Quick Look at the New Drone Law in Thailand
One of the most common questions I have received on my blog this year is about the use of drones in Thailand. This followed the dramatic headlines earlier this year that drones would be outlawed. I wrote a blog about it at the time saying that the writer of the newspaper article had jumped the gun. Yes, I admitted, the time would come when there would be restrictions on flying. But, as of that time, you were still free to fly drones in Thailand. That is, if you were careful where you flew and to make sure you had permission when flying from private property. Now finally comes the publication of the the new and updated drone law in the Royal Gazette.
UPDATED: See my latest blog on How to register your drone in Thailand
There is no official translation in English yet, so this is just a quick, first look at the law. I will blog in more details later once things become clearer. Please don’t copy and paste this “quick look” onto forums or other blogs as It is most likely I will update and/or clarify some of the points below over the coming week. There are a few things I need to check. As always, if you have anything to add or you think I have made a mistake in the translation, then please post in the comments below.
There are two types of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles:
CATEGORY 1: Used for hobby or other recreational use such as entertainment or sport.
CATEGORY 2: Used for TV news, movie making etc
If you have a drone in Category 1 that weighs less than two kilos and you are 18 years or older, than you don’t need permission to fly from the Ministry of Transport. But, you do need to obey the following rules:
1. Before flight
(a) Check that the drone and remote control is in a good condition to fly
(b) You have permission from the owner of the land where you wish to fly
(c) You have checked the environment and airspace of the location you are flying
(d) You have an emergency plan in case of an accident
2. During the flight
(a) It is forbidden to fly in a way that may cause harm to the life, property and peace of others.
(b) It is forbidden to fly in restricted zones as announced in “Aeronautical Information Publication – Thailand” and also at government buildings and hospitals unless permission is given.
(c) The take-off and landing must not be obstructed by anything
(d) You must keep the drone in line-of-sight at all times and not rely on the monitor or other devices
(e) You can only fly between sunrise and sunset when the drone can clearly be seen
(f) It is forbidden to fly in or near clouds
(g) It is forbidden to fly within nine kilometres of an airport or in the flight path unless you have permission from aircraft control.
(h) It is forbidden to fly higher than ninety metres above the ground.
(i) It is forbidden to fly over cities, villages, communities or areas where people are gathered.
(j) Do not fly near other aircraft that have pilots
(k) Do not violate the privacy rights of others
(l) Do not cause a nuisance to others
(m) Do not mount anything danergous or lasers on the drone
(n) It is forbidden to fly closer than 30 meters to people, vehicles or buildings
If your drone is in Category 1 but weighs more than two kilos but less than 25 kilos, you must be at least twenty years of age, not a threat to national security and never been imprisoned. You must also have a license to fly from the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation. You have to follow the rules as outlined above but in addition you must have more knowledge about drone maintence and safety and aircraft rules. You must have emergency equipment on hand such as fire extinguisher. You also must have third party insurance of not less than one million Baht. Finally, in the list above, clause (n) the distance between drone and people, buildings, cars etc cannot be less than 50 metres. If you have an accident, you must inform authorities immediately.
Drones in Category 2 have to be licensed and insured and obey the rules the same as drones in Category 1 that are heavier than two kilos.
The source for this is the Royal Gazette. It was published on 27 August 2015 and it usually then takes 30 days before it becomes law. If you have a DJI Phantom like me, and only use it for recreational use, then you don’t need a license. If you have anything bigger, like a DJI Inspire, then you need a license and insurance. If you use for commercial reasons, then again, you need a license and insurance. If you have any comments or better translations of the law, then please post in the comments. I will then update the blog.
UPDATED: See my latest blog on How to register your drone in Thailand
251 thoughts on “Quick Look at the New Drone Law in Thailand”
UPDATED: See my latest blog on How to register your drone in Thailand
Please post your questions and comments on the new blog post.
