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Can You Fly a Drone in Positano?

Positano is a village on the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. Its narrow roads full of cafes and boutiques and its beautiful beaches present quaint sights you’d love to capture with your drone.

Can you use a drone in Positano, Italy?

According to the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, you can fly a drone in Positano. You must follow ENAC rules, including operating your drone only by day, maintaining a direct line of sight on your drone, and avoiding flying over crowds.

Today’s article will be chock full of information to help you plan your trip to Positano, so make sure you don’t miss it!

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Can you fly a drone in Positano?

Looking at photos of Positano is like something straight out of a postcard. This gorgeous island boasts the famous Sentiero degli Dei hiking trail, the Virgin Mary Byzantine icon from the 13th century, and the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta dome.

It’s a paradise whether you’re bringing your drone or not, but of course, you want to. Fortunately, you can fly here!

In Italy, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority or Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile establishes the rules for drone flight. According to ENAC, drones can fly in Positano as they can throughout Italy but are subject to rules and restrictions.

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Drone rules for flying in Positano

What rules are at play when visiting Positano? Let’s review everything you need to know in this section.

Your drone must meet Open Category criteria

As part of the European Union, Italy also enforces the European Union Aviation Safety Agency or EASA’s drone regulations.

Based on these regulations, drones fit into one of three categories, with regulations differing according to each category. The categories include Certified, Specific, and Open classifications.

Drones should meet the Open Category classification when operating in Positano and elsewhere in Italy. The criteria for that category include the following:

  • You must not use your drone for transporting hazardous goods. If your drone carries any materials, you will not drop them when your drone is in flight.
  • You will not use your drone to ascend above 120 meters or 400 feet.
  • You must always have a visual line of sight on your drone. If you can’t do that, you must have an observer present who can do it for you.
  • You must not use your drone to fly directly over crowds unless your drone weighs under 250 grams or 0.55 pounds or has a specific class identification label that allows for the behavior.
  • Your drone must not weigh more than 25 kilograms or 55 pounds during takeoff.
  • Your drone must have a class identification label between 0 and 4.

You must have a drone license

Non-residents visiting Italy with a drone for the first time need a Remote Pilot Certificate from a country within the European Union. You’ll have to register online for an A1/A3 Certificate, first undergoing training and then taking an exam.

Passing the exam with a score of at least 75 percent allows you to use your drone according to the Open Category requirements outlined in the paragraphs above.

In the European Union, a Remote Pilot Certificate remains valid for five years, not two years like in the United States.

You must register your drone as an Operator

Italian drone law requires that pilots register, not their drones. Thus, whether you’re a commercial or recreational pilot, you can’t get away with not registering your UAV in Italy.

You’ll register as an Operator and in doing so, will get an Operator Registration number. 

Each of these numbers is unique, but if you have more than one drone, you’ll still only receive one Operator Registration number. Attach your Operator Registration number to your drone(s).

If your drone adventures have taken you to other parts of the European Union before you arrived in Italy and you already registered your drone, you don’t have to do it again.

You must go through the protocols for low-risk and high-risk drone operations

This next rule only applies to commercial pilots. If the work you’ll do classifies as low-risk, you need to contact ENAC and send a statement of compliance. You’ll also pay a processing fee of 94 euros, approximately $99.79 USD.

If you’re doing what are deemed as high-risk operations, you must have a health certificate and an operating certificate after undergoing more advanced drone training.

Keep within three miles of an airport

In Italy, you’re restricted from flying closer than five kilometers or three miles from an airfield or airport.

Positano itself doesn’t have any airports. You’ll find the closest one in nearby Naples, but this rule still stands.

Limit your distance from the ground

Hobbyists cannot fly a drone more than 70 meters or 230 feet from the ground in Italy, while commercial pilots cannot ascend over 150 meters or 492 feet.

Do not use your drone at night

Italy comes alive at night, but you’ll have to refrain from enjoying the sights and sounds, at least with your drone in tow. After dark, ENAC law requires you to ground your drone until morning.

Affix an identification plate to your drone

When you register your drone, you’ll receive an identification plate. This plate contains information on the operator (you) and your drone system.

If your drone can transmit data, it must also have an Electronic Identification Device attached to it.

Tips for flying a drone in Italy

To wrap up, here are a few bonus tips that will help you maximize your drone flights in Positano. 

Check ENAC’s website before you launch

What’s the latest on airspace restrictions, including temporary closures? ENAC will tell you.

Most of ENAC’s website is available in English. For the parts that aren’t, use a widget or tool on your Internet browser that automatically translates other languages into English.

For that feature, it’s best to start your morning in your hotel room (or Airbnb or wherever you’re staying) by checking ENAC’s website from your laptop.

If you wait until you’re out in the field and use your phone, it might be harder to translate the website. 

Use a drone mapping app

While ENAC’s website is a highly valuable resource, we recommend having a drone app downloaded on your phone with real-time map updates.

You can use the map to correlate ENAC airspace updates. Also, if you can’t check ENAC’s website for any reason, you’ll always have the app available.

As a reminder, red areas on the map denote no-fly zones. You’ll see red areas around airports, military bases, and sensitive infrastructure.

Yellow zones represent warning areas. You can fly your drone in these areas, but you should ideally check ENAC’s website before launching for any regulations and updates.

Pack batteries strategically 

Depending on the size of the drone batteries you want to bring with you, how many you can bring in your checked or carry-on bag varies.

For small batteries that produce fewer than 100 watt-hours of energy, you can bring 20 detached batteries in your carry-on but none in your checked baggage.

Medium-sized batteries have between 100 and 160 watt-hours of energy. You can bring two detached batteries in your carry-on but none in your checked baggage.

Large batteries exceed 160 watt-hours of energy. You cannot carry them on board in your carry-on or in checked luggage.

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Positano is a serene, stunning cliffside coastal village in Italy. It has quaint sights, incredible beaches, and expansive historical features.

Italian drone law permits pilots who want to use their drones in Positano, according to ENAC, the country’s leading drone authority.

Make sure you stay abreast of Italian drone laws, as they vary considerably in some areas from the laws in the US.

Use a drone map, check the ENAC website, and safely launch and land your drone each time you fly. Have fun!