Asia Country Industrial Drone Laws

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We provide industrial Drone services throughout Asia and the United Kingdom.
Our Industrial Drone Crew are the most highly trained and experienced in the industry.
View our Industrial drone Crew Profile here.

How we Work Around Asia.
Every country has different regulations for drone usage. In some countries you need to be licenced in that country to fly the drone and perhaps the individual drone has to be registered in that specific country. Under these circumstances our trained Industrial services Drone Crew will liaise with a Drone company in that country and work together, sometimes using our own payloads (Flir etc) as necessary to get the required result.

In other countries where we can bring in our own drone and fly it, we will undertake the assignment ourselves. If any permits are necessary we will have a local contact who will arrange this for us. 


Drone Regulations by Country        Updated: February 2019


Brunei

According to Brunei’s national aviation authority, the Brunei ​Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), drones are banned in Brunei and if you try to enter the country with a drone it will be confiscated at customs. The authority has also reminded the public that launching of any unmanned aircraft, commonly known as drone, is a prohibited activity under Section 21 of the Civil Aviation Order 2006.

The DCA said it is an offense to use UA, UAV and UAS as they can pose several safety and security risks to air navigation, controlled airspace and densely-populated areas.

Any such unregulated flying activities may have catastrophic consequences to aircraft operations resulting in injuries to persons and damage to properties, stated the DCA in its press release.

Having said that, if you intend to use your drone for commercial purposes, you will need to obtain prior permission. For those who have obtained permission, there are several drone laws that need to be followed when flying in the country. You must ensure that you adhere to the following:
  • Do not fly your drone over people or large crowds
  • Respect others privacy when flying your drone
  • Do not fly your drone over airports or in areas where aircraft are operating
  • You must fly during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions
  • Do not fly your drone in sensitive areas including government or military facilities. Use of drones or camera drones in these areas are prohibited

If you violate Brunei laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Although exemptions on the use of UAs are granted by the DCA on a case-by-case basis with the terms, limitation and conditions set out in the authorization of the DCA, drone owners or any others who contravene or fail to comply with any provision of the Order is guilty of an offense and will be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000 and imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both.

Authority: Brunei ​Department of Civil Aviation (DCA)


Cambodia

In contrast, the good news is that not all countries in SE Asia are as strict as Brunei and in Cambodia a drone permit is not required, whether you are flying for recreational or commercial purposes. There are however restrictions as to where and how you can fly your drone. If you fly responsibly, the Cambodia State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) has given travelers a pretty loose reign, which is wonderful for anyone wishing to capture its beauty.

This is with exemption of the drone bans in Phnom Penh, Angkor Park, and around any historic temples.

Permission to fly in Phnom Penh can be acquired by obtaining a permit from the Cinema and Cultural Diffusion Department and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodia. To fly in Angkor Park, you will need a permit from the Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap and clearance from the air traffic control because of the proximity of the temple to the airport.

It is essential however that you follow the FAA’s rules for flying:

  • Do not fly your drone over people or large crowds
  • Respect others privacy when flying your drone
  • Do not fly your drone over airports or in areas where aircraft are operating
  • You must fly during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions
  • Do not fly your drone in sensitive areas including government or military facilities. Use of drones or camera drones in these areas are prohibited
  • Drones are banned in Phnom Penh, Angkor Park, or around any historic temples unless you have written permission

Back in 2015 the government banned drones from the airspace of the nation’s capital city without prior approval, citing privacy and security concerns. This ban is still in place today.

Authority: Cambodia State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA)


China

Drone use in China is allowed but getting a permit from the Civil Aviation Administration of China Flight Standards Division is probably very difficult. Nonetheless, here you are the conditions under which you can fly the little helper:

Regulations in China divide drones into 7 classes according to weight, all of which require a permit from the 
  • Any drone weighing over 116kg requires a pilots license and UAV certification for operation
  • Not permitted to fly drones near airports or where aircraft are operating
  • Be careful when flying over people or built-up areas
  • Restrictions are much looser in rural or less populated areas, but much stricter in cities like Beijing or Shanghai
  • Refrain from flying your drone at Behai Park, or near the Forbidden City and other major monuments (don’t fly it within the first or second ring of the city)

Contact Information


Indonesia

Drone use is allowed in Indonesia, but there are several drone laws that need to be followed when flying in the country. Operators must ensure that they follow the following drone laws when flying in Indonesia,
  • Do not fly your drone over people or large crowds
  • Respect others privacy when flying your drone
  • Do not fly your drone over airports or in areas where aircraft are operating
  • You must fly during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions
  • Do not fly your drone in sensitive areas including government or military facilities. Use of drones or camera drones in these areas are prohibited.
  • Do not fly higher than 150 meters (490 feet) without first obtaining a permit
  • Do not fly over temples
Contact Information 
Call: +62 8 111 004 222

Japan

Drone use in Japan is allowed but there are a lot of limitations about where you can fly it so beware. Tokyo and Kyoto main landmarks and parks are all off limits so go out into the countryside. I flew it in Niseko, really nice.