This are the numbers government is looking according to news paper 350 registered drone out of 50,000
Hi! Thank you for the reply, FYI, i got my Thai driving licence for both car & motorcycle both together in half an hour. Does this mean that these vehicles are safer than drones? So i will keep myself to indoor drones and drive outdoor with my car.
Meant I am not advertising them
Thanks for that update Juan, it’s good to know that getting the license isn’t a black hole.
No worries on dronethaiinsurance, it’s already suspicious that it’s the ONLY route 🙂
It would be useful if you could recount any experiences after flying/filming in Thailand, especially if and when you are challenged for the certificate, etc.
Thanks again – Tim N
At the moment we can’t fly because king cremation preparations but I had flown before in a lot of places, around thailand, here YouTube videos
But decided to get licensed just to avoid trouble, sometimes security or police ask questions with license they have second thought
Totally understand Juan, thank you again – Tim N
Hi guys, better to be safe than sorry, I got my license to fly the P4P it took three months, the license is free, the only request is to have 3rd party insurance, which cost around US$150, without insurance no license, after going trough the whole process, I learned is better to go to drone insurance at once and they will do the rest of paper work, bellow is the link of the place I contacted, by any meant I am promoting or associate with them, I am just giving you my own experience as how I got my license
3 months !!! Have been told that to get the licence, i have to fill and submit the CAAT forms but its all written in Thai, i am not Thai literate so, i need to do it at the CAAT in Thailand but i should not bring my drone to Thailand before my application is approved, only when it is approved i must then fly back to take my drone and go again to Thailand to fly the drone.
There is now a new Drone registration in Thailand. This is via the NBTC and concerns Frequency. The NBTC have more power than the CAA. You only have 90 days to do the registration, it is currently unknown what they will do for tourists arriving with drones. I’m going home to Thailand on Tuesday so it will be interesting, I have my DJI Spark here in the UK. Some details here: https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1340895/drone-users-face-fines-jail-terms
Yes I read that article too police stations supposedly to help on registering the drone, as I said I am just sharing my experience, before was only CAAT but now another government entity is jumping too, i only hope the process get faster and continues free, except insurance
From what I understand, NBTC are only interested in you registering your radio controlled devices. The process is quick and easy. But you still have to then go to CAAT to get permission to fly. And they want you to have insurance first. It’s this second registration which takes time and won’t be possible for tourists. You need 3 months to get this license.
Juan.. it is STILL both the NBTC and the CAA. The NBTC one is very important as it is only open for 90days. If you are in Thailand then you have to do it.
It is open beyond 90 days. I telephoned them. You just have 90 days to get legal or face up to five years in prison.
Wow will check that out Monday, thank you
Just called NBTC they said if I have license from CAAT ni need to worry, hope it remain free
If you go directly to CAAT most of application is in Thai but the guys of insurance have English translated, keep in mind that without insurance no licenses will be giving, I tried that way didn’t work
Hello, Richard. Thank you for your post! But can I ask you some questions. We are going to live in Thailand in November 2017 and want to take our Phantom 3 with us to Phangan Island. But now there are lots of posts in internet that in Thailand at the airport they confiscate drones! I have read your post and see that I have a drone in Category 1 that weighs less than two kilos so I don’t need permission to fly from the Ministry of Transport. Is that right? Because our drone is so big in a big bag, actually they will ask some questions about it at the airport. Last time when we fly from Phangan to Bangkok Air Asia confiscated some plants ((( And I worried about it. And of course I don’t want they will confiscate my Phantom 3. What will you suggest me? And sorry for my English)
I haven’t had any problems so far with my drone at the airport. You should be fine. BTW, your drone has a camera and so you’re not exempt. Officially you need a license.
Have you actually had the THAI CAA clarify where in the 2015 Drone rules it actually states about camera. Because I can’t find it. And I can’t find any additional rules that have been made into law since. It’s interesting because their own rules don’t say ANYTHING about camera!
