Quick Look at the New Drone Law in Thailand

Drone 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

Flying the drone in Mae Hon Song

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.

Flying my drone in Thailand

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

  • August 31, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Interesting article thanks. But of more interest to me is filming using phones and/or dedicated video cameras into private property without permission. I.E. it is all land based. Can somebody just stand outside my gate and film my property without entering it. Could this be classed as trespass even if the camera operator does not step one inch onto my land. Seems to me that permission to film should be required as with drones but is that the legal case?

  • August 14, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Richard, I recently moved to Bangkok and enjoy flying a racing drone (quad 5″ props). Im very aware that it is not safe in public parks..do you know anywhere guys get together or there are open spaces that are quite safe in and around BKK (also any knowledge of specialist shops)..Thanks, Dan

  • August 12, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Hi guys! Just got bk fm Phuket on the 10th of Aug. Flew at Big Buddha n Phantom 3 Pro off LZ due to very strong wind…Did another at Vijit Resort where i stayed n took beautiful sunrise video…no problem brining in n out the Phantom fm airport but remember to seperate the batt n store w Lipo Battery Guard Sleeve/Bag for safety n security chk. 1 more important reminder. If bring power bank for hp, must be 20,000 or less if not u’ll not be allow to bring up d plane…Rdgs Chris

    • August 31, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      what do you mean by powerbank? 20,000MaH?

    • September 1, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Hi Chris,

      Did you check the propellers or no problem as a carry on?
      Also didn’t understand that last bit could reword?

    • September 30, 2016 at 5:19 am

      Thanks so much for clarification! I got my power bank of 50.000 taken away while flying from Bangkok in April and was scared that same rools of 20.000 may apply for drone batteries too. Good to know that they don’t. Maybe you have a link to those rules about power banks coz I couldn’t find anything on airports websites

  • August 12, 2016 at 4:04 am

    Hi Richard,

    I have a toy quadcopter, hubsan 501e, that has been stuck at Thai customs at Suvarnabhumi airport for nearly one week. There was a problem with the value on the customs forms but I think that is cleared. Now I’m being told I need a license to bring a drone into Thailand. The drone is for my hobby and it’s weight it’s less than 450 grams.Can you please help me understand why I need a license to bring this drone into Thailand? Thank you in advance.


  • August 11, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I have a Hubsan H501C drone, weight is less than 1/2 kilogram. At first there was a problem with the value the company (Banggood) put on the custom declaration form, obviously not at my request. They value it at 56 HKG. I can see where this is a problem because I paid about 170 USD and an additional 10 USD to expedite the shipping. I sent my PayPal statement to confirm the actual price I paid. I think that is cleared.

    Now the problem is I’m being told I need an import license to bring the drone into Thailand and was referred to the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA). The person who I was referred to is out of the office until this afternoon (11 Aug ’16) and I will call her after that time. As I stated above, the drove is less than 1/2 Kg and that includes the battery. Also, I do not sell drones or anything else. I do not use the drone to make money. This is strictly a hobby. I do not understand why I need a license to import.

    This is getting urgent as I am worried the drone will be destroyed if this matter isn’t cleared soon. Richard can you please explain to me?

    • August 29, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      Any update on this? Was it DHL by any chance?

  • August 5, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Good day guys! I’ll be heading to Phuket on 6th Aug with my P3 pro. Will update when back on 10th Aug. cheers!!!

    • August 31, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      Any update Chris? headed to Phuket, KRabi, PhiPhi, and chiang Mai tomorrow. Hoping someone has recent experience.

      • October 11, 2016 at 12:56 am

        Sry for the late reply Phi. No problem bringing in and out of Phuket. Just remember do not check in ya drone batt And you will ge fine. Enjoy flying ya drone. Cheers! Chris…

  • July 26, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Hi. Im currently in bangkok? Is it okay to fly my phantom 3?

    • July 29, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Officially you are not allowed to fly near buildings or where there are many people – that is basically all of Bangkok. You also cannot fly in any of the parks in Bangkok.

