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Guide for Using a Drone in Thailand

Thailand is a country blooming with wonderful opportunities for the best sceneries. It is not surprising that most of the country is photo-worthy, inviting tourists and photographers from around the world to capture the Thai experience. A land where the sky, sea, and land meet, it’s not unusual for someone to long for picturesque aerial photos.

Today’s modern technology has made taking aerial photos a whole lot easier than it used to be. The introduction of drone technology has radicalized the way photographers take shots from high angles and great heights. It’s no longer a hassle to do this. All you need to do is learn how to fly a drone, experiment a little, and let your imagination go wild.

However, drones are not exactly children’s toys – they are far from being one. These little flyers pose a danger to property and aviation (not to mention privacy but that’s another topic), with the recent incident of several flights being diverted due to drone presence in airways as well as British Airways Flight BA727 coming into contact with a drone on landing.

Here are some tips for drone use in Thailand:

Register your drone

Drones and other types of remotely-piloted aircraft (RPA) are regulated in Thailand. If you do intend to use one, you must register it first, or you could be fined a hefty sum and face a year of imprisonment. All drones fitted with cameras must be registered without exception.

You need to submit documents such as valid government ID’s, the specification and the serial number of the RPA, as well as a registered address, to register your drone. This means that you must be a resident of the country, or at least live in an apartment in Bangkok.

Follow rules

In Thailand, there exists warnings and signages indicating the prohibition of drone usage in the said area. Make sure you are in an area that authorizes the use of drones, or you could get in trouble.

Additionally, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand restricts flying more than 90 meters, and you must maintain a 30-meter distance from buildings and people.

Use your common sense.

These are things that are pretty self-explanatory. Do not fly the drone close to an airport or landing strip, do not intentionally ram it against windows, cars, and people, and assess the risks present first before engaging its rotors. Do not endanger yourself or others with your hobby.

Happy flying and photo-hunting!


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