On the CAAT website:
Yes. I have seen that infographic. But where is the law that has to be advertised in the Thailand Royal Gazette. In the actual rules advertised in 2015 there is nothing about a drone with a camera needing registration. Only if over 2kg or for commercial use. As I said before. Can you or anyone find out from the CAA the new relevant rules advertised into law in the Thai Royal Gazette. I have asked with no response from the CAA. Regards A
Email CAAT [email protected] and ask if small drones need to be registered, I got this reply (I am already registered but asked on behalf of our Facebook groups)
Dear Sir or Madam,
For the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Registration (Drone) has to be registered to The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) which may take time up to 2 months. So, I recommend you to register ahead of your travel time.
RPA to be registered
– RPA with camera installed must be registered with no exceptions.
– RPA over 2 KGs must be registered with no exceptions
For more information, please kindly check on website or click the link below;
Also, I attached the registration form and consent form in this email. Please fill out the forms and provide copy of passport and insurance that cover third party liability not less than 1 million bahts in return.
Thank you so much.
Economic Regulation Department (ERD)
That email you received does not state the law. I know it sounds like I’m being padantic but I said before any laws in Thailand have to advertised in the Royal Gazette. As far as I’m aware there has been nothing advertised since the 2015 Drone rules law. The CAA have not answered my question on where and when the new rules were advertised. I will ask again on that email address see if I can get an answer. Thanks A
On the CAAT website is this PDF doc.:
“This announcement comes into force on the announcement date.”
Given on 2 July B.E. 2558 (2015)
Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong
Minister of Transport.
No mention of the Royal Gazette publication date though.
Have a read. See if you can find the rules about registering if it has a camera. Regards A
The CAAT website states: “– RPA with camera installed must be registered with no exceptions”
But Article 5 of the Ministry of transport announcement only states ” The Minister of Transport grants general permission to control or launch the Unmanned Aircraft which weight of not more than 2 kg using for the purpose of hobby, entertainment or sport (recreation) stated in article 4 (1) (a).”
No mention there of registration for that class of craft. It would be interesting to find PRECISELY what material has actually been published in the Royal Gazette and become law. On the other hand, I wouldn’t fancy the trip of taking CAAT to court over their interpretation of the Thai law.
I agree with your comment about court. But as you said it would be interesting to actually get a proper response from the CAA reference WHERE the NEW rules are published. Because the 2015 doesn’t list the new rules. Also the insurance regulations are basically so that you can only get the insurance from one place.. strange!
Sooo.. whats the case guys? I’m kinda worried because I’m thinking of buying a DJI Spark (300grams and with a cam) and am traveling through Thailand/Malaysia/Singapore THIS november… but if registration takes 2 MONTHS then Im screwed 🙁
I wanted to get a licence for my phantom 4. CAAT is asking me an assurance. Do you know how much does it cost per year ?
Search on Facebook for Thai drone insurance. There are several companies.
For my insuarance I paid 5600 per one year, approximately US$150 if I am correct
Hello and Good Morning
I needed some information from you. I am a Mavic Pro owner, and I go on holiday to Thailand in early November and need to know if I can take my Mavic with me to Thailand? My idea is to use it only in Ao Nang and maybe Koh Tao and Phi Phi Islands to film the natural beauties of Thailand (beachs and cliffs) for personal use. Can you let me know if there is any restriction or procedure that we have to do before we go? i read that the CAAT Registration takes 2 months to aproval. Is this correct? I will not make it on time off my travel to Thailand.
It is my first time in Thailand.
Thanks so much for your help.
You can fly if you are discreet, but unless you have a license then you should understand that you are doing so illegally. More and more places are now putting up signs saying “no drones”. Beaches too. I’m finding it a lot harder these days.
Richard many tanks for your help. Only today in your post about this i realize that is necessary to register. I can do the registration but as far i can understand first we need to make an insurance then the registration. I’m gonna arrive in Bangkok on 1 off November and read that the registration process need at least 2 months to be approved. I dont know if that is correct. Becouse if it is i dont have time to make the registration process and i’m gonna spend money. First is the insurence then the Registration? Can we do the registration first? I’m really sorry for disturb your life but it was hard to find the solution and i bye the Mavic to this travel but dont want to spend more money just to spend.
