Drone Laws in Malaysia

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in Malaysia

 

Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM)

CAAM Drone Flight Approval Application Forms

Updated July 21, 2022


UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Malaysia

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

Are drones allowed in Malaysia?

According to CAAM, drones are allowed in Malaysia, subject to CAAM regulations. Read on for details.

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

In Malaysia, drones are classified into three categories:

  • Small Unmanned Aircraft System: Drones with a maximum weight of 20 kilograms
  • Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft: Drones that weigh a maximum of 20 kilograms and are equipped with data acquisition devices (such as cameras and microphones).
  • Unmanned Aircraft System more than 20kg: All other drones weighing more than 20 kg

Regulations vary according to category. For example, the second category includes standard camera drones such as the DJI Mavic and Phantom. 

Further authorization is not required for such drones if the following maneuvers are avoided:

  • From a weight of 20 kilograms, authorization is required. 
  • In Malaysia, the maximum permitted ascent height is 120 meters (400 feet). 
  • Flights of drones over designated areas (areas for residential, commercial, industrial, and recreational purposes) 
  • In Malaysia, drone flights are permitted only within visual range. However, under certain conditions, experienced pilots can conduct FPV flights. 
  • Within 150 meters of each designated area, drone flights 
  • We strongly advise obtaining aviation liability insurance before conducting drone operations in Malaysia. 
  • Drone flights over crowds of more than 1,000 people in open spaces 
  • Drone flights within 150 meters of any outdoor gathering of over 1000 people 
  • Drone flights within 50 meters of any ship, vehicle, or structure that is not under the pilot’s control 
  • Drone flights are restricted to a radius of 50 meters around each person. 
  • During takeoff and landing, drones fly within 30 meters of each person. 
  • All operations must be conducted beyond 9.26km (5 Nautical Miles) from an aerodrome or airport and only in Class G airspace.
  • Flights are permitted only during daylight hours.

If you meet any of the criteria listed above, you will require a license from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA). 

If your UAS activity is flown not categorized as Special UAS Project, Agricultural UAS Operations, flown within Visual Line of Sight in Class G Airspace and utilizing less than 20 kilograms of UA. Then most likely, you will require to submit the Standard Application to achieve your Authorisation to Fly.

The application form for the authorization to fly can be found in the document laid out below. The completed application form and required supporting documents shall be sent to drone.atf@caam.gov.my at least fourteen (14) days before the proposed activity date. CAAM reserves the right to reject incomplete or late submissions.

Go here to find the link to Application Form for Standard Application to Fly

250 RM is the cost of the permit.

Information about Drone permits in Malaysia

Before applying for a CAAM permit, you must first obtain permission from the landowner whose property you intend to fly over. Additionally, depending on your circumstances, you may need to get the following documents:

  • A letter of approval from JUPEM, or Jabatan Ukur dan Pemetaan Malaysia, is required for any drone activity involving aerial mapping, aerial photography, filming, or videography. The application fee is RM 50. 
  • A letter from the CGSO, or Chief Government Security Office, authorizing the pilot to fly in no-fly zones such as Putrajaya. 
  • A letter of approval from the Sabah or Sarawak Chief Minister, depending on which state you will be flying. 
  • For foreign drone pilots, an approval letter from the MCMC or Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission.

Please remember that your application to CAAM must be submitted at least 14 working days before your scheduled flight date, or it will be rejected.

The Permit Application fees are as follows:

  • For drones 20kg and below: RM 250
  • For drones above 20kg: RM 1000

The permit is valid for a maximum of three months, based on the dates of operation specified in your application. 

How to get a Standard Authorization to Fly Drones in Malaysia?

If your UAS activity is flown not categorized as Special UAS Project, Agricultural UAS Operations, flown within Visual Line of Sight in Class G Airspace and utilizing less than 20 kilograms of UA. Then most likely, you will require to submit the Standard Application to achieve your Authorization to Fly.

The Application form can be found here: Malaysia Standard Authorization Application Form.

The completed application form and required supporting documents shall be sent to drone.atf@caam.gov.my at least fourteen (14) days before the proposed activity date. CAAM reserves the right to reject an incomplete or late submission.

Penalties

If the person is an individual, they may be fined not more than fifty thousand ringgit or imprisoned for not more than three years, or both. 

If the person is a body corporate, they may be fined not more than one hundred thousand ringgits.


Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Malaysia

Recreational drone use will most likely require a standard application to fly. Please see the information above. 

You must ensure that you can maintain direct and unaided visual contact with the aircraft long enough to monitor its flight path to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels, and structures to avoid collisions.

Authorization from the Director-General is REQUIRED if the person in charge of the small unmanned aircraft system intends to fly the small unmanned aircraft system:

  • within an aerodrome traffic zone
  • at the height of more than 400 feet above ground

Follow the general rules listed above, but check for updates by visiting the regulator’s links provided.


Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Malaysia

To fly a UAS for aerial work, you need authorization from the Director-General. 

Aerial work is an aircraft operation in which an aircraft is used to provide specialized services such as agriculture, construction, photography, surveying, observation and patrol, search and rescue, and aerial advertisement. 

  • Registration of small unmanned aircraft and small uncrewed surveillance aircraft is NOT required. 
  • Registration of unmanned aircraft systems weighing more than 20kg is REQUIRED. 

Each authorization requires additional direct payment to the authority.

To use drones for aerial work, you must also apply for and maintain an aerial work certificate:

  • New application: RM 800
  • Renewal of aerial work certificate: RM 500 per year
  • Modification of existing certificate: RM 250

Follow the general rules listed above, but check for updates by visiting the regulator’s links provided.


Useful published information on flying drones in Malaysia

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

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 (The latest Drone Laws/Drone Regulations) 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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50 thoughts on “Drone Laws in Malaysia”

  1. To anyone who owns a drone; please be respectful of other peoples privacy / space and ask for consent before taking their videos close up! Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Hi Admin,
    I would like to let you know on your updated on UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Malaysia
    Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Malaysia:
    You must maintain 4.5 kilometers (3 miles) from airports and heliports.

    According to CIVIL AVIATION DIRECTIVE – 6011 PART (II) Chapter 4.1.1 (0)
    All operations must be conducted beyond 9.26km from an aerodrome and
    only in Class G airspace.

    So its actually 5 nautical miles = 9.26 km

    Thank you

    Reply
  3. Hello, I am a beginner to the drone world. I would like to know if it is possible to use a camera drone such as dji mini 2 or dji spark in my residential area and park (both have less than 1000 people) to take photos of my family and my friends for purely me and them not for anything commercial. I want to get a drone for this purposes but I am confused if I need to pay rm250 for the authorisation process every single time. Please help me!!!

    Reply
    • Michelle, according to our understanding of the rgulations, your recreational use oif a drone still requires a standard authorization to fly. We would suggest you get in contact with the regulator following the links at the top of the page to their website, Look for the contacts section.

      Reply
  4. Besides DJI Map, what is the official drone map used in Malaysia. For example, I know Kota Kinabalu forest area is restricted but still can fly if you pay for authorisation fee. DJI Map does not show it’s restricted area.

    For Singapore it’s ONE MAP.

    Reply
    • Please check with CAAM (follow the links at the top of the page) which apps or websites provide official maps.

      Reply
      • They do not seem to have a map according to them as they are “still working on it” which will take another few millions years.

        I read on this blog page that recreational drone user do not need a permit if you are flying for fun? Do you have the website linked that says so. So far I read even if you area recreational operator, you will still need to apply with CAAM and if your drone has a camera, you will need to apply with JUPEM.

        Each drone permit (below 20kg) cost RM$250 which last 3 months.

        For JUPEM, you need to pay RM$50 if your drone has a camera.

        https://www.caam.gov.my/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/CAAM-Drone_Requirement_2020.pdf

        Reply
  5. I want to fly my drone named ‘Mavic Pro’ for leisure and take a picture about landscape.

    If I follow Further authorization, Can I fly drone without Drone permit??

    Thank you

    Reply
  6. Hi merlin,

    I have drone model DJI Mini SE weight around 249g and I’m staying in kalansanan, Inanam, Sabah. Should I apply for permit even for fun used also. Please advise me, tq.

    Reply
    • A permit is not needed if you follow the limitations above. You could always get a permit to avoid complications.

      Reply
  7. Hi ,

    Im not any commercial use, i just have a trip to the island, but before the island i would like to practise how to use the drone. First time user, can i use the drone infront of any park nearer my house, the park would be less than 10person.

    Just an interested to drone, but im not sure where area is drone free?

    Thanks

    Reply
  8. Hi All

    I need to find answer
    i hope you can help

    Is there any website to check where areas that cannot perform UAS flights.
    or can i use this website
    https://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-map
    no fly zone
    near airport
    3°12’49.0″N 101°29’30.0″E (example)

    For drone less the 500 g for hobby flying need to apply or registration for example DJI mini 2.?

    Reply
    • Muhd, please note the following:
      —-
      Where I can’t fly the UAS (applies to all types of UAS)?
      in Class A, B, C, or G airspace
      within an aerodrome traffic zone
      at the height of more than 400 feet above the surface of the earth
      UNLESS obtain an authorization from the Chief Executive Officer
      —-
      The DJI map is a good place to start.

