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Laws on Drone flying in Thailand


dwtgray

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I seem to recall that a few years back, 3 or 4 maybe, that drones over a certain size and weight needed a licence, there was paperwork shown on here at the time, not sure if the search function will help you.

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FWIW:

 

https://uavcoach.com/drone-laws-in-thailand/

 

https://www.caat.or.th/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Announcement-of-the-Ministry-of-Transport.pdf

 

I ended up giving mine away in 2015 or so when they started prosecuting people rather randomly, especially around controversial areas like in the city (voyeurism?) and near political activities.  I figured, why risk my job and my stay in Thailand?

 

 

 

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Yes there are regulations concerning flying drones over 2.5kg or with a camera. It is necessary to get registration with CAA and NBTC and have insurance. It's not an easy process, but most authorized sellers will do the process for you which is the best approach.

The rules are common sense and broadly similar to many other countries, reducing dangerous flying, and privacy protection. 

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I just bought a DJI Mini 2 from the official DJI store in Lazada.  The package came with the paperwork to apply for the two licenses that rodger mentions above.  They also provide the insurance, you've got to get that first, then go for the two licenses.  The papers say it can take 2-4 MONTHS to get approval.

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35 minutes ago, mwbrown said:

I just bought a DJI Mini 2 from the official DJI store in Lazada.  The package came with the paperwork to apply for the two licenses that rodger mentions above.  They also provide the insurance, you've got to get that first, then go for the two licenses.  The papers say it can take 2-4 MONTHS to get approval.

 

How much for the insurance?

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Whatever you do, don’t fly that thing anywhere near places that have anything to do with the royal family, military or any of the government places! Especially when it has a camera! 
 

Also, I would seriously practice flying until you know you have that thing really under control before I’d fly it anywhere where it could crash on people! Not only could you seriously injure someone, but good drones are also quite expensive, so you might wanna consider starting with a cheap one until you know how to fly one! 

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37 minutes ago, pacovl46 said:

Whatever you do, don’t fly that thing anywhere near places that have anything to do with the royal family, military or any of the government places! Especially when it has a camera! 
 

Also, I would seriously practice flying until you know you have that thing really under control before I’d fly it anywhere where it could crash on people! Not only could you seriously injure someone, but good drones are also quite expensive, so you might wanna consider starting with a cheap one until you know how to fly one! 

Well put. But I found the more expensive drone was way easier to fly than the cheap one. Just my experience. 

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The information regarding the CAAT's policy on drones has been available on their website for some years and it's fairly explicit. You should also remember that you need a radio operators license as detailed on the CAAT site.

 

The application process was dreadful back in 2017 and one of my drones took 6 months until they admitted they had no record of the application. However, I understand that the process takes about 2-3 weeks at present. Nonetheless, you need to be in Thailand and have a permanent address here (not least for the insurance). You also need to have purchased the drone in Thailand, there are two reasons for this; primarily to ensure you have paid the appropriate import duty/VAT on the device and secondly that it complies with the Thai radio spectrum limitations.

 

Insurance is a complete ripoff because, if you comply with the flight regulations, your chances of incurring Bht1M damage to anything are right next to zero. I understand that premiums have settled down now that the tourist industry is dead but remember this: a drone policy will cost you c.Bht2500.00 per drone, but if you speak to the right people you can get a public liability policy for about the same - or less - which will cover you for flying drones in general (not just one).

 

Going back to the CAAT regulations, if you fly a drone in or around Bangkok, there is a very high percentage that you will get caught (or snitched)  - similarly with airports, palaces and other sensitive areas. However, I have seen the locals flying them around tourist spots ad lib with no regard to the proximity regulations detailed on the CAAT site. In many cases tourist hotels are using visitors' drone footage for their own websites.

 

To my mind the CAAT regs are justified. The insurance/duty/VAT b***ocks is yet another scam to fleece tourists, nomads and professional media types. Provided you have the insurance, many of the proximity limitations are pointless.

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2 hours ago, Jeffr2 said:

Well put. But I found the more expensive drone was way easier to fly than the cheap one. Just my experience. 