Many tanks for your help Richard.
I think quite a few people are flying without a license. Just be discreet and you will be fine.
Hey guys, just a quick update, I’m now in HatYai Airport and waiting at the departure gate for international flight. I bring my Mavic with me as hand carry with 3 batteries total, I don’t have time to fly my mavic this week as it was raining heavily in Hat Yai due to the Typhoon hitting the south east asia region. so i had all 1 battery at 100 % charged, 1 at <50% charged and another one at around 80 %.
Ready to be question at the security checkpoint, I was really sad that they did not even ask anything about my Mavic or even have any interest to ask for it.
so it should be no problem at all for you guys to hand carry your mavic or phantom onboard in thailand.
*still waiting for my flight in this waiting hall*
I was on a business trip to Had Yai and travels from Kuala Lumpur with flight Air Asia via KLIA2 Airport. I had my mavic hand carried in its original bags with 3 batteries total. Went through the immigration and custom scan at the HDY airports without any problem at all. Then i just aware that Mavic need to be insured and registered due to having a Camera on this drone. So I contact with DroneThaiInsurance (the only insurance company providing insurance for drone in Thailand),
The cost for insurance with registration fees will cost as follow:
3000baht for insurance category B
1500baht insurance service fee
1500baht registration service fees (CAAT does not charge you for registration, so if you register your drone by yourself, you don’t have to pay this)
For me, its a rip off since they are the only insurance company who provide the insurance. And it only covers in thailand – insurance not covered international!
So, i guess it’s your decision. But drones will not be confiscated at the HDY airports. For BKK i’ve no experience.
We’re heading to Thaikand later this year with a Mavic Pro and have reached out to a few nationals to get a feel for what’s going on over there regarding drones. It seems that even the police are not aware of the requirements I.e. registration and insurance, and the general public are also not aware.
I think it’s a matter of where you want to fly, being mindful of ppls privacy and not being conspicuous or stupid. It may be necessary to inform a guard what you are doing, or even give them some incentive if it’s a public spot or a donation if it’s a temple. I’ve always found the Thai ppl very accommodating if you take the time to speak to them and be respectful.
I hope my theory and approach works 😀🙏
If you are discreet you can fly. But please don’t bribe or tip security guards. That’s a slippery slope that’s not fair on the people who live here. I don’t want to pay someone every time I want to fly.
Totally understand, however, I would hope that if you are living in Thailand and media is your business then you should not have a problem because you’ll have your registration and you’ll be paying for the necessary insurance
You’ve obviously never been to Thailand before. Life here doesn’t work that way. Anyway, just because you have a license, it doesn’t mean you get automatic right to fly anywhere. It’s still at the discretion of landowners or security guards. Normally if I’m polite and promise not to disturb anyone by flying low they let me. Thankfully so far they haven’t asked for any money.
Took my Spark to Thailand in July/August. Flew from MEL to BKK, then a few weeks later from BKK to USM, then a week later USM to BKK, and BKK to MEL. Not once at any airport did I bring attention to my Spark (sitting in my carry-on backpack, with 2 extra batteries), not did any airport personnel notice it as it went through the x-ray.
Following the advice of Richard, I was very discreet in flying it – often not flying it if doing so was likely to draw attention or pose uanessacry risks to others. There were many more places that I wanted to fly than I actually did fly!
One time, at Prasat Hin Phanom Rung, I asked a guard if I could fly – I even opened the bag, pointed at the drone and made a flying gesture with my hand. He smiled and said yes, but once I moved away and put it up he came running over and asked me to bring it down. Oh well, at least I got the shot I wanted; and it started pouring with rain a few minutes later anyhow!
My advice is definitely take it, but always err on the side of caution when it comes to putting it up.
