Drone Laws in Hong Kong

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China

Drone Regulator in Hong Kong: Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (HKCAD)

HKCAD Drone-Specific Website: Electronic Portal for Small Unmanned Aircraft

UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong agency responsible for drone safety, HKCAD, has provided several internet-accessible details on flying for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details, go to the link above.

Are drones allowed in Hong Kong?

According to HKCAD, drone use is allowed in Hong Kong, subject to HKCAD regulations. Read on for more details.

Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Hong Kong:

The classification of SUA in respect of each flight and its operations are as follows –


Category A1SUA weighing not more than 250g
Category A2SUA weighing more than 250g but not more than 7kg
Category BSUA weighing more than 7kg but not more than 25kg


Standard Category A1 OperationsOperations of Category A1 SUA within applicable operating requirements
(prior permission from CAD not required)
Standard Category A2 OperationsOperations of Category A2 SUA and Category A1 SUA under exemption within applicable operating requirements
(prior permission from CAD not required)
Advanced Operations(a) Operations exceeding applicable operating requirements (except wholly within an enclosed area);(b) Operations of Category B SUA (SUA weighing over 7kg);(c) Operations of SUA carrying dangerous goods;(d)Operations for which any part of the flight is within a restricted flying zone (except wholly within an enclosed area).
(prior permission from the CAD required)

Under the new regulatory regime following the commencement of the SUA Order on 1 June 2022, small unmanned aircraft (SUA) operations are regulated under a risk-based approach. Based on the weight of the SUA and the operational risk level, SUA operations of different risk levels are subject to the corresponding regulatory requirements. These requirements include registration and labelling of SUA, registration of remote pilots, training and assessment, equipment, operating requirements and insurance. While SUA operations of 250g or below are in general subject to operating requirements only, prior permission from Civil Aviation Department (CAD) will be required for advanced operations involving higher risk.

Please refer to the Safety Requirements Documents for details.

Category of OperationStandard Category A1 OperationStandard Category A2 OperationAdvancedOperation
CriteriaCategory A1 SUA (weight ≤ 250 g)(Within Category A1 operating requirements, see Q6)Category A2 SUA (250 g < weight ≤ 7 kg) and Category A1 SUA under exemption (WithinCategory A2 operating requirements, see Q6)(i) SUA weight ≤ 7 kg but exceeding the respective Standard Cat A1/A2 operating requirements; (ii) SUA weight > 7 kg and ≤ 25 kg; (iii) operations involving carriage of dangerous goods; or (iv) operations in restricted flying zone (except wholly within the enclosed area)
Registration and labelling of SUACross symbol
Registration of remote pilotsCross symbol
Training and assessment of remote pilotsCross symbolCross symbol
Basic equipment (flight log and geo-awareness)Cross symbol
Permission from CAD prior to operations requiredCross symbolCross symbol
SUA insurance for third-party liability (bodily injury and/or death)Cross symbol(Will commence on a later date to be specified)✓ (Minimum coverage: HKD $10 million)
  • If you are flying for commercial purposes and/or if your drone weighs more than 7 kilograms (15.4 pounds), you must apply to the HKCAD. However, no application is required if flying a drone weighing less than 7 kilograms (15.4 pounds) for recreational purposes. 
  • If the drone pilot is flying for commercial purposes, they must keep records of each flight per the permission granted and make them available to HKCAD upon request. 
  • If the UAS is being used commercially, the operator must maintain and submit an operations manual outlining the procedures to be followed when operating the UAS. This document is a critical requirement for HKCAD to accurately assess the application and the safety case before granting permission. 
  • Drones cannot be flown within an airport’s 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) radius. 
  • Except during takeoff and landing, drones may not be flown within 50 meters (164 feet) of a person (other than those involved in the flight), vessel, vehicle, or structure. 
  • While the drone is in flight, the pilot must always maintain visual contact with it. 
  • You must get permission from the land/property owner on whose land/property the UAS will take off and operate. 
  • Drones are not permitted to fly above a height of 90 meters (295 feet). 
  • Drones are not permitted to be flown at night.

Prohibited areas of operation

  • Areas that are densely populated and congested. 
  • Over or near any object, installation, or facility that poses a risk to safety in the event of damage caused by a model aircraft impact or in such a manner that the model aircraft’s good order, discipline, and control are jeopardized or are likely to be jeopardized. 
  • Near an airport and flight paths for aircraft. These areas include the Hong Kong International Airport, the North Lantau coastal area, the coastal areas from Tai Lam Chung to Tsuen Wan and Tsing Yi Island, Victoria Harbour and its surrounding areas, and the Shek Kong area.

Registration and Permission

The Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department has established an online registration portal (in Chinese and English) to register your drone directly. 

To complete the registration process, you will need your basic personal information (you may need a Chinese phone number) and all the technical specifications for your drone. To complete it, you will require the following:

  • Your personal information 
  • the technical specifications of your drone 
  • the details of your planned flight 
  • a copy of your insurance 
  • You’ll need an Operations Manual to safeguard your drone and team from unusual events and to fly as safely as possible for everyone. 

When requesting permission to fly in a restricted zone, you must complete an online form with your personal information and detailed information about your flight zone/area. You may return it to asdoo@cad.gov.hk once completed. In addition, you will be required to submit a copy of your insurance policy. 

On the day of departure and before takeoff, you should notify and coordinate your flight details with the nearest Air Traffic Supervisor. Ensure that you include a Hong Kong phone number.


Although insurance is not required for drone operations in Hong Kong, it is strongly recommended to avoid costly damage to your/another person’s property due to a loss of control while operating a drone.

Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Hong Kong

See General Rules above.

Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Hong Kong

Regardless of the weight of the UAV used, commercial pilots are required to report planned maneuvers to CAD. When reporting, you must demonstrate your pilot abilities. Additionally, you must submit an operations manual containing emergency procedures.

Useful published information on flying drones in Hong Kong

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

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, remote-controlled, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.

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