  • July 26, 2016 at 6:19 am

    Hey nice article, it really relieves me alot. I have a connecting flight in BKK but my final destination is Stockholm Sweden. I would like to know if bringing a drone will be okay through the airport security and Thai Custom. By mean okay I mean I will not pay any duty tax or VAT because of this drone. (You know, from the Thai custom airport website it’s stated that if passenger brings goods worth more than 10,000 Baht it will get charged by duty tax, I found this really silly because the drone itself worth way more than that amount).
    Please answer my question, Sir.

    • July 29, 2016 at 10:30 am

      I never had a problem. As long as it is not new and in the box then you should be alright. However, you say you have a connecting flight. I don’t think you will be going through customs.

  • July 23, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Thank you for the useful information. Just checked links above and I see all Bangkok City restricted area: “Flying over Bangkok lower altitude is not permitted except for state aircraft or aircraft authorized by DCA”. It is quite strict rule 🙁

    Checked Drone Insurance page and found another not too good news:


    “Issue: Flying drone illegally in Thailand, Thailand Drone Regulation enforcing. Legal action, Charges Punishment and Fine. Latest letter from DCA – Department of Civil Aviation Thailand.As on letter Date 17 June 2016”

    Didn’t see any mention above or below 2 kg.

  • July 23, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Arrived in Bangkok from Dubai yesterday with my P4 and 4 batteries. No issues, not even a security bag scan upon arrival. Kind of scary how relaxed their immigration/Customs process was.

  • June 26, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I am leaving tomorrow and will be landing in Bangkok. I am flying with my Phantom 4. Will this be an issue?

  • June 24, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Hi Richard !
    I am surprise… I have provided some very important legal documents about AIP Thai amended and ENR my Post is online why ?
    These documents are coming from official gov please look it
    AMDT 21-16 AIP AMANDMENT 21 3 March 2016.pdf
    ENR 5.1 Prohibited, Restricted and Danger Areas[13].pdf
    Outside Controlled Airborne Vehicles B.E. 2558 A.D. 2015 Notification

  • June 22, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Anyone who went to the Thailand with phantom drones, did u get any problem on security check in the airport?

    • June 25, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      I would like to know as well! might buy a Phantom 2.

  • June 13, 2016 at 4:54 pm


    Any new update on this.
    Lots of Banned in Thailand around is the law clear.
    I have had my local golf club ask me to do a flyover with my drone.
    Will this be ok seeing as it is private land with permission.

    • June 14, 2016 at 9:17 am

      You shouldn’t have a problem with that as you have permission from the landowner.

      • June 14, 2016 at 6:55 pm

        Thanks Richard
        I actually came across a company on Facebook offering drone insurance.
        He says that the government are really pushing the law through to ban unlicensed use of drones.
        Everyone will need a drone pilots licence.
        Cost 1000bht for the main pilot and 500 bht for co-pilots
        Takes 3-4 months to obtain the licence and also have a test.
        Bit vague on the info now, but i am going to hook up with him next week.
        The insurance starts at 3000bht for the Phantom 2 again not sure what that covers yet.

        • June 22, 2016 at 11:05 pm

          Steve, u mean all drones need to be licensed, even which are less that 2 kilos?

          • June 24, 2016 at 10:13 am

            No need for license for the lighter drones – for example DJI Phantom series. But there are restrictions on where you can fly as mentioned in this blog.

  • June 7, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Hi All,

    Does anyone have any recommendations on places to buy LiPo safe bags in Bangkok for international flights?


  • May 20, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    HI Richard and all!

    I’ll be heading to Phuket Thailand in August thinking of bringing my Phantom 3 shooting some nice videos and photos of our stay in the resort. Hope to hear some update from the guys who has been there recently. Cheers!

    • May 21, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      Didn’t have any issues. Just check with the locals everywhere you go and you’ll be fine.

      • May 23, 2016 at 3:38 pm

        Hi Kyle! Many thanks!

