Use of RPAS/Drones in Norway

Are you using drones for fun and leisure?

Read our simple rules and guidelines here.

Drone Guide English


Drones

Use of drones, or RPAS (Remotely piloted aircraft system) is regulated by its own regulation, known as Regulation forCivilian aircraft A 7-1, regulation for unmanned aircrafts, etc.

There are three operator categories, based on weight and flight. These are described as RO1, RO2, and RO3. We differentiate between drones that are operated in visual line of sight (Visual Line of Sight – VLOS), and beyond line of sight (Beyond Line of Sight – BLOS).

If the flight’s purpose is exclusively for recreation, sport or competition, it is considered as flying model airplanes.


Secure distances and maximum height of flying.

All flights must be carried out in a considerate manner, that doesn’t expose aircraft, people, birds, animals, or property to damage, or is in any way a nuisance to the general populace.

The aircraft must at all times be visible to the operator. When you are flying you have to stay within the secure distances. It is not legal to fly any higher than 120 meters above ground or water, and you cannot fly closer than 150 meters from a gathering of more than 100 people.

It is also not allowed to fly closer than 50 meters from other people, vehicles or buildings that are not under the operator or aircraft managers control. This entails that people, or owners of vehicles or buildings have to consent that the flight can be closer than 50 meters. There are separate regulations for aircraft weighing more than 250 grams or more.

When the aircraft is that small you can fly within visual line of sight (VLOS), expanded visual line of sight (EVLOS), or beyond line of sight (BLOS), but not higher than 50 meters over ground or water. The secure distances to people, vehicles or a building does not count. This flight must also be carried out with consideration to others.


Terms used in unmanned air traffic

Below are some definitions and explanations of terms that are often used in the regulations for unmanned air traffic.

• VLL: Very Low Level
International term that comprises “Non-standard” VFR or IFR operations under 500 feet AGL (AGL – Above ground level), including VLOS, EVLOS, and BLOS. This term has not been in included in the Norwegian regulations as part of our guidelines.

• VLOS: Visual Line Of Sight
Flying an unmanned aircraft must be carried out so that the aircraft can at all times be seen without visual aids such as binoculars, camera or other tools, except glasses. The aircraft must also be operated in such a manner so that collisions with other aircraft, people, vehicles, vessels, and ground construction can be avoided. Maximum height of operation in Norway is 400 ft. AGL.

• EVLOS/E-VLOS: Extended Visual Line of Sight
VLOS operations above 400 ft. AGL and/or where an agreement for maintaining visual control with the aircraft beyond the pilots line of sight has been acquired from Civil Aviation Authority.

• BLOS: Beyond Line Of Sight
Flying unmanned aircrafts beyond line of sight for pilot and/or observer. BVLOS/B-VLOS Beyond Visual Line of Sight. Subgroup/specification of BLOS, same criteria as BLOS.

• BRLOS/B-RLOS: Beyond Radio Line Of Sight
Subgroup/specification of BLOS where there is no direct link between ground station and the aircraft, and another form of relay is used (for example, Satcom, Mobile technology, etc.). The aircraft can physically be VLOS/EVLOS, but is not considered an VLOS/EVLOS operation without specific approval.


Definitions for unmanned air traffic

Formally we use the term unmanned aircraft, but the normal term is drone. There are also other abbreviations, both in Norway and internationally:

• UAS - Unmanned Aircraft System
Describes the entire system, consisting of a ground station and the aircraft that is operated from there, in addition to all the other components that is needed for operating the system, such as equipment for launch, communication, and automatic landings etc.

• RPAS - Remotely Piloted Aircraft System
Just like UAS, but is used as a subgroup of UAS, to describe that there is at all times a person in control of the remotely piloted aircraft.

• UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Only describes the flying part of the UAS. This definition is on its way out in civilian application, but is still used by the military. Corresponds to the Norwegian term “unmanned aircraft.”

• RPA - Remotely Piloted Aircraft
The flying part of a RPAS. Also corresponds to the Norwegian term “unmanned aircraft.”

• RPS - Remote Pilot Station
The ground station where the pilot is steering one or more RPAs. Can be compared to a cockpit, only on the ground.

Other subgroups of UAS where we don’t use abbreviations are:

• Automatic Unmanned Aircraft Systems
A system where the aircraft flies according to a predetermined route and are carrying out preprogrammed activities. These can often be reprogrammed during the flight, and the degree of this possibility decides if this can be called an RPAS or not.

• Autonomous Unmanned Aircraft Systems
A system where the aircraft flies according to preprogrammed guidelines and makes “own” automatic decisions based on these. It is not possible for a pilot to make corrections during the flight when the system is operated autonomously. Civilian UAS operation are limited to “Remotely Piloted” system for the time being, this means that there is a pilot on the ground who can take over control of the aircraft at all times.