Yeah, I had the same problem at Prasat Hin Phanom Rung. But he finally allowed me to fly from the car park and as long as I didn’t fly too near the monument. Basically, too many people trying to fly these days and they are getting bored with it.
Doing my own investigation with the help of my wife 🙂 but after reading this and looking at the materials on the infographic, the information I understand for taking and using my Mavic Pro in the land of smiles is:
1. Registration is necessary because the Mavic has a camera (forms on CAAT site are in English). Reg is renewable each year.
2. Insurance is necessary and you need it before applying for registration.
Funnily enough, these guys say you pay for their ins and they will do registration free, but you have to transfer money into a private bank account – hahahaha or if you understand Thai 555
I REALLY want to take my Mavic on vacation, so I’ll post a follow-up if I get more info that is current.
Hello Richard. I am traveling the world leaving in 2 days and will be flying in internationally to Bangkok and out of Chiang mai. I do not intend to fly in Thailand but will have my mavic. Is there a risk it would be confiscated at the airport?
No one is reporting this as an issue so far.
We are now in 2017, i have no idea of how to get a licence for flying a drone in Thailand, i wrote to CAAT and explained to them of my intention to visit Thailand and to bring my drone which i would like to fly there, they send me two forms in Thai language to fill, i have filled the space where to put my name, address and passport number but other spaces need to be translated, i have asked Thailand Elite to help me for this but they just send a mail to me to inform that i have to fill the form at CAAT if i dont understand Thai Language but the mentionned that i should not bring the drone until the licence is approved. It means that i should leave my drone at home, go to Thailand and seek approval of the licence then return back home and bring the drone to fly according to their rules and regulations. I dont know whether drones are on sales freely on the market in Thailand because it seems to me that the licence also autorise the possession of a drone therefore illegal to have one. Who can explain to me which is which?
Drones are freely sold in Thailand and shops don’t check for licenses.
Good afternoon, i am visiting krabi,s beaches in july with my Mavic, i just want to fly over the sea and cliffs. Could i be finned or have my drone confiscated? Thks
i just get my Mavic Pro and i would like to test it out in BKK, but feeling sad after reading comments above where can’t fly in public park, does any one have any idea where else I can test it in bkk?
You are not allowed to fly near buildings or crowds which is most of Bangkok. Try the suburbs.
Hi, I want to bring my phantom 4 into my trip to Thailand, but the information I have been reading is all mixed. Do I really need a licens and insurance, or can I just fly following the rules of safety?
Officially you do need a license/insurance, so if you do fly, be discreet
I posted the link to official docs above, and I’m interested in why you feel the information is incorrect? https://www.caat.or.th/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Drone-Regulation-Eng-Translation.pdf states that no licence/insurance is required for recreational devices under 2KG. Do you have additional information counter to this?
Because, despite the date embedded in the URL of the page you linked to, the announcement was made 2 July 2015.
It has been superseded by this regulation, announced 20 February 2017: https://www.caat.or.th/en/archives/27220
Obviously, one would assume clicking on the “Recent Laws” section of an official Thai Government website would take you to there most recent laws, but those assumptions can have dire consequences in Thailand.
So all we have to go by is an infographic with no supporting information about the actual regulation? Surely there must be more than an infographic?
All of the CAAT’s contact info is here:
Aircraft Registration and personnel Licensing Department Email address is quoted as:
But emails to that address bounce back “undelivered”.
Hi Lukas, did you manage to bring ur phantom 4 into Thailand?
I carried a Mavic Pro as carry on with 3 batteries from Melbourne to Thailand without and problems. filmed in remote locations with not many people around, again no problems.. think it all comes down to how much attention you bring to yourself
Precisely, if you are discreet then you should be fine.
And please do not fly where there are crowds of people like beaches. Respect peoples privacy.
Just a note to all you DJI drone enthusiasts. Once a model is discontinued (such as P2), DJI will not distribute any spare parts!! Not a screw, not a new battery, nothing! They obviously wants us to shelve our 2 to 3 year old drones and buy a brand new model. Not good. What to do?
