For many, operating drones might just be a hobby. While some may do it for enjoyment, others may view it as a viable professional option. If you don’t follow the law, you could end up in jail in Nepal, regardless of whether you want to take a great picture or use a drone for fun. The Nepalese government and the civil aviation authority have issued regulations on the use of drones. Drone usage is currently becoming increasingly popular worldwide for a variety of uses. The majority of uses are for photography, but they also include survey, research, and spying. Numerous instances of drone abuse have led to questions about who should have control over how they are used.
The local management office must give its consent for any drone flights up to 200 feet in height in public areas. The national park administration, for instance, is in charge of national parks. This authorization is good for three months. The Ministry of Home Affairs must grant approval for flights higher than 200 feet. No approval is required for flights under 50 feet that are part of a recreational, ceremonial, cultural, or religious activity. Universities and other research institutions may fly drones under 2 kg up to 200 meters away from their facilities without a permit as long as they notify the local police station first.
General Rules for Flying a Drone in Nepal
Here are the most crucial guidelines for drone operation in Nepal, as determined by our research and interpretation of the regulations.
- Prior approval from the Department of Tourism, Ministry of Home Affairs, and the CAAN is required before flying a drone in Nepal if it weighs more than 2 kilograms (4.5 pounds) and flies at least 400 feet above sea level. You may get the authorization request form here.
- As long as they are flown on private land and at a height of under 200 feet, drones weighing less than 2 kilos (4.5 pounds) are exempt from CAAN authorization.
- Drones shouldn’t be flown higher than 120 meters (394 feet).
- Any person or property injured or damaged as a result of the drone flying is the responsibility of the pilot.
- It is forbidden to use drones to deliver objects or animals.
- Flying is forbidden within 50 meters (164 feet) of any ship, vehicle, or building.
- The drones must always be in full visual range of the pilot.
- Drones should not be flown over or within 150 meters (492 feet) of a planned outdoor gathering of more than 1,000 people.
- The pilot must be proficient in drone operation procedures and Nepali law.
- All drone operation must be avoided in airport zones.
- Flying is prohibited within 50 meters (164 feet) of any structure, vehicle, or vessel.
- Drones should not be flown beyond than 500 meters (1,640 feet).
- Never operate a drone irresponsibly.
Registration and Permit
Drones need to be registered with the Civil Aviation Authority in Nepal (CAAN). A special identifying number for your drone is given after successful registration. The local management office must give its consent for any drone flights up to 200 feet in height in public areas. The national park administration, for instance, is in charge of national parks. This license is valid for three months.
Consequences of breaking the law
If you break any of the aforementioned rules, you could be fined, put in jail for serious offenses, or both. Detention based on the crime and a fine that typically ranges from 2000 to 5000. The severity of the rule violation directly affects the penalty. If you cause physical harm to someone, you will be accused with assault, and the prosecution’s course will be determined by your actions. Depending on the loss or damage, the fine’s amount is decided. Your punishment will also depend on your intentions and goals.
The process to obtain a permit for flying a drone in Nepal
- You must first obtain a letter of authorization from the municipality of the area where you intend to fly the drone.
- After that, you must give the CDO the permission letter that the municipality provided. Next, get a letter of recommendation from the CDO office.
- You must request a permit from the local police headquarters to fly the drone after receiving a recommendation letter from CDO.
- The CAAN must receive all of the aforementioned documents. Then, you might finally be granted a drone pilot’s license.
Flying Drone in Nepal: Required Documents
Within two to three working days, the concerned department will review the file and issue you a certificate that includes a Unique Identification Number (UIN). The validity of this certificate is for one year.
- Filled form per instruction
- Copy of Citizenship Certificate, Valid Passport, or Certificate of Company Registration
- A copy of the manual specification of the drone.
- Picture of the drone with its clear color, brand, and serial number
- Introduction to the uses of Drones
- Copy of the retailer’s VAT bill (For those purchased in Nepal)
- Copy of the Customs Clearance Certificate (For imported drones)
Flight restrictions and safety distances in Nepal
A five-kilometer buffer should be maintained between you and international borders and airports. The Maitighar Mandala, Swoyambhunath, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath, Budhanilkantha, Durbar Square (Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan), religious and archaeological sites, Singha Durbar, and the presidential, vice-presidential, and prime ministerial residences are among the places where flights are prohibited, according to reports in the media. Additionally, flights are prohibited within 500 meters of other security agencies and within 1000 meters of army headquarters.