Can You Fly A Drone in Lisbon? (Answered)


In this blog post, we’ll explore the question, “Is drone flying allowed in Lisbon?”.

So, let’s jump in and discover everything you need to know — regulations, penalties (if any) and safety tips to keep in mind!

Can You Fly A Drone in Lisbon

Can You Fly a Drone in Lisbon?

Yes, you can fly a drone in Lisbon. However, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the local regulations and guidelines to ensure a safe and legal flying experience. Here drone flights are regulated by the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC), which has specific rules and restrictions in place to protect public safety and privacy. By adhering to these regulations and respecting the local authorities’ guidelines, drone enthusiasts can enjoy capturing stunning aerial footage while exploring Lisbon’s beautiful landscapes.

Overview of Drone Regulations

Let’s take a look at some of the key points for drone regulations:

Maximum Altitude Limits

  • The maximum altitude limit for flying a drone is 120 meters (394 feet) above the ground.
  • Drones must not be flown over people or large crowds and must maintain a distance of at least 30 meters vertically or horizontally from people.

Distance Restrictions

  • Drones must maintain a safe distance of at least 30 meters from people, buildings, and vehicles not involved in the drone operations, unless explicit permission is granted by said people or owners of the properties or vehicles.
  • During operation, drones should remain within the visual line of sight of the operator, not exceeding a distance of 500 meters horizontally and 120 meters vertically, unless an exemption has been granted by the Portuguese aviation authority, ANAC.

Prohibited Activities and Actions

  • Drones must not be flown at a height of more than 120 meters (394 feet) above the ground level.
  • Drones are prohibited from flying in controlled airspace and near airports without prior authorization from the National Civil Aviation Authority (Autoridade Aeronáutica Nacional).

Privacy and Data Protection Considerations

  • All drone operators must respect individuals’ right to privacy. This means avoiding any flights over private property without the explicit consent of the property owner, and avoiding capturing images or recordings of individuals without their consent.
  • In accordance with data protection laws, any data gathered using a drone, such as photo or video footage, should only be used for the purpose it was originally collected for. Drone operators must also ensure any collected data is securely stored and destroyed when no longer required.

Commercial Operations

  • Commercial drone operators must obtain a flight license from the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC), which requires submitting a detailed flight plan, proof of drone registration, and a certificate of technical competency.
  • All commercial drones weighing over 250 grams must be insured for civil liability. The coverage must include property damage and bodily harm, with the minimum amount set by ANAC.

Penalties for Violating Drone Regulations

If you violate drone regulations in Lisbon, or anywhere in Portugal, you could face serious repercussions. The National Civil Aviation Authority (Autoridade Nacional de Aviação Civil, ANAC) has set strict penalties for those who don’t adhere to the rules. First-time offenders can be fined from €300 to €4,000 for individual operators and up to €7,500 for corporate entities. These penalties can increase for repeat offenders or in situations where the violations result in significant damage or pose a major safety risk.

In addition to financial penalties, repeated or severe violations can also lead to loss of your drone operating license. The ANAC can revoke or suspend your license if you don’t follow the rules. In extreme cases, legal action might be taken against the operator. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand and follow the regulations to avoid any negative consequences. Always remember that drone operations should be conducted responsibly and safely.

Tips for Safe and Responsible Drone Flying in Lisbon

To ensure a positive drone flying experience and comply with the regulations, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  1. Observe Regulations: Always comply with the drone regulations set by the Portuguese Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
  2. Respect Privacy: Never fly over private property or take photographs without explicit permission to avoid invading privacy and potential legal complications.
  3. Maintain Line of Sight: Always keep your drone within your line of sight to ensure you can control it effectively and prevent possible accidents.
  4. Check Drone’s Condition: Regularly inspect the drone’s propellers, battery, and overall condition before each flight to ensure safe operation.
  5. Avoid Crowded Areas: Never fly over large gatherings or events to avoid potential accidents and to respect the safety and comfort of others.


Can I Fly My Drone at Night in Lisbon?

Yes, you can fly your drone at night in Lisbon. However, it’s crucial to follow local regulations, which typically require maintaining visual line of sight with your drone, even at night. Always ensure safe and responsible drone operation.

Can You Bring a Drone to Lisbon?

Yes, you can bring a drone to Lisbon, with the understanding that drone flying is generally permitted. However, you must still adhere to the local laws and regulations regarding drone usage to ensure safety and compliance.

Do I Need a License or Permit to Fly a Drone in Lisbon?

Yes, to fly a drone in Lisbon, you need to adhere to Portugal’s aviation authority, ANAC, rules. This requires a license for drones weighing over 900 grams. You should also apply for a permit if flying in restricted areas, such as near airports.


Before you launch your drone into the Lisbon skies, it’s crucial to understand the area’s drone laws and regulations.

This applies not only to Lisbon but also to other destinations around the world. For example, if you’re heading to Big Sur, it’s important to know the specific rules and guidelines for drone flying there. Similarly, if you have dreams of capturing breathtaking footage of San Francisco or exploring drone opportunities around Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s essential to be aware of the local drone regulations in those locations as well.

Drone laws are subject to change, and information in this blog may become outdated; always consult official sources for the latest regulations.

So, whether you’re planning a leisurely flight or engaging in commercial drone operations, make sure to fly responsibly, and stay informed.

Resources and Further Information:

Photo of author
Peter Karanja is a licensed drone pilot from Kenya, freelance writer and drone enthusiast. He has been using drones for land survey, GIS, and photography for the past three years. Being a drone user, he loves writing about drone applications, safety tips for using drones, and the best ways to get the most out of a drone.

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