RO1

The regulation is worded so that simple operations with smaller drones can be carried out without approval from the Civil Aviation Authority.

Operators who are carrying out operations that fall under RO1 will only need to notify the Civil Aviation Authority before starting the operation. An RO1 operator has to follow all general rules and regulation in Chapter 3 and the operative requirments in Chapter 7 of the Regulation. In addition there are rules/limitations in Chapter 4 of how operation in RO1 is to be carried out. The regulations set conditions for start of operation, and requirments for proper qualifications.

RO1 operators can only operate aircraft weighing up to 2.5 kg, and with a maximum speed of 60 knots. All operations must be carried out within visual line of sight (VLOS) during the day within secure distances as specified in § 51. You also have to ensure that you are only flying under 120 meters.

The aircraft must have a security system that automatically sets it on the ground if you loose control over it. If you are flying aircraft with permanent wings it has to have an additional system that ensures that the aircraft can land if an emergency occurs. An alternative solution is that another pilot can also control the aircraft with a secondary radio if you lose connection.

RO1 operators can therefore not operate in expanded visual line of sight (EVLOS), or beyond line of sight (BLOS).

RO1 operators also cannot operate any higher than 120 meters.

RO1 operators can however operate an aircraft that has a MTOM of 250 grams or less, VLOS, EVLOS and BLOS, but with a maximum height of 50 meters.

The secure distances for gatherings, people, vehicles and property in § 51, second section, letters b & c does not count. An operator of RO1 is responsible for any damage or loss, regardless of fault, that occurs outside the aircraft as a direct result of it being used for flying. The operator of RO1 has to have insurance that covers third party damages.

The operator also has to notify the Civil Aviation Authority when the operations cease. The Civil Aviation Authority has legal authority to fine the operator for breach of the rules in the Regulations Chapters 3 to 9. Air traffic regulations do not cover flying of drones inside.


RO2 and RO3

The regulations consist of chapters, where the different chapters respectively cover RO1, RO2, and RO3. You will find the regulations here

Chapters 1, 3, 7, and 11 cover all operators. Chapter 3 contains general requirments and limitations. Chapter 6 contains operative decisions that cover all operators, while chapter 11 contains individual regulations.

Chapter 5 sets additional requirments of RO1 operators. Chapter 8 contains additional regulations that cover individual operations that RO2 operators can carry out.

Chapter 6 contains additional requirments for RO3 operators.

Chapter 9 contains additional operative regulations that cover operations that RO2 operators can carry out.

If an RO3 operator carries out an operation that falls under Chapter 8, these regulations covers the flight.

Air traffic regulations do not cover flying indoor with drones. In certain cases the RO3 operator has permission to fly closer than 50 or 150 meters, but only by explicit permission from the Civil Aviation Authority.


Requirments for RO2 and RO3

Requirments for equipment: As of January 1, 2016, there is a fair amount of equipment you need to have in place to be able to operate an unmanned aircraft. This also covers those who already hold an operators license.

You have to ensure that your aircraft can carry out the planned flight. If you plan on flying at night, you need to be approved as RO2 or RO3 operator and the aircraft must be equipped with lights. This means when the sun is 6° under the horizon or higher. In “the Norwegian Almanac” you’ll find the table for complete darkness for all of Norway.

If you, as an RO2 or RO3 operator are to fly beyond line of sight (BLOS), the aircraft must be equipped with low intensity white light, with at least a strength of 10 candela. This light must also rotate (strobe lighting), and blink at least 20 times per second.

You must also ensure that the aircraft is equipped with a height gauge or similar to ensure that the flight stays under 120 meters. The aircraft must also be equipped with a safety system that will automatically land the aircraft you lose control.

If you are flying planes, fixed wings, you must also have an additional system that will land controlled if an emergency situation arises. An alternative solution is that another pilot can control the plane with a secondary radio if yours loses connection.

Requirements for organization: You as the responsible manager or operations manager must familiarize yourself and acquire knowledge about the factors that may be important when you operate RO2 and RO3. This will be, for example topics such as safety, airspace, communications, signal density or other relevant information in aviation (NOTAM, AIC, AIP, local airspace restrictions, etc.). Technical manager must be able to document or prove necessary expertise in the field. Responsibilities of the senior personnel should be described in the operating manual.


Fees for RPAS operator license

There will be an application fee for RO2 and RO3 operator license, and a yearly fee for RO2 and RO3.

As of January 1, 2016, there will be a fee for the renewal application for RPAS operator. Approved operators (RO2 and RO3) must in addition pay yearly fees. You can find the amounts in the Regulation for fees to the Civil Aviation Authority. Updated fee regulations are available on our webpage and at www.lovdata.no.


