Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Kingdom of Thailand
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT)
UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Thailand
The Thailand agency responsible for drone safety, CAAT, has provided several details on flying for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details, go to the link above.
Are drones allowed in Thailand?
Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Thailand:
All drones equipped with cameras must be registered.
All drones weighing more than 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) must be registered.
Register at the CAAT online drone registration Portal.
Drones that exceed 25 kilograms (55 pounds) must be registered with the Ministry of Transport.
- At all times, drone pilots must maintain a visual line of sight with their drones.
- Drones must not be flown within a certain distance of manned aircraft.
- Drones must not be flown within 30 meters (98 feet) of any person, vehicle, construction, or building.
- Without authorization, drones must not be flown in restricted areas.
- Except with special authorization, drones may not be flown within 9 kilometers (5 miles) of an airport or temporary airfield.
- Drones may not be flown above 90 meters (295 feet).
- Airports must be kept at a distance of 9 kilometers (= 5 miles).
- You must avoid flying near crowds. It is prohibited to fly over cities and villages. Additionally, stay away from government buildings and hospitals.
- To take off and land, you must always obtain permission from the property owner. In practice, we usually resolve this by requesting permission from the guards or the information desk.
- Always keep your drone within a visual line of sight.
- Drone flights are permitted in Thailand only during daylight hours, i.e., between sunrise and sunset.
- Additionally, Thai law requires that you have an emergency plan. This includes the requirement to carry a fire extinguisher.
Where to register?
- Must register at two agencies: CAAT and NBC
(The National Broadcasting Telecommunications Commission)
- NBC is for registering the frequency used by drones.
CAAT is for registering the persons who control and are in charge of the drone.
- Registering with NBC alone is not enough to fly a drone.
To enable you to fly your drone, you must register with an equivalent to a drone pilot’s license.
Type of Drone that must register
- A drone with camera/ recording equipment must be registered.
- A drone over 2 kilograms must be registered.
(If there is no camera/ recording equipment and the drone is not over 2 kilograms, there is no need to be registered)
- Drone over 25 Kilograms must have permission from the Minister of Transport.
Note for Foreign Operators
Drones are not prohibited from entering Thailand.
Drone registration is available only within the country.
To register your drone with the NBTC, you will need the following documents:
- A copy of the passport that has been signed and stamped with the entry stamp
- Thailand registered address (hotel booking would do)
- Drone and controller photographs and serial numbers
- A copy of the drone insurance policy must include at least THB 1 million (approximately $32,000) in coverage.
After receiving approval from the NBTC, you may apply for CAAT registration.
This can be done at the CAAT online registration site, and results are typically available within 15 days.
Once registered successfully, the registration is valid for two years.
Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Thailand
If your drone has a camera and weighs more than 2kg, you must register it with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and obtain permission to fly it. This is solely for personal use – uploading to your YouTube channel, for example.
The pilot or operator must adhere to the terms specified, which include the following:
- The UAV’s pilot or operator must be at least 20 years old.
- You must not be a threat to national security
- Must never have been incarcerated under narcotics or customs laws
- Must have applied to the Ministry of Transportation for a license to operate a UAV as a controller or launcher.
- Avoid invading others’ privacy.
Follow the general rules listed above, but check for updates by visiting the regulator’s links provided.
Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Thailand
If the drone is to be used commercially, it must also be registered with Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAAT).
Additionally, if the drone weighs more than 25 kilograms, it must be registered with the Thai Ministry of Transport.
- Must be an owner or operator of a business in a related category (i.e., mass media, film production)
- Must apply to the Ministry of Transportation for a license to operate the UAV as a controller or launcher.
- The controller or launcher must adhere to the terms specified in the Notification that apply to UAVs used for recreational purposes (e.g., as a hobby, entertainment, or sport) and weighing more than 2 kg but not more than 25 kg.
See general rules above
Useful published information on flying drones in Thailand
Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Thailand…
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.
Find out why we think you must use a Drone Preflight Checklist and a Drone Post-flight checklist
Free Drone Flight Checklist PDF
This Drone Flight Checklists is better than others.