  • Have to fly your drone under 492 ft (150 meters)
  • Do not fly drones within 30m of people, building and cars, and stay away from all power lines
  • Do not fly drones over roads or over private property without permission of landowners
It is illegal to fly drones in these areas:
  • Less than 9 km away from airports
  • In highly populated urban areas, which includes most Japanese cities and all of Tokyo’s 23 wards for drones weighing above 200g (that is pretty much any drone with a camera)
  • Over the Prime Minister’s Office, or within 300m of the PMO
  • Over the Imperial Palace, or within 300m of the Imperial Palace
  • Over other key facilities including nuclear power plants
  • Osaka and Tokyo have banned drone use in all parks within the city limits

A new law has been passed recently that allows law enforcement officers the right to destroy drones found in violation of the law so be careful! 

Contact Information
Tel: +81-3-5253-8111


Hong Kong

Drone use in Hong Kong is allowed and you will need a permit for the larger drones but not for the usual recreational ones like the Phantom 4 or the Mavik.

  • All drones under 7kg can be flown without a permit, but once it is above 7kg, an air permit is required from the Civil Aviation Department
  • Drones must be flown below 300 ft at all times

  • Avoid flying drones in the vicinity of an airport and areas where aircraft are operating, including:
  • Hong Kong International Airport
  • North Lantau Coastal Area
  • Coastal areas from ai Lam Chung to Tsuen Wan and Tsing Yi Island,
  • Coastal areas at both sides of the Victoria Harbour and Shek Kong area.

  • Only fly your drone during daylight hours and in good weather conditions,
  • Avoid flying drones over crowded/congested areas and near installations that could present a risk to safety if damaged
Ensure safety of flying site by:
  • Making sure it is clear of vessels, vehicles, structures, power sources or people
  • Making sure it is flat to ensure safe landing and take off
Recommended areas of flying drone include:
  • Tai Tong in Yuen Long
  • Nam Sang Wai in Yuen Long
  • Tate’s Cairn in Sha Tin
  • Tseung Kwan O in Sai Kung
  • Clear Water Bay Peninsula area in Sai Kung
Contact Information
Call: 2910 6627

Laos

Laos is fairly strict and requires that any drones that weigh 200 grams (0.44 pounds) or more permission must be obtained from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications before flying.

Once permission is granted, you must:
 
  • Only fly during the day and in good weather conditions.
  • Do not fly over people or crowded areas.
  • Do not fly near airports or aircrafts that are in operation.
  • Respect the privacy of others when flying your drone.
  • After you have registered, you are then required to inform the department of the places where you intend to fly, before you can operate it.

The decision is the first of its kind promulgated to regulate drone use in Laos and was put in place after many members of the public were flying their drones in the skies of Vientiane and provinces freely without being regulated, which raised safety concerns.

The new decision categorizes drones, also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), into three types:
 
  • Drones weighing not heavier than 200 grams (can be flown for fun without permission)
  • Drones weighing more than 200 grams but not heavier than 2 kilograms
  • Drones more than 2 kilograms.

The radio telecommunications frequency used for drones heavier than 200 grams must be between 2,400-2,500 MHz or 5,725 – 5,875 MHz.  Equivalent isotropic radiated power (EIRP) should be 100. This radio frequency certificate must then be submitted together with an insurance certificate and proof of tax payment to the department, which will then issue a registration document.

Drones failing to meet the above MHz and EIRP standards are prohibited from flying in Lao skies.

The penalty faced by anyone who is found importing, producing, selling or flying drones heavier than 200 grams without permission from the relevant authorities will face a fine of one million kip (£90/ $120) per drone.

Authority: Department of Civil Aviation of Laos (DCAL)



Malaysia

Although flying a drone in Malaysia is legal, there are some important rules to know for flying a drone:
 
  • Drones may not be flown in Class A, B, C or G airspace; within an aerodrome traffic zone; or more than 400 feet above the ground.
  • Drone pilots must maintain a direct visual line of sight with their drones during operations.
  • Permission from the Director General must be obtained for commercial drone operations.
  • Drones weighing more than 20 kilograms (44 pounds) may not be flown without permission from the Director General.

