Flying a drone in South Tyrol
Drones are versatile and are getting more popular every year. An increasing number of persons is using drones – privately as well as commercially. Taking photos and filming with drones creating fascinating aerial shots is extremely popular. Therefore, those who have drones must follow several rules.
The more drones are on the way in the air, the bigger is the risk of collisions and accidents. Therefore, the EU implementing act 2019/947 was adopted, regulating the civil use of drones in all countries of the EU, and so in South Tyrol, since 31 December 2020 (with certain transitional measures). With the Regolamento UAS-IT, the civil Italian aviation authority ENAC (Ente Nazionale Aviazione Civile) has integrated and extended the legal framework of the EU drone regulation via a national legal provision. UAS is, by the way, the abbreviation for Unmanned Aircraft System.
Important uniform rules in the EU at a glance
- The usage of drones is not subdivided into private and commercial, but according to the risk (depends on the weight and usage conditions): there are the 3 categories “Open” (with subcategories A1, A2, A3), “Specific” and “Certified”.
- Each drone must have a CE label. The CE class of the drone is important for the classification into categories (see above).
- A registration is mandatory for all drone operators, except when the drone weighs less than 250 grammes or when it falls under the EU toy directive. In case of high-speed drones and drones with cameras, registration is mandatory too. The registration is acknowledged in all countries, that have assumed the EU drone measures. In Italy and so in South Tyrol as well, registration is available via the portal d-flight. Also, there must be a QR code on the drone for its identification.
- For flying drones from a weight of 250 grammes, pilots (is or is not always equal to the operator) need do have a certificate of competence. In the category “Open”, a “small” (online course and test) or “big” EU drone license will be mandatory, depending on the subcategory.
- For drone flights in the category “Specific”, an approval by the national aviation authority is necessary. For the category “Certified”, currently, an approval is possible only with the involvement of EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency).
In Italy, a liability insurance is required for all drones. The drone operator is responsible for the compliance with legal regulations concerning safety, data protection and mandatory insurance. On the portal d-flight, you can also see the no-fly zones. Consideration of human beings, animals and nature is mandatory as well. Detailed information, regulations and answers to frequently asked questions can be found in Italian language on the website of ENAC. For questions about the usage of drones in South Tyrol, you can call ENAC Bozen as well: +39 0471 252777.