83 Iceland

Blue with a red cross outlined in white extending to the edges of the flag. The vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag). The colors represent three of the elements that make up the island: red is for the island’s volcanic fires, white recalls the snow and ice fields of the island, and blue is for the surrounding ocean.

Flag courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Map courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Google Earth

Hallsgrimskirkja is a Lutheran church in Reykjavik that was built between 1945 and 1986. Its spire of 74.5 m makes it is one of the tallest buildings in Iceland.

Photo courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Iceland is a member of ICAO and EASA.
Last updated on April 18, 2024


According to Britannica, Iceland’s constitution, which was adopted in 1944, established a parliamentary democracy with a directly elected president as head of state. The powers of the president are similar to those of other heads of state in western European democracies. Real power rests with the 63-member parliament, the Althingi (Althing). One of the oldest legislative assemblies in the world, it is a unicameral legislature in which members serve four-year terms unless parliament is dissolved and new elections called. The executive branch is headed by a cabinet that must maintain majority support in parliament, or at least avoid censure, otherwise it must resign. Citizens are guaranteed the civil rights customary in Western democracies.

Local government in Iceland is chiefly responsible for primary education, municipal services, and the administration of social programs. The country is divided into 17 provinces (sýslur), which are further subdivided into fewer than 100 municipalities. Since the 1970s their number has decreased by nearly half as a result of consolidation. Each municipality administers local matters through an elected council.

The judiciary consists of a supreme court and a system of lower courts, most of which hear both civil and criminal cases. Cases are heard and decided by appointed judges; there is no jury system.

Civil / National Aviation Authority (CAA/NAA)

The Icelandic Transport Authority is the administrative institution for transport affairs in accordance with an Act dated 30 November 2012. The Authority is subject to the Ministry of Transport and Local Government and is intended to contribute to safe, sustainable, accessible and economical transport. The Icelandic Transport Authority manages the administration of transport affairs and conducts oversight pertaining to aviation, maritime affairs, traffic and safety oversight of transport structures and navigation. All tasks that were previously subject to the Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration and the Road Traffic Directorate have been taken over by the Icelandic Transport Authority, in addition to administrative and oversight tasks of the Icelandic Maritime Administration and licensing and  traffic-monitoring services that the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration was previously in charge of. Concurrently, operational tasks of the Icelandic Maritime Administration were transferred to the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration. It should be noted that all documents bearing the title of the Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration, Icelandic Maritime Administration and Road Traffic Directorate will continue to be valid and issued operating licenses will be valid through their defined period of validity.


SkyVectorGoogle MapsADS-B Exchange

ICAO countries publish an Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). This document is divided into three parts: General (GEN), En Route (ENR) and Aerodromes (AD). ENR 1.4 details the types of airspace classes they chose to adopt from classes A through G. AIP Iceland

Airspace classification

Airspace classification

Drone Regulations

Drone laws

Registration of drones for commercial use

  • Only drones intended for commercial use need to be registered.
  • You do NOT need to register your drone used for recreational purposes.

Registration of a drone is a simple process and free of charge.

As soon the registration form is submitted to the Transport Authority, you will receive confirmation number of registration. This number is also the registration number and no other information is necessary. Your drone has been registered!


Operators of remotely piloted aircraft with a maximum take-off mass of up to 25 kg and which are not flown for leisure purposes shall communicate to the Icelandic Transport Authority the following information before their use for the first time:
– Information on the operator
– Information on the aircraft
– Information on its intended use
– Information on whether flights within densely populated area are planned

Changes in use shall be notified to the Icelandic Transport Authority before they are implemented.

Regulation no. 990/2017 in English

New rules for drone flying in Iceland

New rules on unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) have been implemented within the EU member states. These rules are expected to be implemented in Iceland in the coming weeks. Unlike the current Icelandic regulation (990/2017) where only drones used for commercial purposes need to be registered, drone operators will have to register according to the new regulations and certain requirements will be made for the training of remote pilots.

