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Top of the Range Drone

Back in early 2018 it became necessary for drone owners in Thailand to get a permit for their use. These permits would be issued at local police stations.

The penalty for flying a drone without a permit was set at a fine of 10,000 Baht and or 5 years in jail. Since then there have been upwards 0f 7000 applications for drone permits.

Drone Law U-Turn

I would think that the administrative burden on the permit issuers is immense and that has caused the authorities to rethink the rules.

To that end it has been announced that the rules will be relaxed by the end of 2019 and that permits will not be required to fly drones in certain areas.

They go on to say the rules will become more in line with International regulations.

We will wait with baited breath. I have wanted a drone for months but have been put off by the permit requirement and the price of a decent drone. I saw only yesterday top of the range drones being sold in Central Plaza in Chiang Rai at between 28,000 and 45,000 Baht! I thought I was seeing things but after putting my reading glasses on I realised I wasn't.

UPDATE 2020

Here is a list of what is now required. As with most things in Thailand the rules could change without warning.

  • If the drone has a camera or is over 2 Kg in weight it has to be registered.
  • Bigger drones over 25 Kg must be further registered with the Ministry of Transport. Sounds like they mean aircraft?
  • Drones must be in line of sight with the pilot at all times and not flown at an altitude above 90m
  • Must not be flown near aircraft, or within 9 km of an airport unless with special clearance.

You will need to register with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand and possibly with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission as well.

As with most things in the Thai Government bureaucracy the process is not straightforward. I will not even try to tell you how to do it.

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