I’ve never flown any drones, so I wouldn’t know, but YouTube is littered with newbies crashing drones. I can speak only for myself, but if I crashed my new expensive drone I’d be <deleted>! 😁

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5 hours ago, mwbrown said:

 

I don't know, they haven't replied to my request yet.  I'll try to remember to update this when I get the bill.

2k Baht if I am not mistaken

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Basically the laws are so restrictive it's not worth it, if ANYONE  complains that's  enough to stop you  flying, there are  so  many places you can't  fly and needing owners  permission, it's ridiculous. They cited danger at one  point  yet if  it has NO  camera and less than 2kg then anything goes.

 

"must not fly in a way that may cause harm to the life, property and peace of others;"

(l) must not cause a nuisance to others;

 

so if a  neighbour  says  your drone  annoys  him you can't  use it.

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Very simple process:

 

1. You need a certificate from Broadcasting Commission Thailand (provide broadcast frequency of drone). 

2. You need to register drone with CAAT. 

3. Insurance minimum 1m baht cover. 

 

The above can all be done online. Takes approximately 2 weeks for documents to come and you're set to go. To register with the above departments you will need to first purchase insurance. Starts at around 1,000 baht/year. 

 

You should carry copies of certificates and insurance with your drone but I've yet to be asked to provide it. 

 

The rule for drone registration is simple; if it has a camera you need to register it. Buying a Mavic Mini does not side step registration as in other countries; it has a camera. 

 

As to drone attitude, I've never encountered any problems unless it's a no-fly zone. Asking questions is the key. Ask someone at an event or location if you can fly your drone and are there any restrictions you should know about. 

 

Example: l asked at the Skywalk in Chiang Khan. Response was: sure, but don't fly it into Laos. 

 

Bottom line for me; never been refused to fly in 2 years. 

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I'd never flown a drone but they looked like they could be fun so as lockdown settled in, I watched a lot of YT videos on them.  

I realized I couldn't think of a single open area anywhere within 5 km of my Phra Khanong residence where I would dare fly one so just to give it a try, a bought this very small unit, suitable for indoor use and under B400 on Lazada.

https://www.lazada.co.th/products/uav-i1797430296-s5316156560.html?spm=a2o4m.searchlist.list.10.4afda86e8OHTx0&search=1

 

Turned out to be a pretty good choice.  It happily bounces off ceilings, walls and floors yet is small and light enough that it doesn't knock things over or do any damage.  

It took a couple of tries to learn how to properly control it.  It's small size makes it easy to over-control and I slammed ceiling and floor many times but it really is practically indestructible.  In not too long a time, I had it flying all around the room, under chairs and tables, doing loops and flips. I still fire it up once in a while when I'm bored and need a little diversion. 

If you do consider buying one, be sure to get 2 or 3 extra batteries along with it as they only last for 6-8 minutes of flying time and take 2 hours to recharge.

I realized that though I enjoyed flying it, it wouldn't be worth it to me to invest in a top quality, outdoor drone as long as I lived in an intensely urban area like Bangkok.  If I ever did decide to move to open countryside, I'd almost certainly invest in one, probably with a decent camera system.

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1 hour ago, roodujardin said:

Very simple process:

 

1. You need a certificate from Broadcasting Commission Thailand (provide broadcast frequency of drone). 

2. You need to register drone with CAAT. 

3. Insurance minimum 1m baht cover. 

 

The above can all be done online. Takes approximately 2 weeks for documents to come and you're set to go. To register with the above departments you will need to first purchase insurance. Starts at around 1,000 baht/year. 

 

You should carry copies of certificates and insurance with your drone but I've yet to be asked to provide it. 

 

The rule for drone registration is simple; if it has a camera you need to register it. Buying a Mavic Mini does not side step registration as in other countries; it has a camera. 

 

As to drone attitude, I've never encountered any problems unless it's a no-fly zone. Asking questions is the key. Ask someone at an event or location if you can fly your drone and are there any restrictions you should know about. 

 

Example: l asked at the Skywalk in Chiang Khan. Response was: sure, but don't fly it into Laos. 

 

Bottom line for me; never been refused to fly in 2 years. 

Are you in  club of sorts.

I'm half interested in one for agriculture spraying. 

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