Drones – unmanned aircraft
If you fly a drone, you have to be aware of the aviation rules. Otherwise you could end up being fined, or even in prison.
The regulations in short
For drones weighing less than 7 kg (category 1):
Label your drone
Unmanned aircraft belonging to category 1 (less than 7 kg) shall be labelled with the operator's name and telephone number.
Make sure you have insurance
Third party insurance is not a requirement for drones weighing less than 20 kg that are used only for shows and recreation. Even so, our recommendation is that you get a third party insurance, since a regular home insurance usually does not cover damages caused by drones.
The insurance shall be a third party liability insurance covering third party injury and third party property damage, and it shall amount to 750.000 SDR. SDR is a kind of exchange rate, with 1 SDR being equal to approximately 12 SEK. 750.000 SDR thus, is approximately 9 million SEK. If the insurance policy does not contain any reference to EC Regulation 785/2004, it shall instead be clearly stated that the insurance applies to the flying of unmanned aircraft and that the liability insurance amounts to at least 9 million SEK.
Make sure your drone is in good condition and, if you fly in the dark, that it is equipped with lighting
The operator shall ensure that the system is maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and that the system status is checked before flying.
The pilot shall make sure that the system works throughout the flight. When flown in the dark, the unmanned aircraft shall be equipped with lighting in such a way that the aircraft's position and direction can be clearly perceived
Always designate a pilot in-command for each flight, and prepare the flight
Always designate a pilot in-command for each flight. The person designated as pilot-in-command is responsible for the operation and safety of the aircraft during the flight.
Before the flight, the pilot shall study the most recent information from AIP (Aeronautical Information Publication), AIP Supplement, NOTAM (Notices to Airmen), the county administrative board, the police authorities and the local authorities, regarding any restrictions or special conditions.
The pilot shall be familiar with the unmanned aircraft's functioning and steering, and he or she shall also be satisfied that the flight can be performed safely.
Keep your drone in sight and stay below 120 metres from the ground
When flown, the unmanned aircraft shall be within its operational range and well within the pilot's visual line of sight (without the use of visual aids such as binoculars). The pilot has to take into consideration ongoing activities, topography including any obstacles, atmospherics, the influence of the weather etc.
When flown in uncontrolled airspace, the drone must stay below 120 metres (400 ft.) from the ground or the water.
Keep a distance to people, animals and property
Before the flight, the pilot is to establish an area where the drone can be safely flown. This area must not go beyond the intended terrain and surroundings, as regards the distance to people, animals and property. For the protection of people, animals and property which are unrelated to the flight, there must be a horizontal safety distance between these and the unmanned aircraft throughout the flight.
Do not fly over nuclear power plants, prisons, nature reserves and military command areas
Restricted areas in Sweden include the airspace above nuclear power plants, prisons, nature reserves and military command areas. In these areas, special conditions apply, and special permits to fly are often required. The restricted areas are indicated on LFV's (Air Navigation Services of Sweden) drone drone chart, and the nature areas where you need a special permit to fly or land a drone are shown on the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s.
Also, do not fly your drone in such a way that it may disturb an ongoing rescue operation.
Be prepared to give way for any other air traffic
The pilot shall monitor the surrounding airspace to be able to give way for any other air traffic.
If the unmanned aircraft is equipped for auto flight, it shall always be possible for the pilot to take over control in order to make sure that it is possible to take evasive action.
Do not fly closer than 1 km from a heliport
Only after consultation with the heliport in question may drones be flown closer than 1 km from the heliports stated in AIP AD1.1, paragraph 11.
See LFV's drone chart.
Flying within airports' control zones or traffic information zones
If the unmanned aircraft's speed does not exceed 25 metres per second (50 knots or 90 km per hour) and if you do not fly closer than 5 km from any section of the airport's runway(s), you may fly without clearance if:
- you stay below 10 metres from the ground within the control zones of the military airports Karlsborg, Linköping/Malmen, Linköping/SAAB, Luleå/Kallax, Ronneby, Såtenäs, Uppsala, Vidsel, Visby, Hagshult and Jokkmokk
- you stay below 50 metres from the ground within any other control zones.
Within traffic information zones (TIZ), two-way radio communication is not mandatory for unmanned aircraft being flown below 50 metres from the ground, if the aircraft's speed does not exceed 90 km per hour and if it is not flown closer than 5 km from the runway.
See LFV's drone chart for information about the airports' control zones and traffic information zones.
Regarding any other flights within the airport's different zones: contact the airport
See LFV's drone chart for information about the locations of the different zones and areas:
- Abbreviation of control zone: CTR
- Abbreviation of aerodrome traffic zone: ATZ
- Abbreviation of traffic information zone: TIZ
You may only fly in controlled airspace if you have been granted a special permit (clearance) by the air traffic control unit of the airspace in question and if you fulfil the conditions stated by that air traffic control unit.
When flying in a traffic information zone or a traffic information area, the pilot shall maintain two-way radio communication or equivalent, as agreed with the air traffic services.
Flights in aerodrome traffic zones are only allowed after consultation with the airport concerned.
Do not take insulting photographs and do not disseminate aerial photos without permit to do so
Read more about camera surveillance using drones at datainspektionen.se (the Swedish Data Protection Authority).
Read more about distribution of aerial photos at lantmateriet.se (the Swedish land survey authority).
Make sure the drone's radio equipment is CE marked and that the frequencies used are permitted
To use a radio transmitter, you need a permit from the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS). Radio transmitters are used to control the drone from the ground and sometimes to transfer pictures and film. Some frequencies may be used without a permit from PTS. These include the 2.4 and 5.8 GHz bands, but with a limited output.
In accordance with the Swedish Electronic Communications Act, a permit from PTS is required if you are to use other frequencies or higher output. At the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority's web page for drones you will find more information and an application form.
The radio equipment inside the drone shall also be CE marked. The CE mark indicates that the equipment meets the requirements of the relevant EU directive, in this case the directive on radio equipment. For more information, please visit the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority's web page for radio equipment.
(The complete regulations (Swedish language only) are found here, and on the drone chart you can see where it is all right to fly your drone.)
Apply for a permit
In the following cases you have to apply for a permit to fly your drone:
Apply to the Swedish Transport Agency for:
- all drones weighing more than 7 kg
- all flying beyond your visual line of sight (when you cannot see the drone with your own eyes)
- all flying above 120 metres in uncontrolled airspace
- all flying above people, animals and property that are unrelated to the flight, which means there is no consent given to fly above them.
To the airport concerned for:
- flying within the airport's control zone; see special exemptions for drones weighing up to and including 7 kg (category 1)
- flying within the aerodrome traffic zone (ATZ), if the airport has such a zone.
To the heliport concerned for:
- flying closer than 1 km from the heliport.
To Lantmäteriet (the Swedish land survey authority) for:
- publication and dissemination of geographical information, such as photographs.
To the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority for:
- certain types of radio transmitters; please visit the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority's website for more information.