I have a DJI Phantom 4 Pro and I live in Thailand. Should I get a licence and an insurance ? if yes how…
Officially you do need a license, but not everyone does yet. It’s not easy to get the license and application form is only in Thai.
All the info used to be here, now today its non accessible. 🙁
According to https://www.caat.or.th/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Drone-Regulation-Eng-Translation.pdf craft under 2KG used for recreation purposes DO NOT need a licence. Where are you seeing otherwise Richard?
Worth noting that the above link
does not work on Chrome browser, but it does work in MS Internet Explorer.
This is a new CAAT article dated 14/3/2017, so may explain why RB’s original link is now redundant.
I am visiting Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket in May 2017 as part of my honeymoon. I really want to take my DJI Mavic Pro but I am getting mixed messages from people. I use my drone for personal use i.e. taking pictures and videos. Do you think it’s safe to take my drone.
I read an infographic on the https://www.caat.or.th website where is said all users have to have a licence? I tried contacting CAAT who sent me a form in Thai language which I did not understand at all.
Thanks in advance for your help.
You can still get away with not having a license, but you have to be discreet.
Thanks for sharing your experience and information. Did I get it right, that I could fly over the chao phraya (normally) without any further allowence needed. But if the drone has a camera I would need a license also if I would not the movies/pictures for business?
Hey Richard, do you know where in Bangkok I can repair my Phantom 2? It dropped and the cam fell off (just needs a new screw which is gone..nothing broken). But before the fall it was extremely unstable so it needs a tune-up. Hope you can help. Thanks
Google Phantom Thailand. Main shop at Siam Discovery but they also have a service center I’ve used before. Also Hobby Thai on Ramkhamhaeng Road.
Thanks very much!
Hello. With the new law can i bring my dji phantom 4 with me from France to Rayong on my holidays?
I am looking to bring nano drones into Thailand as gifts for friends.. I have around 10 and they are coming from Australia. Do I need to declare this with customs or immigration?
Can you prove they are gifts and you’re not intending to sell?
When you say they are coming.. do you mean hand Carry or postal/express delivery
Please make sure your friends do not fly them near me. Have some respect for my privacy.
I am bringing them in my luggage.. not sure how i can prove they are gifts .. they will be gift wrapped
i got dji phantom 3, so can I fly above market in bangkok like chatuchak or even grand palace?
Please don’t! If you try to fly above or near a royal palace you will probably set off an immediate ban on all drones nationwide. Please read the blog again. You cannot fly near buildings or crowds. That includes Chatuchak market. If your drone has a camera you need to have a license and insurance.
When did that come in? I thought that smaller drones <2KG could be flown without licence?
Hi! I have a Phantom 4, and I will travel to the Golden Triangle, and Pukhet for vacation soon. Would there be an issue of me flying the drone in either of those locations to take some vacation footage? What do they consider a park? Or better yet, is there a map that identifies no-fly zones? Thank you for any advice you can give.
There’s no map. Some places are easy to fly, others they are strict. I was told to land my drone at the weekend. I’ve heard stories of people having their drone confiscated. You should be aware, unless you have a license and insurance, you cannot really complain to the police. Always get permission of landowner before you fly.
I just want to thank you for posting this valuable information. I’m thinking about taking my drone to Thailand this summer. I have one favor to ask of you. Can you share some of your emergency plans with me?
hello I need to know if you can use a small drone in Thailand for private purposes, or otherwise special restrictions? thank you
You can fly if you have the landowners permission. You cannot fly in public parks. You cannot fly near crowds, buildings or higher than 90 meters.
I’m going this summer to Krabi and have the little Breeze 4K drone just for making some pictures or movies of my holidays there at the beaches
Would that be a problem ?
And where can I download a copy of what is permitted and not one drone laws there?
Some people have said they have had drones confiscated. I haven’t had any problems so far. But I am discreet and sometimes choose not to fly.
Thanks for the info and i hope that my drone will not be confiscated ad the airport .
