Drone Laws in Bangladesh

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB)

CAAB Drone Circular


UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh agency responsible for drone safety, CAAB, has provided a number of internet-accessible details on flying for fun or for work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the link above.

Are drones allowed in Bangladesh?

According to CAAB, drone use is allowed in Bangladesh, subject to CAAB regulations. Read on for more details.

Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Bangladesh.

  • Any person conducting such operations shall be responsible for conducting a safe operation and shall not pose a risk to aviation safety.
    Note: This principle is the basis for all such RPAS operations. Understanding and complying with the conditions contained in this Circular is essentialfor conducting a safe operation.
  • Any person operating a RPAS shall not operate in such a reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger or likely to endanger the life or property of any other person.
  • Any person conducting such operations shall be of minimum of 18 years of age.
  • Any person conducting such operations shall subscribe for appropriate liabilityinsurance covering risks of injury or damage to public and/or property.
  • The pilot operating such devices shall not operate the controls o f a RP AS i f there are reason/reasons to believe that the pilot is suffering or likely to suffer from fatigue, or suffering from any other condition which would render him/her unfit to perform his/her duties.
  • The pilot operating shall not operate a RP AS within eight (8) hours after consuming an alcoholic beverage or while under the influence of alcohol or while using any drug that impairs the judgment to the extent that the safety of the operation is endangered in any way. Impairment from drugs could include illicit drugs or prescription and over the counter medication.
  • Any person conducting operations shall be familiar with the relevant aeronautical information that is appropriate to the intended flight, before commencing a flight.
  • Any person conducting operations shall obtain permission from the owner(s) ofthe property on which a RP AS intends to take-off/launch from and/or land/recover on.
  • Any person conducting operations shall, prior to commencing operations, perform a site survey to assess the suitability of each location and confirm that safeoperations can be conducted. Typical elements that should be assessed would include, but are not limited to:
    1. Defining the boundaries ofthe area where the actual operation will be carriedout;
    2. Class ofairspace and/or specific provisions ofthe airspace.
    3. Altitudes and routes to be used on the approach and departure to and from thearea where the operation will be carried out;
    4. Other aircraft operations (e.g. proximity of aerodromes including heliportsand seaplane bases, or other operating sites);
    5. Hazards associated with nearby industrial sites;
    6. Areas of high-intensity radio transmissions or electromagnetic interference(e.g. radar sites);
    7. Limitations and/or restrictions of local by-laws;
    8. Location and height of obstacles (e.g. wires, masts, buildings, cell phonetowers, wind turbines, etc.);
    9. Airspace restrictions such as restrictions around nuclear facilities or militarybases;
    10. Built-up areas, major roadways and recreational activity sites;
    11. Security provisions to limit public access;
    12. Predominant weather conditions for the site and proposed operating areas; and
    13. Minimum separation distances from persons, vehicles and structures.
  • Any person conducting operations shall cease operations if at any time the safety of other airspace users or persons or property on the ground is in jeopardy, or if the person conducting operations is unable to comply with the conditions of this Circular.
  • If at any time the operation is deemed to be a risk to other airspace users or people and property on the ground, the operation will cease until such time as the issues that were causing the unsafe conditions are addressed/remedied. Flight operations should not resume until the issues are resolved.
  • A copy of the following documents shall be available to any person conducting operations.
    • CAAB permission (SFOC);
    • Proof of appropriate liability insurance coverage;
    • Name, address, and telephone number of the drone pilot;
    • A copy of the UAV operating limitations as published by the manufacturer.