      Reply
      • hi

        Thank you for information you provide.
        i will use DJI map for start.

        but.
        I am confused by this reading

        A note for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Malaysia

        Do drones weighing less than 600 G need to be registered?
        – Use for hobbies only, not for agriculture
        – Be flown in an area that can be flown as in this location
        3 ° 28’22.9 “N 101 ° 13’53.1” E

        As an example

        1 DJI Mavic Air 2
        2 DJI Mini 2

        I don’t want to be on penalties.
        better follow guideline.

        Reply
  9. Our company intend to import complete sets of Drone and related parts for the assembly of drones. These model drones are designed for use in agriculture related project.
    The drones will be sold customers in Malaysia and possible opportunities be exported to other countries.
    We will act as importer of Drones, we are not the end user for these items.

    Reply
  10. Dear Experts,

    May I know is there any restriction on Beyond Visual LOS mode of operations for drone in Malaysia? Or it is regarded the same as others?

    Reply
  11. Hi,
    should I decide to buy a drone soon,
    which would be the next step?

    purpose of buying a drone :

    to take videos at the park ,in the woods and sometimes maybe at the beaches
    and also Im doing video production as well, so is there any ways that you can sum it all up in a simplified terms, that would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • We focus on drone laws. Look for a reputable site online providing information specifc to drone selection for commercial use.

      Reply
  12. Is the airspace above the F1 sepang circuit considered within the aerodrome? Is there possible to get CAAM permit if to fly around that area? I have a second-hand phantom and does SIRIM certification required for the drone for permit application?

    Reply
    • Stephen, please check directly with CAAM. Follow the links above to find contact information, and then please come back to share what you learned. Cheers

      Reply
  13. Hi, I was wondering if I am flying the drone in my own property to record video and use it for advertisement so I need to apply any permit ?

    And normally what’s the chances of it getting approved ?

    Thanks very much for advice and help

    Reply
    • KWN we do not see any specific exemption for flying over your own property. We assume you will need a standard permit which is relatively easy to get.

      Reply
  14. Hi all, may I know is it legal if I fly my drone at a beach/resort area/tourist attraction just for few minutes for a photo? It wouldn’t exceed 1,000 people. And of course we will find a place that has nobody at all, and also at a park? DJI Mini 2, and maybe sometimes flying a drone at my housing area, provided all my neighbours allowed.

    Reply
    • Adam, if you are not exceeding any of the limits provided by CAAM you should not require additional authorization. You should check with CAAM if you have any concerns.

      Reply
  15. Hi, if i were to take my DJI Mini 2 to a park in malaysia for recreation purpose. Do I need to apply for special permit? A crowded park could possible have crowds of more than 1000 people during weekend.

    Reply
  16. HI Can I know which academy or which program to do a drone pilot license in Malaysia? it is DJI Academy UAS Pilot Training are for Drone Pilot License?

    Reply
    • Putra, Look for a CAAM compliant course. Ask about their pass rate.
      We are not aware of any drone training schools that are owned by DJI and are not familiar with the capabilities of the one you mentioned.
      Maybe someone who has been through the program will leave feedback for you here.
      Please come back and tell us about your experience.
      Best wishes

      Reply
    • Warren, many countries will accept acceptable foreign licenses upon review. Follow the process to get approval to operate in Malaysia, and CAAM will review and give you specific guidance. When you have gone through the process, please come back here and share your experience.
      Best wishes

      Reply
  17. Hello all,
    I’m wondering if i’m a youtuber and I just want to fly the drone to take some fancy footage, do I need to obtain a license or get a permit for that? or just avoid what mentioned and fly it?

    Reply
  18. The list of “maneuvers” below is from your website. The sentence which precedes it says that further authorization is not required. Yet the sentence which immediately follows says that a licence is needed for any of them.
    ===============================
    Further authorization is not required for such drones if the following maneuvers are avoided:

    – From a weight of 20 kilograms, authorization is required.
    – …

    – Flights are permitted only during daylight hours.

    If you meet any of the criteria listed above, you will require a license from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).
    =======================================
    Can we have this clarified?

    Reply
    • Ng Thanks for the question.
      It’s unfortunate the way the law is written by the authorities.
      If you don’t do any of those during your flight (“following maneuvers are avoided”) you do not need authorization. So if you are under 20kg and flying during daylight hours and all the other criteria, then no authorization is required.
      If however, you will be “meeting any of the criteria” for example your flight will be “over crowds of more than 1,000 people in open spaces,” then you will need authorization.
      Hope that makes sense.
      If it continues to be confusing, we may add a clarification section. Let us know.

      Reply
  19. Hi,
    i have seen this drone wandering on top of the factory at night for days.
    is there any law that can protect us? because they seem to be intruding our privacy.
    or can i make a police report about this drone or whatsoever?

    Reply

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