Drones can help us capture some of the most amazing aerial shots and videos during our travels. However, finding drone-friendly countries is key.
The laws vary greatly from country to country. While some places downright prohibit them, others have more relaxed rules.
Many laws seem to be universal (and common sense.) These include refraining from flying at night or in inclement weather, and staying away from crowds of people, historical monuments, and restricted areas such as airports and military bases. In some countries there are additional laws that must be followed for individuals flying for commercial or business purposes.
Drone rules also vary according to which airline you will be flying with. However, the majority require you to fly with your drone in your carry-on luggage, with the lithium-ion batteries stored in a special fire-proof LiPo battery bag.
When planning to travel to drone-friendly countries, it is important to always check with the individual destination and your airline to ensure you are up-to-date on their most recent rules and requirements.
Drone flying is becoming an increasingly popular recreational activity in Singapore. You only need to obtain a permit if you plan to fly above 200 feet, wish to fly in a restricted airspace, or will be flying for business purposes.
Prior to flying, download the OneMap app to ensure the area you wish to fly in is a safe zone.
To fly your drone in Australia, you must keep it at least 30 meters away from other people. As in most other countries, it is also mandatory to respect the privacy of others and refrain from photographing or recording people without their consent.
In Ecuador, if your drone is valued at more than $500 USD, you will be required to pay an import tax equal to the replacement value of the drone.
Ironically, those using their drone for business purposes are exempt from this tax, however they must furnish other documentation, such as proof of their planned activates and a copy of their degree proving that they are indeed a professional photographer or videographer.
To fly your drone in Thailand, it needs to be officially registered with the NBTC or the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) whether you will be using it for recreational or commercial purposes.
Flying an unregistered drone in Thailand could land you a five-year jail sentence or a fine of up to 100,000 Baht.
South Africa allows the recreational use of drones without registration. The only further requirement is that you must have drone insurance that will cover the expenses of any potential damage caused by your drone.
As of December 2020, all European Union nations follow drone regulations put in place by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
To fly a drone in any of these countries, you must first register it in your own home country. You will be required to have drone insurance, and you must have received drone pilot training to operate your drone.