DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY ON LOFOTEN
Update 2021: Norway has adopted the new EU drone regulations beginning January 1, 2021 requiring the registration of all drones with cameras and/or over 250g in weight. For any photography drone, this means it must now be registered before flying withing Norway.
For more information and to begin the registration process, visit the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority’s website at: https://luftfartstilsynet.no/en/drones
With each passing year drones are becoming a more popular element of photography and tourism. On some days, especially during the winter photo tour season, a somewhat annoying swarm of them can be heard circling overhead. However, what might seem like a free-for-all, is actually regulated here in Norway.
From the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority – Luftfartstilsynet – The following regulations apply to flying drones in Norway:
Never fly closer than 5 km to any airport.
For Lofoten – This means that both Svolvær and Leknes cities are off limits to drone flying, due to the proximity of the airports.
Maximum flying height it 120 meter above the ground. You should always maintain visibility of your drone.
For Lofoten – Unfortunately, this means sitting in the parking lot in at Reinehalsen and flying your drone over Reinebringen (448m) is not allowed.
Keep a horizontal distance of 150 meters from people, buildings, and traffic – including on roads, at sea, or in the air.
For Lofoten – This means flying over crowded beaches in summer, hikers on mountain trails, or surfers in the water, which has happened to me on numerous occasions, is not allowed.
The drone operator takes full responsibility for any harm or damage to people or property which might occur. Always operate your drone in a considerate manner.
National parks and protected areas
It is not allowed to fly in some national parks or other nature reserve areas in Norway.
For Lofoten – Since the creation of Lofotodden national park in 2018, it is now prohibited to fly drones on most of the northern side of Moskenesøy. This includes popular hiking locations like Kvalvika and Bunes beaches, Ryten, and numerous other mountain areas.
Download a PDF guide in multiple languages from the Luftfartstilsynet:
An interactive drone flying map with prohibited areas for all of Norway is available at: safetofly.no