Austria is no newcomer to the study of drones. The country has been working toward integrating UAVs into society for a number of years, and it will continue to do so as UAV technology advances further.

And with the way things are shaping up, Austria may soon be among the first countries in the world to completely legalize drone use for civilian purposes, bringing it in line with other nations that have already approved UAV use for recreational and commercial uses.

In this article we’re going to take a look at Austria’s drone laws and see what you need to know if you plan on using your drone in or visiting the country.

Drone Laws In Austria

Drone Laws In Austria

There Are Regional Restrictions In Austria

There Are Regional Restrictions In Austria that drone flyers should keep in mind.

  • Drones are banned around or over Austrian government buildings, military bases, and prison facilities. This includes the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense Headquarters in Vienna and Salzburg, the national parliament building (Hofburg Palace), the presidential palace (Hofburg Palace), and any military barracks. It is also illegal to fly drones around or over nuclear power plants or research centers where they’re used or stored.
  • Drones cannot be flown within corridors near airports: 5km from a large airport (like Vienna International Airport) and 2.5km from a smaller one (like Flughafen Graz).
  • Drones are not allowed within 50 meters of individuals who aren’t involved with piloting them; this means it’s technically illegal to fly drones directly over crowded public places like beaches, zoos, sporting events, concerts…basically anywhere you’ll find large groups of people using your drone for their entertainment is off limits!

You Need A License To Fly Commercially In Austria

If you want to make money with your drone or fly for commercial purposes, you will need to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate (RePL), as well as a Certificate of Registration and a Certificate of Airworthiness.

The certificate exam is in German only and there are four different categories based on the type of drone being flown. Getting certified isn’t easy, but it will teach you how to fly safely and responsibly.

Register Drones With The Civil Aviation Authority

You’ll need to register your drone and obtain a drone operator ID card, which is valid for 5 years. The process has two steps:

  • Submit a registration application to Austro Control
  • Obtain the operator ID card from the Lower Austrian provincial government office

Illegal To Fly Close To An Airport In Austria

There are specific rules for flying near airports in Austria. Keep these things in mind:

  • You must be at least 2km away from a civilian airport. If you wish to fly closer than this, you must obtain permission from the air traffic control agency at least five days in advance;
  • You must be at least 5km away from a military airfield. Failure to adhere to these rules can result in fines and even prison time!

Forbidden To Fly Over Crowds

You can fly above your own property, but you cannot hover over crowds of people. However, if the crowd is small and within a sparsely populated area, flying is allowed if you give notice to those below.

Illegal To Fly At Night

You should avoid flying your drone at night if you can. There are a lot of potential hazards to consider, including other aircraft and even wildlife. If you must fly at night, make sure it is properly lit up and visible to other pilots.

The lights should be bright enough to be seen from 3 miles away on a clear day, and they should be white or red. It is also recommended that you use an RTH (return-to-home) function if your drone has one, so it will automatically return to the take-off point in case of an emergency.

Finally, don’t forget about proper insurance for your drone before taking off into the skies above Austria!

Keep These Rules In Mind

Here are some rules to follow when flying a drone in Austria:

  • Make sure you keep your drone in sight at all times. It is also recommended that first-time pilots have someone else help track the drone’s position, so they can focus on flying.
  • Stay below 400 feet to ensure your safety and the safety of others. UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) only become harder to control as you gain elevation, and it’s more likely that you’ll lose track of them altogether. In addition, there’s a greater chance of damaging property or injuring someone if something goes wrong and your device falls from the sky after being several hundred feet high.
  • Have at least one other person with you who can help watch where the drone goes—such as a coach or flight partner—so that he or she can notify you if there are other people or animals in the area where you’re about to fly your device over. You should also make sure not to fly near airports; most require that drones be flown at least 5 miles away from their premises because they pose a potential risk for collision.

How To Register Drones In Austria

How To Register Drones In Austria

You can register your drone with the Austrian Civil Aviation Authority via their website. To register, you will need to have the following information and documentation about your drone:

  • A credit card for the registration fee (no other forms of payment are accepted)
  • The make and model of your drone
  • The serial number of your drone
  • Your name, address, phone number, email address and date of birth (as well as the same information for any other pilots who operate or own the drone)

Light Drones Must Be Registered In Austria

In Austria, all light drones must be registered. Light drones are those weighing less than 25 kg. Heavy drones weigh more than 25 kg and they may not be used in Austria. It is also forbidden to fly your drone near airports or above people.

If your drone weighs less than 250 grams, you do not need to register it. However, if you have a heavy drone, or a light one that weighs more than 250 grams and you want to use it in Austria, it needs to be registered with the Austrian Aviation Authority (Flugpolizei), regardless of its weight.

Drones Weighing Less Than 250 Grams Do Not Need To Be Registered

You do not need to register drones that weigh less than 250 grams. This is the case for all types of drones, including recreational and professional ones.

The Registration Process Is The Same For All Types Of Drones

The Registration Process Is The Same For All Types Of Drones. If your drone weighs less than 25 kilograms, and it doesn’t matter if it is a DJI Mavic or a Parrot Bebop 2, the process is the same. The same applies to where you purchased your device from – whether from an international online store such as Amazon or from a local Austrian retailer will not affect the process.