  • April 30, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Richard!

    I am not sure whether this issue is highlighted before –

    1) Do you take any precautions when you fly drone in public area such as beaches? I’m planning to head to Phuket beach or islands but I am afraid it will attract lots of unwanted attention and compromise my own safety. (travelling alone)

    2) Under 2kg, Phantom Professional 3 should be fine right? I have been researching for Thai laws but couldn’t find a reliable one beside your webpage. It’s pretty scary given that the sentence is 1 year and fine. So hope to clarify with you first!

  • April 18, 2016 at 11:23 am

    This is great information, thanks! I’m traveling to Bangkok, Phuket in a couple weeks and I fly race quads (Vortex250pro). The quad itself is only 1-1.5 lbs w/ a battery, so I guess I don’t need to worry about license for myself, right? I just need to make sure I get permission from the land owner and be a responsible pilot.

    • April 18, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      Yes, as long as you stay away from people and buildings and you have the landowners permission, you should be fine.

      • April 19, 2016 at 12:59 pm

        Hi Richard
        I am about to buy a Phantom 4
        I live in Cha Am Thailand and surrounded by lots of open spaces, some used as rice fields some with a few cows on. My point is I do not think there is one landowner but many small plots with different Thais working them. How do I stand flying over them if I do not know who owns what. This will just be a hobby for me.

        • April 19, 2016 at 8:36 pm

          An expensive hobby i think! Isn’t it 64,000 Baht? I would love to upgrade but will give it a miss. In theory you should be alright. Just keep a low profile.

          • April 20, 2016 at 12:00 am

            Hi Richard
            Yes 64000bht + extra batteries + new computer pad, Not sure which make or size to get. Need someone in Bangkok to have one in stock, be there in a few days.Just wanted one that misses cows trees me and the wife car etc. Any help on one in stock would be useful, I have lived here 9 years not as long as you but you know in Thailand they never give you the right answer but I love living here and the people. Thanks for your help.

          • April 20, 2016 at 12:15 am

            And I cant quite understand the price difference. DJI sell direct for USD 1499, but the price here in Thailand is no where near the DJI price + 7% VAT. First time I’ve seen such a difference for DJI products here, but seems to be same for all Thai retailers 🙁

      • May 2, 2016 at 2:31 pm

        Well, my quad decided to burn up an ESC a week before leaving so I ended up not being able to take it. Might have been for the best, as it would been a lot of equipment to bring… oh well.

        Where are you located in Thailand? After a couple days in Bangkok we traveled to my wife’s family’s place in Buriram. Tomorrow night we’re hitting up a train back to Bangkok then a flight down to Ko Samui where we’ll be pretty much staying for the remainder of the visit.

  • April 18, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I’m also looking to take my Inspire 1 on my trip this July. Do you recommend this or not? Seems it falls in the larger than 2kg category but I fly for recreational use. I’ll be coming from Canada and will be visiting Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia!

    • April 18, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      It’s getting more difficult to say now. I cannot really say you will be fine. Strictly speaking you need a license.

      • April 19, 2016 at 8:17 am

        Thanks for the response! Is getting the license easy for tourists? Do I contact the tourism department for this?
        What about traveling with the Phantom 4? Will that have less issues? Are there rental companies in Thailand where I can rent a drone for my stay? I find that might be a more feasible option if available.

        • April 19, 2016 at 8:32 pm

          From what i heard it takes months to get a license, and so, I would say very hard for tourists!

  • April 8, 2016 at 6:39 am

    I will visit Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia April 20-May 3. It appears I’m ok to bring my Phantom 3 into Thailand without registering, correct? Also, for Myanmar, I am trying to find someone responsible for drone registration. The email contacts I’ve tried do not reply. Please help me with complying with all drone regulations in Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia. Thank you very much

    • April 8, 2016 at 9:21 am

      If you are flying a light drone (2 kilos or under) for personal use in Thailand while on holiday, you should have no problem. But, there are many places you can no longer fly. Always seek permission first if it is not on public land.