I will use my drone at times when there are not many people’s around on the beach.
Thank’s for your posting.
Have taken my phantom in a hardcase through suv bkk many times and had no questions asked going in or out, I have 4 batteries and try to get them around 35% taking them by hand carry in the hardcase – backpack,
Arrived and departed, hk, kl, few times like this without even having to open the case.
Good to have the updates on drone law in los,
I have been flying a phantom 3 here around 1.5 years mostly in the burbs of bkk and never had a problem, Best MO is stay away from buildings and avoid masses of people or live stock, Inevitably you will be flying over various bodies of water and scattered houses so almost impossible to know who owns what,
Try to take off from wasteland or public land, Arrive do all pre flight checks and fly with common sense trying to stay within the rules, Do it right and for the most part nobody will notice.
I have no further information on the Drone laws, however I’m staying on Koh Samui and ordered a Drone online and it’s stuck at the Bangkok customs, not allowing entry until I obtain a Drone Operating License that takes 30 days, and no link or instructions on how to do so. This may be a new thing.
Thanks for the update
You need to get an import permit from the Civil Aviation Department. If it a drone already sold here then provide evidence ie advertising etc.. I presume it was DHL that was the shipping agent.. happened to me. I had to send the drone back to China.. ohh and they require lots of information and you get checked by Immigration and the DSI.
Also ALL DRONES that have cameras are required to have insurance and a Drone pilots permit. Insurance from Drone Thai insurance and pilot permit from the Thailand Civil Aviation Department. Information in Thai can be seen on the hobbythai website.
Last year (December 2015) I made a trip in Thailand and Myanmar (Birma) with my drone, a Parrot Bebop 2.
In Thailand no problems at all with customs/authorities.
When arriving in Yangon (international flight from BKK) my bag went trough a scanner. It was picked out, and I was taken to the customs office. After long discussion and even demonstrating the drone, i was NOT allowed to bring it into the country. I showed them drone clips of Myanmar on Youtube but even that did not help.
My drone was confiscated. Luckaly my return fligth was also from Yangon, so I was allowed to collect it when leaving the country.
Hoping this information is handy for other travellers.
Hi. Good information you have here. I live on Koh Samui and have a long stay not work visa. I do not work and mostly fly over water and this is just for my interest in film and photo. I have an insurance from my country. I also have Thai driver licence. Now I fly the Phantom 3 Advanced, and are looking over my options for upgrading. I know that a Inspire2 is more then I need but at the same time I want to be as safe I can in these conditions, where weather can change in a couple of minutes, and then maybe the Inspire is a better option then to buy a Mavic. So I want to ask you about the “Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation” and where/ how I can get that licence, if I want to? I lucky in life so if I want to I can buy it, even when its dubble the price of a Mavic. I also are a geek when it comes to this type of stuff and love to have all those options….
Hi! Do you by chance have a Thai version of the law I could print out? When I shot in China, I carried a signed Chinese copy of the legal documentation in my case and showed it to cops when asking to fly, and I found that it gave a little bit more credibility.
Richard, this document http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2558/D/086/6.PDF
states that maximum altitude is 50 meters, not 90. Is that true? Here’s the statement
(ซ) หามทําการบินโดยใชความสูงเกินเกาสิบเมตร (สามรอยฟุต) เหนือพื้นดิน
I am Thai 😁 It says “you cannot fly [the device] higher than 90 meters (300 feet) off the ground.” So 90 meters is the number! 🙂
I am going on an Azie trip to visit Thailand and other surrounding nations like Vietnam, Mymar, Laos, Phillipiens and India. I am about to pre-order the Mavic Pro for an epic video report. But i heard rumors the duane at the airport can occupy the drone, and you won’t get it back (like in Turkey).
Does anyone had experience traveling with drones trough Azie? And so yes, did you have any troubles at the airport?