It includes both the preflight checklist and post-flight checklist
It’s an easy to use printable pdf that covers all your bases.
Traveling with a Drone?
Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone.
NOW ITS YOUR TURN
23 thoughts on “Drone Laws in Thailand”
How much time take to get application from from Registration of CAAT?
We understand it takes typically 15 days
Hi, I have a mini se that I have registered with the NBTC & CAAT+ the required insurance. I would like to use it to make a little extra money, what other requirement do I need??
Follow the commercial section above.
Very good ay. I am in transit in Bangkok and I will spend a night in a hotel. The next morning I will move from the other airport to fly to Cambodia. I will bring my drone with me and will be only for transit. I am not using it in Thai. I need to register it or is not a problem?
Adofo, you don’t need to register the drone since you are in transit. Ordinarily, one would declare the drone at the airport, where they sometimes decide to keep it for you to pick up on departure. In your situation, the authorities may allow you to take the drone if you are departing from another airport. Hard to predict how they will handle this exactly, but drones are allowed to be brought to Thailand by foreigners, and you don’t need to register them unless you are flying them or leaving them there. Please let us know how your experience goes.
Hi. I’m heading to Koh Samui next week. My drone is 249g (DJI Mini SE), it has a camera and will only be used for recreational purposes. Do I still need to register it? Do I need insurance?
Your drone has a camera that is not exempt, so it needs to be registered.
Hi , How Koh Samui you brings drone?
Great information.. I appreciate it.
I’m going to Thailand for 28 days I’ll probably not get approval that trip.. so can I take a picture of the drone and controller and leave them at home and then wait for approval and take it next time I’m in Thailand ?
Sounds like a smart plan
Im a little confused.
I have over 40 small Drones under 250g and all with camera.
Many i have make it self with 3D/Printer and i fly it only for fun in my garden.
And now ? I need realy a registration for all ?
We recommend you check with the regulator for your specific circumstances
You say you cannot fly close to buildings and not over cities.
But at the same time you say :”Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Thailand”.
This is completely contradictory.
Patrick, the promotional videos are not ours. We try to link to videos by drone operators that are sourcing their videos legally, getting the appropriate approvals, and are typically operating as commercial operators. Those rules are different than hobbyist rules.
Drones are loud, annoying, dangerous and unnecessary. There are is already tons of Drone footage available on YouTube for almost any area of the world. No need to endanger others with your amateur flying. Just look it up on YouTube.
Drones under the weight of 250g are not loud. As to them being annoying, that is certainly a subjective opinion, not fact. As to what qualifies as “unnecessary,” again, subjective. No one is being “endangered.” Your animosity has left you jaded, and your comment is merely an opinion, and is not based in fact at all. There is a reason drone pilots have to take certifications and safety classes before operating. You’d do well to familiarize yourself with what is required before you go spouting hateful remarks to drone operators.
Mavic mini 3 is so quiet I sometimes don’t know where it is lol
Hi I have a zino 2 plus. It has a very nice camera but definitely ways less than 2kg.
Every website I’ve visited says different things. Can anyone please clarify.
My drone has a camera but weighs less than 2 kg. Do I have to register it?
Can I register it online? I’m only in phuket for 10 days. Will it be worth taking?
I understand I have to have insurance. Can anyone please suggest a reputable insurance provider please.
Thanks for your help.
According to the below statement which published on this site, you must register your drone.
“All drones equipped with cameras must be registered.”
Good luck and have fun flying.
“All drones equipped with cameras AND over 2kg…” Read the entire thing as it relates to Notes for Recreational fliers.. the area where you got that statement from, is under “general rules..” Meaning, that’s a GENERAL rule. Specifics follow under the headline of Notes for Recreational fliers.
These two points in your list of important rules seem to contradict each other:
Drones must not be flown within 30 meters (98 feet) of any person, vehicle, construction, or building.
You cannot approach people, vehicles, or buildings closer than 50 meters.
Is it 30 metres or 50 metres?
Mark, your drones must be 30 meters from any person, vehicle. construction or building. We have removed the reference which was an older recommendation regarding the pilot (which is not found in the current regulation). Thanks for your inquiry.