      • April 8, 2016 at 9:31 am

        So what if you have over 2kg? Like people have mentioned before, there seems no way to register or even confirm that the legislation has been enacted?

        Taking every privacy and safety concern into consideration of course, can you fly large craft?

        • April 8, 2016 at 8:29 pm

          You will need a license. Takes 3-4 months. Not so easy for foreigners to apply.

          • April 9, 2016 at 6:49 am

            Any advice on where to start/contact? I have the Australian equivalent so thought they may issue an exemption.

          • April 9, 2016 at 9:40 am

            More details on how/where to apply would be appreciated Richard. Why is it not so easy for foreigners to apply?

        • April 9, 2016 at 9:54 am

          If it’s over 2kg you need a cat 2 license, if you are a foreigner in order to get a license you need a work permit and insurance. (Which I have)

          • April 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm

            And the details on where/how to apply for such things?

          • April 9, 2016 at 4:08 pm

            Application and details on this website: http://www.rasat.or.th But information only in Thai. From what I heard, it takes 3-4 months to process as only two people receiving and processing applications.

          • April 9, 2016 at 4:26 pm

            Thanks Richard. I’d already translated, navigated and emailed through here to no response. If anyone needs it translated just Google web page translators.

            One final thing Richard: would you say that to the best of your knowledge, the existence of the license paperwork means that the legislation has since been passed and is now fully enforceable (nulifying the email responses people had posted on this thread about the legislation not being passed yet)

          • April 9, 2016 at 5:29 pm

            The law should have been passed by now. If you can be legal, it is best to do so.

          • April 9, 2016 at 5:44 pm

            Yep I totally agree. Thanks for all your help Richard.

  • April 7, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Does anybody know where in Bangkok I can have a professional guy change the white camera of my Phantom 2 for a much better camera (such as the Phantom 3 cam). Thanks.

  • April 4, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Looking to travel from Australia to Phuket. Anyone have any experience travelling with an Inspire?

  • March 22, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Any suggestion about Taking plane from bangkok To Bali with phantom 3 and 4 batteries?

  • March 5, 2016 at 3:05 am

    Hi guys:
    I am following this thread with curiosity. Soon I will travel to Thailand from Spain and I would like to know the experience of someone in the airport customs.
    My Drone is a phanthom 3.
    1) check it or carry on?
    2) it Is mandatory batteries in a fireproof bag LIPO?

    Any advice you have to take into account?
    Thank you

    • March 6, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      I always carry my drone onboard with batteries in a fireproof bag. I have flown many times inside Thailand and twice on international flights with my Phantom drone.

      • March 6, 2016 at 11:53 pm

        Thank you for answering so quickly.
        The batteries for the trip, half charge or full charge?
        You can go with propellers in the carry-on?

        • March 7, 2016 at 7:37 pm

          Half charge, and I checked the propellers into main luggage – just in case they suggested they could be used as weapons.

  • February 20, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Great article, I sent an email to MOT, will be letting you know what the response is

  • February 19, 2016 at 2:41 am

    very funny (((

  • February 18, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Hi everyone, i’ve booked a day trip/tour to Racha Island. Any thoughts about flying a done there. Do you think it will be too much hassle on a trip like this? It’s just that the potential looks like it might be amazing.

    • February 19, 2016 at 3:56 pm


  • February 9, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    Hi Guys, Richard, thanks for the great article, its really appreciated the info you’re putting out there.

    I am heading to Thailand tomorrow from the UK with Thai Airways. I’ll be staying for a few days in Ko Phi Phi and then Phuket. I have a DJI Phantom 3 Pro, would you check it in or carry on? Of course batteries in a LIPO bag will be carry on regardless.



    • March 2, 2016 at 11:09 pm

      Hi Mark, I would love to hear about how your experience was bringing the drone through customs and if you have encountered any issues. I hope to be bringing the same drone to Thailand in late April.