I travelled through Asia for almost two years. In general, it is quite easy to take your drone to these countries. The only exception is India, where it is prohibited to use a drone. The officials seize the copter sometimes at the airport (depending on the state, e.g. in Ahemdabad). Maybe you can try to get an import permission from the Ministry of Communication.
If you like you can check out my new website: http://drone-traveller.com/drone-laws-asia/ I collect the drone regulations for 83 countries so far. More to come 😉
So basically flying a p4 around Krabi beaches/islands will be fine is what I’m getting out of all the articles I’ve looked at?
Been there, done it. You should be fine.
I will be flying into BLK on October 26th with my inspire 1 and it would be in pretty big pelican type case. Do you think I will have a problem taking it in and out of the country and would I need any special permits or documents to do this?
I meant BKK.
They are getting more and more accustomed to seeing drones at the airport, so you should be fine. But you might want to bear in mind that I1 size means that under Thai law you need both a licence and insurance to fly it here, even if only for hobby. Neither of those would be available to a tourist. In all likelihood you’ll never be asked, but Thailand is not a good place to be caught on the wrong side of the law. The risk is minimal, but it is there, so take care.
Where can I buy cheaper Phantom drones in Thailand?
bought mine at Lazada, good price, excellent service, fast delivery….. and I am not an employee of…. 🙂
I second this. Lazada is where I got my mavic.
I have a Phantom3, Do I need a permission to fly in Thailand? Bangkok? How can I get this? I am only e travel blogger, just fly for fun. I already flight in Chiang Mai, but I really want a oficial permission to not have any problem.
You are not allowed to fly near buildings or big crowds. Which is basically all of Bangkok. And you will be fined for flying in parks. Too many people have drones these days and it’s more difficult to fly. No longer a novelty.
if i’m bringing a dji mavic pro, arriving through survanabhumi, do i have to declare it at customs throught the red lane.
Lucky bugger if you have one already, but if I were you I would not declare anything to customs. You’re simply inviting them to look for some sort of payment.
If it’s all new in its box then you might get caught for some duty, but if you simply have it in carry case I really doubt they’d look for anything. I’ve flown into and out of BKK many times with my P3, had it x-rayed by customs, and never had any problems.
If you declare it as new then you may have to get an import permit for it.. don’t..
From what I’ve seen, you must obtain permission from CAAT to enter Thailand with a drone. If small drones have a camera, they must be registered.
So, all I need to fly my tiny toy drone is permission and common decency?
If it has a camera, it does not matter how small it is, it must be registered.
Hi Guys, I am a commercial drone operator here in the UK (I am licensed and fully insured – including other countries). I am planning a trip to Thailand in order to undertake commercial drone work – make promotional videos for hotels.
Does my license and insurance mean anything over there? I will not be flying in congested areas and I will fly safely trying not to draw any attention to myself.
The question is – Am I allowed to just rock up to BKK airport with my Inspire Pro and undertake commercial work or will I officially need to apply for a Thai license etc?
Thanks in advance!
No, You will first need a work permit, in order to do that you need a Non B visa (business visa), to get these you need to open a Thai company, show 2 million baht of capital and employ 4 Thai staff. Then you can apply for your drone license. Immigration law is very strict about working without a work permit and there are many of who already do this business at great expense only to have people come her on ‘holiday’ working for low rates threatening our livelihoods.
I was wondering if you know whether it is possible to apply for a drone licence under other Non Immigrant Visas (RS or ED)? I am a scientist hoping to use a drone for an upcoming field trip. The work is not commercial in nature, but is not recreational either as if all goes well the data obtained would be used for a journal publication and possibly the footage would be used for press releases and public lectures. To add to the confusion last time I applied for a RS visa I was issued a ED visa instead, but either way I wouldn’t be travelling under a category B visa.
Not possible as far as I know, I needed to show my work permit to get my license.
The instructions above are for a work permit. Non resident category B visas are much simpler to obtain. I would advise speaking to a visa specialist/agent in your home country as the info on the embassy’s website is over complex.
The new law requires government permission to enter Thailand with a drone now.
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