Breach of regulations

The regulations contain clear restrictions on how model aircraft flying should be carried out. The regulations also contain some prohibitions. According to the Aviation Act § 14-29 breach of the regulations or limitations is punishable with fines or prison up to 3 months. Indoor flying of model aircraft is not regulated by the regulations.

I want to fly model airplanes within 5 kilometers of an airport, whom do I contact?

You have to contact The Civil Aviation Authority at the airport in question. You can also call the AIS/NOTAM office at Gardemoen. You’ll find the contact information here.


I want to transport goods with RPAS. Is this possible?

Yes, this is possible, you have to prepare a plan and describe this in the operations manual. Transportation of goods requires special permits.


Where do I apply for an RO1?

You do not need to apply for a permit for the category RO1. For this category you have to declare that you will operate in compliance with regulations.


I am going to be operating in the RO1 category. Do I have to report to The Civil Aviation Authority before each assignment?

No, you do not have to report every assignment as long as you operate in compliance with the requirements described in the category.


I am sending the operations manual to The Civil Aviation Authority, but the size of the electronic files exceeds the maximum size for email. Are there any other ways to send a copy of the documents?

Yes, we have other alternatives for such issues. Just get in touch with us and we will resolve the issue.


Is there an English version of the Drone regulations?

Yes, it can be found on our English pages “Regulation concerning aircraft without a pilot etc.”


Will I receive a certificate of authorization for RO1?

No, no certificate of authorization is issued for RO1 since operators only declare their operations. Lists with an overview of operators are published on our homepages. When we register an operator in this category, an email will be sent verifying that the declared information is registered in our system.


What is the age limit to fly drones?

No age limit has been established for flying drones in the categories RO1, RO2, or RO3 for pilots or aircraft managers. The age limit for operations manager has been established. For RO1 the minimum age is 16, and for RO2/3 the minimum age is 18.


Where do I find a list of airports?

There is no list over airports as of today, but a list of airports/airfields with 5 km zones is available here.


Do I have to start a business to become an RPAS operator 1 (RO1)?

No, owning a business is not a requirement. A declaration of RO1 is enough as a private citizen.


Is the height limit for where I am standing, steering the drone, or is it the drone itself?

The height limit is for the drone. Measured from the ground or water.


Can an RO3 operator use equipment that falls under RO1 or RO2?

Yes, an operator with a permit for a “higher” category can operate in lower categories as long as this is described in the operations manual.


What is a RO1 declaration?

If you chose to declare your operations as a RO1 operator you confirm that you know the regulations to operate as a category 1 RPAS operator. We will also send you safety information regarding drone operations in Norway.


Exam

Do I have to take an exam to be able to fly a drone?
If you are going to fly as an aircraft manager or pilot, in categories RO2 or RO3 you have to pass an exam as of February 1 2017.


Will I receive a certificate after I pass the theoretical exam?
No, you won’t receive a separate certificate, but you will receive verification that you have passed or not. The documentation for passed theoretical exam must be included in the handbook if you are operating in categories RO2 and RO3.


How long is the theoretical valid?
The verification for passed exam has no expiration date. It is however important that approved RO2 and RO3 operators ensure that pilots connected to the organization receive necessary training to maintain and update their qualifications.


How much does the exam cost?
The fee for taking the exam is listed on our homepage. You will find the fee listed under information about the exam.


What are the requirements for taking the exam?
You have to show valid ID, pay the fee, and provide your personal ID number or D number to take the exam. You do not have to be associated with an approved operator (RO) to take the exam.

Do I need insurance to fly model airplanes?

No, there are no statutory requirements for flying model airplanes, but you are still responsible for loss or damage as a result of flying a model airplane. If you are flying at an air show according to BSL D 4-3 regulation for air shows, you will need insurance for such arrangements.


Are there any limits as to how much a model airplane can weigh?

No, as of todays date, there are no weight limits for model airplanes. We are working on separate regulations for model airplanes and this might be considered.


Is there an age limit for flying model airplanes?

No, there are no age limits for flying model airplanes.


Can I fly a model airplane during the night?

You can fly during the night if you are flying under the auspices of a model airplane club.


Who can start a model airplane club and does it have to be a part of NIF?

Anyone can start a model airplane club and it does not have to a part of NIF.


What does it mean to fly under the auspices of a model airplane club?

There are no specific requirements. It is up to the individual clubs.


Is it permitted to fly above 120 meters with a model airplane?

Yes, as long as it is under the auspices of a model airplane club.


Are lanterns and strobe lights required on model airplanes during night flying?