      • March 5, 2016 at 11:52 pm

        Hi Chad

        I took the drone as a carry on, putting the propellers into check in luggage – just in case they said they were weapons! Lithium batteries must be taken as carry on as its against the law to check them in (should not be fully charged). My carry on was a little bigger than acceptable hand luggage – but no one said anything. There were no problems back or forth and have also taken a trip to the USA since, also with no problems.

      • March 6, 2016 at 12:28 am

        Hey Chad,

        I’ve been traveling through SE Asia for the past 5 weeks and have only had issues in Bali. I’ve flowing into and out of Bangkok DMK several times as well as my initial flight into BKK. I’ve also flown into the Krabi airport and out of the Surat Thani airport, in and out of Chiang Mai. No issues at all in Thailand. One time out of DMK I was asked to remove the batteries from the bag and show the security people but that was it.

        I’m traveling with a Phantom 3 in a makeshift drone bag. The standard DJI bag is great but it’s pretty obvious what’s inside that and I wanted something more discreet for this trip. I’ve been traveling with AirAsia mostly and have my main 38-litre (carry-on) backpack and the drone bag. I always carry on both even though most airlines say you can only have one bag. Haven’t had any issues in 10+ flights in Asia.


        • March 20, 2016 at 3:54 pm

          hi melissa! i am flying with air aisia from bangkok and back. What issues did you get in bali??

          thanks will

          • March 22, 2016 at 9:54 am

            Hey Will,
            We decided to go to Bali a few days before we got there so it was pretty last minute. I did some quick research and came to the conclusion that I didn’t need a permit for my Phantom 3 because i wouldn’t be flying it past their 150 ft (???) law (I can’t remember the exact number). When we landed in Bali, the customs officials scanned our bags and immediately pulled the drone bag aside and took us to an office. They then told me that if I had a permit (which takes 14 days to get which is why I did t get one), I would have to put a “refundable deposit” down. Seeing as I didn’t have a permit, he told me they were going to keep my drone at the airport. That was obviously not ideal so he basically said I could pay a “non-refundable deposit” and keep my drone. It seemed like they do this often. He first said $600, then $300, then $200 (Canadian dollars). So if you take a drone, either get a permit and be prepared to put down a “refundable deposit”, or be prepared to part with some money. Also, negotiate with them if you find yourself in a similar situation. They just want some easy cash. Good luck.

          • March 22, 2016 at 5:49 pm

            thanks melissa, i will give it a go!! can t imagine spending 4 weeks in bali, without taking the drone.

            how do you do with batteries usually?

          • March 22, 2016 at 6:09 pm

            I didn’t give it much thought and just put them in my drone bag. Next time I would look for the fire resistant bags that Richard talks about just to be safe. Some people say to drain the batteries while others have said to keep them half charged. I’ve been asked to turn on my drone while going through security in Calgary so I wouldn’t drain them in case that happens.

  • February 3, 2016 at 1:20 am

    Hi guys,
    Thanks for the article and all the updates.
    Planning to go to Thailand in March. Besides the rules about flying, I’m curious about the airport security staff – do I have to expect any problems here? Usually taking my P3 onboard and so far never had problems in any country. What to expect in Thailand?


    • February 3, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Should be alright, but I always take the batteries out and put them in a fire-proof bag.

  • January 22, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Am following this thread very closely and appreciate the updates….I have had no reply regarding this issue from Thai DCA but local pilots here at Phuket Airpark advise me Drones are illegal (full stop) but as these guys frequently fly around 200′ over houses in our area and skirt the beach at about 50′ saying they are allowed to by law I doubt they are the right people to be asking about the rules.

  • January 18, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Great article Richard! I’m heading to Thailand on Feb 3 and I’m trying to figure out if I can take my Phantom 3 with me or not. I’ve heard that drones with cameras aren’t allowed. Do you know if that’s true? Will it be confiscated at the airport? I’m also traveling to Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar. I can’t find any laws about drones for those countries. Do you know if they’re allowed?

    • January 18, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      I don’t know about other countries, but Phantom 3 is less than two kilos and so doesn’t need a license. But there are restrictions on where you can fly.