Owners Of Light Drones Must Be 16 Years Or Older

In Austria, the minimum age for operating light drones is 16 years. The legal basis for this is a judgment of the Higher Administrative Court of Vienna (VwGH) from November 2016. The court ruled that according to aviation law, there must be an age limit for flying drones.

The age of 16 corresponds to the minimum age for driving a motor vehicle with a moped certificate (14 years old) and is also in line with other European countries: In Belgium, Italy and Germany, light drone pilots must also be at least 16 years old. Only in Spain are younger pilots allowed to fly a drone under certain conditions; they have to be 15 or older and must have written permission from their parents.

In Austria, anyone who flies a drone without permission can expect fines of up to 20,000 euros if they violate air traffic regulations (LWG).

It Is Necessary To Register A Drone Again If Its Owner Changes

For example, if you buy a drone from someone else, you must register it in your name yourself. You must also notify the registration authority if you sell your drone or if any changes occur in your personal details (such as your address).

Are Drones Allowed In Austria

Aerial Photography

Whether you’re an old hand at drone photography or a freshly launched pilot, Austria is the perfect place to capture life from a new perspective. From the creative vantage point of your drone, all kinds of stunning views open to you: the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage are yours for the taking, and your audience will be intrigued by the myriad viewpoints you’ll have access to.

Austria is also home to some of world’s most exceptional architecture and historic sites, as well as people in traditional clothes that make picturesque subjects. With all this on offer, it’s only fitting that flying drones has become such a popular hobby here; even if you’ve never flown one before, we encourage you to give it a try!

Specific Rules And Regulations

With great freedom comes great responsibility, and that’s no less true for drones in general and drones in Austria specifically. If you want to fly your drone in Austria, you have to follow all of the local laws.

If you don’t, there can be consequences ranging from fines and having your drone confiscated to being arrested—depending on what laws you break and how badly you break them.

The Austrian government has established a list of rules called The Drone Act that pilots are expected to follow in order to legally operate their drones in the air. These rules differ depending on the class of drone (how big it is), where it’s being flown, who is flying it, and what it’s being used for.

You Can Fly Them On Private Land

In general, drones can be flown without prior permission from the authorities, meaning you can fly them on private land. However, there are certain rules and regulations that need to be followed in order to fly your drone safely and responsibly while avoiding fines.

Individuals flying a drone are required to follow Austrian drone laws. You must register any drone that is heavier than 0.25 kg with the local aviation authority, or LVA.

In addition, if your drone weighs more than 2 kg gross weight (including payload), you will require a nationally-recognized remote pilot license (FAA Part 107, PfCO etc.) Alternatively, you may operate under the direct supervision of someone who has such a license or qualification.

Fly Drones For Commercial Purposes

The following requirements must be met for operating a drone:

  • You must be a trained drone pilot.
  • You must have a certificate of registration.
  • Flight is only allowed during the day and not in clouds or rain.
  • The drone must have insurance coverage.
  • The drone must weigh less than 25 kilograms (55 pounds).
  • Drone flights are limited to 120 meters above ground level.

Drones Are Allowed In Austria But You Need To Comply With The Laws

Thanks to its remote location, Austria has very strict drone regulations. If the drone you’re using is larger than 50 cm in size, it’s considered a model airplane and must be registered. For more information, contact the Department of Civil Aviation.

To ensure public safety and to avoid interference with police operations, drones are prohibited within a radius of 2 kilometers around airports (including Vienna Airport), in flight-paths used by aircraft (Austrian airspace), and along firing ranges.

Frequently Asked Question (drone Laws In Austria)

What Are Drones Used For?

Drones are used for a number of different things. The most common use is for photography and videography, but drones can also be used in search and rescue missions, agriculture, and surveillance.

Do I Need To Register My Drone In Austria?

Yes, you do need to register your drone in Austria. You can register your drone online or at a post office. If you choose to go through the registration process at a post office, make sure that the address on your ID document is in Austria and that there are no other people listed as living at that address.

Do I Need To Insure My Drone?

Once you’ve got your drone registered, you may want to consider getting insurance. This is especially true if you’re planning on flying commercially or in a public space.

  • You can get insurance through a third party like DroneGuard, which offers comprehensive coverage options at affordable prices (including liability insurance).
  • If you bought your drone from one of the major manufacturers like DJI or Parrot, they will usually offer some sort of coverage plans.
  • Retailers like Amazon and Best Buy also offer insurance packages that are priced based on the value of your drone and other factors such as whether it’s used for commercial purposes or not—so check them out before buying!

If none of these options appeal to you…you can always go with a traditional bank instead! Banks generally offer more affordable policies than outside companies do because they have access to cheaper rates due to their high volumes; just call up yours when purchasing so they know what kind of policy works best for both parties involved.”

What Training Do I Need To Fly A Drone In Austria?

You will need to be registered with the Austrian Civil Aviation Authority and have a pilot’s certificate. In addition, you will also have to pass a written examination as well as a practical test with an instructor.


Overall, it seems that drone laws in Austria are relatively lenient, but that does not mean you should head to the Alps with a camera-drone without proper paperwork. Please always check the specific regulations before flying your drone in Austria, or elsewhere. Good luck!

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