No, no specific requirements for lighting of model airplanes. If you are going fly at night, we suggest using lights that makes the airplane visible, both for the operator and others who need to see it.

Online course
Online training for drone operators in category RO2 and RO3 is available here.
This course is only available in Norwegian.


Exam
Pilots and commanders of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), more commonly referred to as drones in category 2 and 3 (RO2 and RO3) must pass a theory exam to operate. This requirement has been introduced to ensure that pilots and commanders can demonstrate knowledge of the aviation system and relevant disciplines as outlined in the online course available on our website.

Syllabus
It is important to note that all attachments and linked contents in the course are part of the curriculum unless they are marked "for information". This includes, but is not limited to the following publications:

  • Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP).
  • Regulations included in the online course.
  • Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC).

You will find latest version of the online course available on our website and when, and if changes apply.

About the exam
The test can be taken online at all traffic service offices run by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (Statens vegvesen/NPRA) that offers “drop-in theory”. 

Map of traffic service offices and opening hours is available here.

Rules for the conduct of examinations
Examination will be governed by the same regulations that are used for other examination schemes in aviation (BSL C 1-1a - Regulations on general provisions on the issue of aviation certificates).

Here you find the examination regulations.

It is important that you read the regulations before you take the exam.

Contents and questions
Each exam includes 40 multiple choice questions. Each question has four alternative answers where only one of the options will be correct. The order of the questions and question options will vary. You must correctly answer at least 75% (/ 30 questions) within a time limit of 80 minutes. The questions are available in both Norwegian and English.

How to register for the exam
You need to meet at a traffic service office that offers “drop in theory”. The exam is available to anyone who can show a valid ID and is able to pay the exam fee. If you have been caught cheating during a previous try, you will be unable to re-take the exam for 12 months and cannot act as a pilot or commander for RPAS in category RO1 and RO2. NPRA has the authority to expel persons who do not meet the requirements to take the exam.

Valid identification
It is important to bring identification. National ID-cards from EU/EØS countries or foreign passports are accepted. If you have no national ID-card or passport, you will need a Norwegian security number or a D-number. More information about D-numbers is available here.

Payment
You can pay the fee (NOK 1010) by cash or debit card. Credit card is not accepted.

Answering the questions
The questions are answered electronically. It is important to thoroughly review the examination regulations before the examination commences. Once all questions are answered you will have access to the result immediately after submission. All results are registered by the CAA-Norway.

Attempt of cheating during the exam
If observed attempting to cheat or actually cheating during the exam, CAA-Norway will ban you from re-take the exam for at least 12 months.

Passing the exam
After submitting your test, you will have immediate access to the result. We urge you to keep a paper or electronic copy of it. The individual operator is responsible for maintaining records of the pilots and commanders who have passed the exam. You will not receive a separate RPAS-certificate.

If you fail the exam
If you fail to answer correctly on at least 75% of the questions, you can sign up for a new exam already the following day, but we recommend to thoroughly review the syllabus before attempting a second time. You have the right to file a complaint on the result. If you file a complaint but decide to retake the exam before the appeal is processed, the appeal will be considered withdrawn.

Validity
A passed theory exam has no time-limited validity under the current legislation. Each operator is responsible for ensuring that pilots and commanders receive sufficient and suitable supervision based on the risk analysis used by each operator. This must be combined with live training on relevant system and area of operations.

 

Declaration and apply for a permit.

Declaration (RO1)

To operate category RO1 there must be sent a declaration to the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority(N-CAA), where the operator must verify that they are familiar with the requirements and limitations that apply to operate within this category.

Forms for declaration is available under forms/skjema on our website with reference number NF-1114E

The operator must prepare an operations manual(OM) that describes the planned operations. Template for this document is available here. The OM are not subject for approval, but the N-CAA may request that the OM be available for inspection.

Once the form for declaration is sent to the N-CAA and a receipt message for our archive has been received the operator can commence operations.

When the declared information is transferred to our system the operator will receive a conformation that the information provided is registered. Once all information has been registered in our system the drone operator information will be published on our list of drone operators.


Apply for a permit for (RO2 and RO3)

If operations are to be carried out that falls outside RO1 category, the operator must have an operating license form the N-CAA.

The first step is to prepare an customized operating manual (OM) corresponding to the size, nature and complexity of the organization and its activities. Template for this document is available here

Next the operator must seek approval form the N-CAA by using form which is available under forms/skjema on our website and has reference number NF-1113E. For faster processing it is important to verify that the form is complete and all relevant attachment is accompanying the application.

Operations category RO2 and RO3 cannot be started until the operator has been given permission through an operating license.

Once all information has been registered in our system the operator information will be published on our list of drone operators.

Forms can be found on our Skjema (forms) page.
Available in both Norwegian and English.