The Icelandic Transport Authority has opened a website flydrone.is where drone operators have the option of registering and taking exams in the so-called open category, but the vast majority of drone pilots belong to that category, whether they fly for fun or in a limited commercial capacity. When the new EU rules have been implemented in Iceland this registration will become mandatory for all drone operators, however, until then the registration is optional. In order to obtain a certificate of competency for flying in the open category, it is necessary to register as a drone operator on flydrone.is and pay the registration fee. The registration is valid for 5 years. Once the registration is completed it is possible to take an exam in subcategory A1/A3. That test is taken online and there is no examination fee.

Soon it will also be possible to obtain a certificate of competency to fly in subcategory A2. An examination fee must be paid for the examination in subcategory A2, but it will be taken at the premises of the Icelandic Transport Authority or with entities that have been approved by the Authority. Later, there will be exams in the specific category, which many of those who fly drones commercially belong. See further information about the categories below.

Open category

Specific category

Application of exemption from regulation

You can apply for an exemption from Regulation no. 990/2017 , as long as the drone is not used for recreational purposes and people and objects are not endangered.

In order to be eligible for an exemption, a number of conditions must be met.

The basic fee for processing an application for an exemption is ISK 41.100

In article 18 of the Regulation of remotely piloted aircraft there is a list of documentation that needs to accompany application for exemption:
– Safety assessment
– Operations Manual
– Confirmation of Insurance
– Description of equipment to be used
– Description and chart of the area to be flown over
– Description of the activity, for which the exemption is requested
– Information on the competence and training of the remote pilot.

Information material on drone operation

The Icelandic Transport Authority has published some information material about drone operation, which shows in a simplified manner some fundamental things to keep in mind when preparing and during flights. This material can be accessed in the links below:

Regulation No. 990/2017 on the operation of remotely piloted aircraft

It is prohibited to fly a drone at a height of more than 120 meters without a special permission from the Icelandic Transport Authority. Registration form for drones and application for special permissions. The base fee for the issuance of an authorization of exemption of article 12 in Regulation 990/2017 permission to fly a drone is specified in section 14.1. in Icelandic Transport Authority tariff.

It is prohibited to fly a drone within a specific distance from the boundary of an aerodrome without permission from the airport operator. However, no special permission is needed where the drones are flown below the height of the highest structures in the immediate vicinity of the flight trajectory of the drone.

The distance limit for airports with scheduled international air services, is 2 km. The distance limit for other airports with scheduled sir services, is 1,5 km

A permit from Isavia, the airport operator, is required for flying a remotely piloted aircraft within:
a) 2 km from the boundaries of Keflavik Airport, Reykjavik Airport, Akureyri Airport and Egilsstadir Airport.
b) 1.5 km from the boundaries of other scheduled air service airports, with the exception that flights operated below the height of the highest structures in the immediate vicinity of the flight trajectory of the aircraft, do not require permits.

You can apply for an exemption from this rule from Isavia. Check Isavia website.

  • The approval of an aerodrome operator is always needed for all flying within the aerodrome site.
  • Operators of drones are responsible for their use and the damage they may cause.

Leisure drone rules

Commercial drone rules


In article 11 of the Regulation no 990/2017 there are some general requirements stipulated on drone operation:
– Drones can be up to 25 kg
– Do not create unnecessary disturbance or danger
– Do not hurt people or animals or cause damage
– Do not operate drones under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
– Be familiar with the operation of the drone

Frequently asked questions – FAQ


Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)





Short Essay Questions

Question 1

You have been hired by a Drone Startup Company. Your boss has immediately assigned this job to you.

They need you to prepare a one-page memo detailing the legalities of using a drone to film in Reykjavik, pictured above.

They need you to mention any national laws and local ordinances.

They specifically want to know what airspace you will be operating in and whether or not you need an airspace authorization.

Does it matter whether or not you are a citizen of the country?

Lastly, there is a bonus for you if, as you scroll through this chapter, you find any typos or broken links!

Question 2

Do you need a certificate to fly UAS?

If so, how do you obtain one?

Are there fees associated with this?

If so, how much?

Question 3

May you operate beyond visual line of sight?

If so, what procedures must you follow?

Question 4

Does the country have UAM/AAM laws? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 5

Are you aware of any new laws or policies not mentioned above? If so, describe, citing the exact law or policy.





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Drones Across the World Copyright © 2023 by Sarah Nilsson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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