The CAAM has categorized drones into three main categories:

  • Small Unmanned Aircraft System: Drones with a maximum weight of 20kg.
  • Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft: Drones that weigh a maximum of 20kg and are equipped with data acquisition devices (such as cameras and microphones) – this would be a typical DJI drone such as the Mavic Pro or Phantom
  • Unmanned Aircraft System of more than 20kg: All other drones weighing more than 20 kg

CAAM has stated that the general drone laws for Malaysia are:

  • The maximum permitted height of ascent is at 120 meters (400 feet).
  • Drone flights are only allowed within visibility. FPV flights can be carried out under certain conditions by experienced pilots.
  • It is recommended that you take out of an aviation liability insurance.
  • An authorization is required from a weight of 20 kilograms.
  • You have to keep 4.5 kilometers (3 miles) distance to airports and heliports.
  • A distance of 50 meters shall be maintained to other persons, vehicles, boats, and buildings.
  • Drone flights are not allowed near crowds (more than 1,000 people).
  • To obtain a flight permit, you must submit some documents. Amongst other things, you need training evidence and the declaration of consent of the landowners.
  • Generally, flights are only permitted in daylight.
  • Commercial flights must be approved by the Department of Civil Aviation. The permit costs 800 RM for the first year. The extension of the license costs 500 RM per year.
The Department of Civil Aviation in Malaysia is about to crack down on the illegal drone flying in the country and will set up its own enforcement unit to put a stop to it.

According to industry sources, about one million drones have been sold in the Asian country over the last four years, but what many drone owners do not realize is that is illegal to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle or drone for recreational or commercial purposes outside the compounds of their home. According to Civil Aviation Regulations 2016, all drone activity, no matter the size and purpose, requires a flying permit from DCA.

The penalties for flying drones illegally in Malaysia can be quite severe. Individuals can face fines up to RM50,000 (USD $12,166) or a jail sentence of up to three years. Companies that fly drones illegally can face fines up to RM100,000 (USD $24,332) and a maximum six months prison time for its officers.

Authority: Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM)


Mongolia

Drone use is allowed in Mongolia, but under these conditions:

  • Do not fly drones over crowded or congested areas
  • Do not fly drones near airports or where aircraft is operating
  • Do not fly near military installations, power plants or other key facilities that could concern local authorities
  • Respect the privacy of others when flying drone
  • Fly drones in good weather conditions and daylight hours

Contact Information 
Call: +976 11 282 051


Myanmar

Myanmar is a grey area when it comes to flying drones because the laws are constantly changing.  However, as it stands drone use is allowed in Myanmar, BUT there are several country specific drone laws that need to be followed when flying in the country. Operators must ensure that they follow the following laws when flying in Myanmar:

  • You must first contact the aviation authority and get a permit before flying a drone in Myanmar
  • You cannot fly your drone near airports or in areas were aircraft are operating
  • You cannot fly your drone near military installations or restricted areas, doing so can result in fines and/or jail time
  • You must fly during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions
  • Do not fly your drone over people or large crowds
  • Respect others privacy when flying your drone

In 2017, two foreign journalists and two Myanmar nationals were sentenced to two months in jail at a Naypyitaw court under an unexpected charge after attempting to fly a drone near Myanmar’s Parliament. This caused the authorities to tighten up the drone laws and anyone who is caught breaking them will face large fines and possible imprisonment.

Authority: Myanmar’s Department of Civil Aviation


Philippines

Drone use is allowed in the Philippines, but there are several drone laws that need to be adhered to when flying in the region:
 
  • To fly a drone for commercial purposes, or to fly a drone that weighs 7 kilograms (15 pounds) or more, you must obtain a certificate from the CAAP
  • You cannot fly within 30 meters of a person who is not associated with operation of the drone
  • You cannot fly higher than 400 feet (122 meters)
  • You must fly during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions
  • You must not fly within 10km of an airport or in areas where aircraft are operating
  • You may not fly your drone over populated areas
  • Respect others privacy when flying your drone

Large drones weighing 7 kilograms (15 pounds) or more and drones for commercial use require a UAV certificate from the CAAP. The authorization has three parts:
 
  • UAV Controller / Pilot Certificate
  • UAV Registration
  • UAV Operator Certificate

To be eligible for the UAV Controller/ Pilot Certificate, you must complete a training course, pass an exam, and pass a flight demonstration. This certificate will be valid for five years.