      • January 20, 2016 at 5:29 am

        but do you consider drones with camers (DJI Phantom + GoPRO Hero 4) as commercial usage or non commercial?

        • January 20, 2016 at 7:47 am

          Do you mean in the eyes of the law? I cannot answer that. I can only say that if you fly as a hobby then you should be fine. If you do it commercially, then you should also get insurance.

  • December 28, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    UPDATE on Drone use in Thailand

    I spoke with the lovely people at The Ministry Of Transport in Thailand today regarding the use of and obtaining a license or permit to fly my Dji Inspire 1 Quadcopter.
    This is what they had to say about Drone use in Thailand.

    Dear Mr. Chris,

    Regarding your concerns about drone use licensing in Thailand, I have talked to an official in Licensing Division, Bureau of Aviation Standards, Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand and acknowledged that the law is currently being completed and is not officially be implemented at this moment. You can still enjoy using your drone at this moment and throughout your whole four-week-long trip. Just be mindful with the three major concerns we have discussed earlier (national security, individual privacy, and airport safety).

    For more information, please call 022870320 ext 2422

    • January 13, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      Hi Chris
      Did you take your Inspire ?? If so was all OK ??

  • December 28, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Re Insurance : we are a licensed professional, independent insurance broker in Bangkok based in Silom and Bangna. Drone insurance is available in Thailand from a reputable insurer and falls into the Aviation Insurance Dept. There is a detailed form to complete if quotes are wanted asking about the drone type, use, model, operator experience and so on. As this is a new insurance area and drones are presenting risks the underwriters have not always seen before, note that the insurance companies are also feeling their way. As the insurers in Thailand are not being flooded with insurance requests either, it is difficult to predict or give any guidance on rates or what kinds of drones or drone activity insurers want to cover or not or what policy conditions may be applied. So at the moment, the process is to complete the necessary insurance application and see what responses come back. We can be contacted at the email below any time if anyone wants assistance. Cheers.

  • December 15, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Do you know which radio frequencies are allowed for drones in Thailand? I.e. 2.4GHz, 5.8GHz and the maximum power output of the transmitters?
    Personally I am interested in racing drones with FPV.

  • December 4, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Curious if this was ever signed into law, and if so what Govt. department is responsible for licencing etc.?

    Did you hear anymore on this Richard?

  • December 4, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Hi richard

    Im gus uri from bali

    Im going to pattaya at the end off january 2016 for shoot an indian wedding with a phantom do i need a license from there ?

    Do i need permission from

    • December 4, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      For commercial reasons yes. But, in reality, if you have permission from the owners of the place where you are shooting then you should be alright. But, these days they might insist on you taking out insurance.

      • December 4, 2015 at 3:37 pm

        I have not heard of anybody providing drone insurance in Thailand. Do you know anybody providing coverage?

  • November 29, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Where can I purchase the insurance and license from, ?

    As I have a DJI Inspire 1.



    • November 30, 2015 at 7:01 am

      I saw an advert for “Thai Drone Insurance” on Facebook. I cannot vouch for them though. There is possible others out there.

    • December 28, 2015 at 8:31 pm


      Today I spoke to the lovely people over at The Ministry of Transport here in Thailand in regards to obtaining a license or permit to fly my DJI Inspire 1 Drone here in Thailand.
      After our phone conversation I got an email response back within a few hours.
      This is what they had to say.

      Dear Mr. Chris,

      Regarding your concerns about drone use licensing in Thailand, I have talked to an official in Licensing Division, Bureau of Aviation Standards, Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand and acknowledged that the law is currently being completed and is not officially be implemented at this moment. You can still enjoy using your drone at this moment and throughout your whole four-week-long trip. Just be mindful with the three major concerns we have discussed earlier (national security, individual privacy, and airport safety).

