for instance, don’t even think about it. According to Italian photographer Fabio Nodari, a number of drones have hit San Marco’s church and fallen over crowds in the square.
Bear in mind that the local police are trained to stop anyone from flying over Italy’s cities. Non-compliance could result in charges against you – this is not something you need when on vacation!