Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Kingdom of Thailand
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) in weight 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 a height of 90 meters (295 feet).
- Airports must be kept at a distance of 9 kilometers (= 5 miles).
- You cannot approach people, vehicles, or buildings closer than 50 meters.
- 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.
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 Commercial Drone Services operations 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 aircraft, Remote controlled aircraft, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.
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