RPAS Operator Responsibility in Bangladesh

  • The pilot operating shall maintain continuous unaided visual contact with the RPAS sufficient to be able to maintain operational control ofthe RPAS, know its location and be able to scan the airspace in which it is operating to decisively see and avoid other air traffic or objects.
  • The pilot operating shall not use a first-person view device. A First-Person View (FPV) device which generates and transmits a streaming video image to a ground station display or monitor giving the pilot who is viewing this video, the illusion of actually flying the aircraft from an onboard pilot’s perspective and thus do not have adequate capability to ensure safe traffic separation and compliance with right ofway requirements.
  • The pilot operating under this exemption shall only operate a RPAS from a single control station and control relays or visual observers to extend the operational area are prohibited.
    Note: Due to the additional communications and coordination requirements, extended range operations using visual observers introduce a higher risk to other airspace users andpeople andproperty on the ground. As such the operator would be required to applyfor an SFOC in order to determine the additional safety conditions required to mitigate the associated increased risks
  • The pilot shall operate no more than one RPAS at any one time.
  • The pilot operating a RPAS shall give way to all manned aircraft (i.e. aeroplanes, helicopters, gliders, ultra-lights, hot air balloons, etc.), unmanned balloons and anyother flying objects at all times.
  • The RPAS operation shall only be conducted during daylight hours and in VisualMeteorological Conditions (VMC).
  • The maximum height for operations ofRPASs shall be 200 feet above ground level(AGL).
  • The operation of the RPAS is prohibited within I0 (ten) nautical miles of an aerodromeand within 05 (five) nautical miles of a Key Point Installation (KPI), built u area, sensitive Government Installations (e.g. Prime Minister’s Residence/Office, Secretariat etc.)
  • The pilot operating shall not operate a RPAS over a forest fire area, or over any area that is located within 5 (five) nautical miles of a forest fire area.
  • The pilot operating shall not operate a RP AS in airspace that has been restricted.
  • The pilot operating shall not operate a RPAS within 5 (five) nautical miles of a built-up area.
  • The pilot operating shall operate a RP AS at a lateral distance o f at least 1000 feet from any building, structure, vehicle, vessel, animal or person unless:
    •  The building, structure, vehicle, vessel or animal is the subject of the aerialwork; and
    • Only persons inherent to the operation are present.
  • The pilot operating shall not operate a RP AS over an open-air assembly of persons.
  • The pilot operating shall operate a RPAS at a lateral distance of at least 1000 feet from the general public, spectators, bystanders or any person not associated withthe operation.
  • The pilot conducting operations shall be able to take immediate active control of aRP AS at all times.
  • Full automation in RPAS is not to be allowed. Fully autonomous systems whichdo not allow the pilot to intervene are not permitted due to the potential unpredictability oftheir flight profile. The pilot ofa RPAS must be able to override the pre-programmed systems at any time, should there be a technical issue with the RP AS that requires pilot intervention.
  • Any person conducting operations shall establish and adhere to procedures to be followed in the event that control of the aircraft can no longer be maintained. Specifically:
    • Procedures for contacting emergency assistance;
    • Procedures for landing/recovering the RP AS safely;
    • Procedures for contacting the appropriate air traffic service unit; and
    • Name(s) of individuals responsible for following each of the above procedures.
  • Any person conducting RPAS operations shall be in possession of and adhere toan Emergency Contingency Plan. The Emergency Contingency Plan shall address the action to be taken should the RPAS result in injury to third parties or damage to property.
  • Radio Frequency Link for the operation ofRPAS is vital and should be provided with no unacceptable interference to the RPAS. Any person, organization, institution conducting RPAS operation shall ensure that no unacceptable interference to the RP AS is present prior to flight, or is likely to be present during flight.
  • Any person operating shall not conduct a take-off/launch o f a RP AS unless the risk involved with lost link circumstances has been assessed and a proper contingency procedure has been developed and in place for the recovery ofthe RPAS in case of a lost link situation.
  • The pilot operating shall not operate a RPAS unless it is operated in accordance with the operating limitation specified by the manufacturer.
  • The pilot is responsible for operating the RPAS in accordance with any specifications, directions or instructions provided by the manufacturer and for ensuring that any operating limitations relating to the operation of the RPAS are adhered to.
  • The pilot operating shall not permit the use of a portable electronic device at thecontrol station of a RPAS where the device may impair the functioning of thesystems or equipment.
  • The pilot operating shall not conduct a take-off/launch o f a RP AS i f explosive,corrosive, bio-hazard or bright light emitting (laser) payloads, or any payloads thatcan be jettisoned, dispersed or dropped, are carried onboard.
  • Any person operating RPAS shall ensure the following operational and emergencyequipment is immediately available:
    • checklists or placards that enable a RPAS to be operated in accordance withthe limitations specified by the manufacturer; and
    • Hand-held fire extinguisher of a type suitable for extinguishing fires that islikely to occur.
  • The pilot/operator must be prepared to handle any emergencies that occur as aresult of operating the RPAS (i.e. grass fire, injury to people of the ground, etc.) This requires that the appropriate procedures be developed and the required equipment is immediately available to those conducting the operation.
  • The pilot conducting operations shall remain clear of the take-off, approach and landing routes and the pattern oftraffic formed by manned aircraft operating in the vicinity of aerodromes.
  • Any person conducting operations shall ensure that the appropriate air traffic service unit(s) is advised immediately anytime the flight of a RPAS inadvertently enters into controlled airspace.
  • The pilot operating a RPAS shall in no case enter published Restricted, Prohibited and Danger Area in Bangladesh.

Drone categories

The use of drones has been divided into four categories in the draft policy, according to the cabinet secretary.

  • ‘Class A’ drones are for recreational use and must weigh below five kilograms. 
  • ‘Class B’ drones are for non-commercial use, such as surveying large areas for personal studies and researches. 
  • ‘Class C’ drones are allowed for commercial use and may weigh above five kilograms. 
  • Drones used in state or military work are grouped as ‘Class D’ and require no permission.

Permission 

Drones are permitted in Bangladesh, but you have to obtain permission from the air traffic control authority before your maneuvers.

Authorizations have to be submitted 45 days in advance to the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB). The mandatory details of the application include:

  • Personal data of the pilot
  • Purpose of the drone flight (e.g., training, photography, videography, research, etc.)
  • Description of the copter (including departure weight and safety features like fail-safe)
  • Date/time of the maneuver
  • Flight location including coordinates
  • Information about existing drone insurance
  • Distance to the nearest medical facility and the nearest fire station

Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Bangladesh

Recreational drones weighing less than five kilograms will require no permission to fly. Those drones cannot be flown above 500 feet from the ground.

Anyone will be able to operate drones for entertainment.

To fly drones three and a half kilometers away from the airports and KPIs, the maximum altitude will be 100 feet. The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh or CAAB’s permission will be required in all other cases. For drones weighing over 7kg, the importers will need permission from the defense ministry.


Notes for Commercial Drone Services operations in Bangladesh

Cabinet has passed the draft Drone Registration and Flying Act 2020, banning the use of drones for commercial purposes without permission from the government.

The use of drones for the shooting of films, television or documentaries will now require permission from the Civil Aviation Department if they weigh above 5kgs.


Useful published information on flying drones in Bangladesh

Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Bangladesh…

NOTE: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model aircraft, toy aircraft, Remote controlled aircraft, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.


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IMPORTANT NOTE

The content on this site is collated by volunteers from public general information. This material is not presented as legal advice of any kind, and we cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Do not substitute the information you find here for legal advice from a licensed attorney who is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction. When in doubt, contact the local aviation authority responsible for drone safety, utilize a licensed drone service operator, and/or consult a qualified attorney.

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