The UAV Operator Certificate requires a letter of intent and detailed operations specifications and will be valid for three years.

For more information, the CAAP published a document that provides all information about the legislation (http://uavphilippines.com/dl/20151208%20-%20CAAP%20MC%2029-15.pdf)

Authority: Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)



Singapore

Singapore’s national aviation authority, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), states that flying a drone is legal in Singapore, but they ask that drone owners are aware of and compliant with the following drone regulations:

  • A permit is not required to fly a drone that weighs 7 kilograms (15 pounds) or less that is being flown 200 feet or below. If flying a drone heavier than 7 kilograms (15 pounds) or above 60 meters (200 feet), a permit is required.
  • Drones cannot be flown over people or crowds.
  • Drones may not interfere with emergency service providers, or over vehicles where their presence may distract the driver.
  • Drones may not be flown within 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of an airport.
  • Drones may only be flown during daylight hours.
  • Drone pilots must always maintain a visual line of sight with their drone.
  • A permit is required however if you wish to do the following:
  • Fly above 200 feet
  • Fly in restricted airspace
  • Fly for business purposes (i.e. commercial flights)

Authority: Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)


South Korea

Drone use is allowed in South Korea under the following circumstances:

  • You cannot fly higher than 492 feet (150 meters)
  • You cannot fly within 5.5km of airfields or in areas where aircraft are operating
  • You must fly during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions
  • Avoid flying over people and respect privacy of others when flying your drone
  • You cannot fly near Seoul Plaza, crowded areas, military installations, power plants, or areas of facilities related to national security
  • You cannot fly when there is low visibility or yellow dust

Contact Information
Call: +82 44 201 4251


Thailand

Starting with Thailand, currently one of the most popular travel destinations in the region and a grey area for a number of people. Over the past few years the Thai authorities have tightened their laws on flying UAVs due to the increase of UAVs entering the country and the number of incidents around restricted zones such as airports, which have increased dramatically.

Therefore, the law now states that with no exceptions, any UAV that has a camera installed and/or weighing over 2kg must be registered. They have also made it essential that any UAVs weighing over 25kg, must receive permission from the minister of transport before flying can commence.

If and when you are lucky enough to be allowed to fly, you must adhere to the following rules:

  • Flying no higher than 90m.
  • Not flying closer than 9km/ 5miles from airport or temporary airfield.
  • Not flying in restricted areas.
  • Not flying closer than 30m to any person, vehicle, building or construction.
  • Any act of violation is subjected to up to one year imprisonment or fined up to 40,000THB (USD $1,200) or both.
So if you are traveling through Thailand and wish to fly your drone, make sure you follow the above, because failure to do so could land you in big trouble.

Authority: Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT)


Vietnam

Vietnam has some rather unique laws when it comes to flying UAV. The Ministry of Defense is responsible for the regulation of drone maneuvers. Under the current legal situation, you need authorization from the Ministry of Defense and although you can put in the form yourself it's in Vietnamese and it can take up to 3 weeks to be approved so this requires some solid planning.

What most foreigners do is they get a company to do the process for them. It takes the hassle out of the process and delays are much shorter (some companies can do it in 4-5 days).

But of course, this process will cost you: between $ 350 and $ 700 depending on who is doing your permit. And that's only for one day of flying. So depending on the number of flights you are planning, this can quickly put you in some major debt.

  • A unique flight license is required for every drone flight conducted in Vietnam. Applications must be submitted at least 14 days before the planned date of the flight to the Operations Bureau of the General Command Post of the Ministry of Defense.
  • Drones may not be used to carry radioactive substances, flammable, or explosive materials.
  • Drones may not be used to launch, shoot or jettison harmful objects or substances or those containing hazards.
  • Drones may not be mounted with aerial equipment and/ or used for aerial videography or photographing activities without a license issued for that purpose.
  • Drones may not fly flags or banners, release leaflets or otherwise be used for propaganda purposes.

There have been reports of drones being confiscated at Vietnam airport and then given back to passengers on departure, so be prepared… if you try your luck, you may lose your drone.  

Also, if you decide to fly without a permit, make sure you stay away from populated places because as you will see, Vietnamese people are usually very curious about "flycams" as they call it here and they will attract attention your way, just because they want to see it.

Authority: Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV)



Google Map


  • Green: Drone use is generally allowed.
  • Yellow: Drone use is limited or may require cumbersome registration processes.
  • Red: Drone import or use is prohibited or otherwise heavily restricted.
  • Grey: No data or there are no defined or applicable UAV laws.

Sources