      For more information, please call 022870320 ext 2422


      Panuwat Promdan, Mr.
      International Cooperation Bureau
      Office of the Permanent Secretary
      Ministry of Transport

      So there you have it folks.
      Be Safe, Be Sensible, and Respect the People & Property of others around you. Abide by all flight rules that are currently in place.
      Have fun.

    • January 21, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      Hi Keith. We are filming here in Thailand (various locations) and would like to use a drone. Are you commercial? Also – did you have any luck with Insurance / license.


  • November 23, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Richard,

    I am going to Thailand on holidays and would like to know if I should take the drone and get some footage ? Any chances of getting arrested ? I will stay in Kamala and would just film around the beach maybe in Koh pih pih also. Is it worth the “risk” so to say ? I don’t plan on taking one year off and visiting the prison hahahahahah…

    Paulo Poinha

    • November 24, 2015 at 6:45 am

      If you have a big drone as noted above, you need a license and insurance. Lighter ones are still alright for now, but just be careful where you fly. More and more locations and events are banning drones. It is not as easy as it used to be.

  • October 20, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    thanks for the iinsight Richard, I am however concerned about some articles that a simple Google search brought up to me, stating that Thai authorities will consider Drone flying as an illegal activity in thailand, due to penslties and prison… The date of this resolution is January 2015, but since you live there, you might know definitely better. My idea is to make some aerialsmof the Wat Arun temple and sorroundings but i’m truly scared police will walk up to me, confiscate my drone, twke me to the police station, etc etc etc…

  • October 17, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Hi Richard just been reading about how drones are being used to carry mail . Will this be the end of the postman on his bike ….

  • October 9, 2015 at 1:15 am

    Hi Richard, I read a previous blog post where you said that you cannot fly near palaces or temples. I noticed that you got a lot of pictures from both. How did you get away with that? And if I do fly near palaces or temples, will they put me in jail or just give me a warning?

  • October 5, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Anyone knows if I can bring my P3 next trip to Thailand?

  • October 2, 2015 at 8:37 am

    If anybody knows which government dept will handle licensing for professional drones please post here.

  • September 27, 2015 at 2:51 am

    Good day Richard.

    I’m travelling to Thailand in December. Very excited to visit this beautiful country. The places that I’m going to visit is Bangkok, Phuket and Koh Phi Phi islands. I want to take my Phantom 3 with to take some airial shots of our holiday. Are there any new regulations or tips you have for me besides the above mentioned.

    Kind Regards


    • June 30, 2016 at 1:03 am

      Before you take your phantom check the rules on taking batteries on a plane I did and its a no go.I’m going in September and wanted to take my drone.

  • September 15, 2015 at 4:08 am

    Hi Richard.

    Thanks for the informative article. Flying to Bangkok in a while.
    Bringing my Phantom 3 Professional with me. Wish me luck!


  • September 3, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Do we know where we have to register companies and pilots?
    Which government dept. is handling this?

  • September 3, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Hello Richard, in one of the rules:

    “(b) It is forbidden to fly in restricted zones as announced in “Aeronautical Information Publication – Thailand””

    I tried looking up the AIP website (http://www.aisthai.aviation.go.th/) and department of civil aviation website (http://www.aviation.go.th/en)… couldn’t find anything listed as “restricted zones”. Help please?

    Thank you!

  • September 1, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Generally quite sensible, and far less draconian than the rules we worried would be applied.

    However, I have a feeling certain aspects of this are a little too vague:

    It is forbidden to fly over cities, villages, communities or areas where people are gathered.

    It is forbidden to fly closer than 30 meters to people, vehicles or buildings

    • September 2, 2015 at 11:17 am

      Yes, that is pretty restrictive as it implies you cannot fly most places. Hopefully some of these points will be clarified.

    • May 28, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      So we can fly camera drones right?

      • May 30, 2016 at 6:58 am

        If a small drone, you have landowners permission, you are doing it for a hobby, and you are not flying near people or buildings, then you should be alright.

        • July 8, 2016 at 5:13 pm

          But what about if we are under 18? Is it ok to fly a drone?

Comments are closed.