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The 6 Asian countries that banned drones from their skies and why.

Updated: May 3, 2023

🖐 In this blog post we are going to look at all the Asian countries that simply forbid you from flying a drone above their territories. A number of reasons can trigger institutions and local government organisations. We will aim to give some context on why this has been set as some reasons can be quite surprising. Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to comment your experience or any updates in our Drone Forums. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.

🌍 Disclaimer, for the purposes of this research, we've excluded Middle Eastern countries as culturally very different when it comes to drone regulations. If you need to know more about Middle East's drone bans, see here

Asian countries where drones are banned

Before digging into the subject, it is important to note that many Asian countries do not have a strict drone legal framework but will often have some kind of local restrictions and limitations in place. These can appear in a form or registration or permit application. Additionally some countries will make a clear difference between recreational and commercial uses, sometimes allowing one but not the other.

During our research, we found out that the Asian countries that have drone bans usually have one or more of the following motivations:

  • Precaution measure: several Asian countries do not have clear rules about what can be done with a drone. To avoid troubles, they've decided to prevent the risk by simply banning the technology until proper legislation is in place.

  • Control tool: a few countries are tightly managed and any sort of media or communication mean will remain forbidden into the regime is in place.

  • Ecological: one country stands aside and banned drones to protect wildlife (and gain control on its tourism image).

  • Safety first: after a deadly terrorist attack, some restrictions measures have understandably been set to prevent furthermore.

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Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Brunei, North Korea, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan are the 6 countries with a total drone ban in place for all types of use (including commercial).

Azerbaijan is the first of our countries' drone ban list but is not alone in this region of the world. The country does not technically have an official drone ban to fly over their skies, however their customs rules are very clear. If you try to enter to Azerbaijan with your drone, it will be ceased, there doesn't seem to be a storage system for you to retrieve it.

  • Drone ban in place since: undisclosed

  • Drone ban effective until: undisclosed

Bhutan the tourism council of Bhutan has made the ban official early in 2019. Bhutan is very cautious of its environment and airspace and you will need a special authorisation to operate your drone in the country. Landing at Paro airport without your permit and see you ceased your drone at customs.

  • Drone ban in place since: 10.05.2019

  • Drone ban effective until: undisclosed

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Brunei is one of the world's smallest nations but also one of the richest. The rules are really strict here as you could risk up to 5 years of jail and/or $50,000 in fines for flying your drone illegally. There is hope tho as one of our members reported a successful permit application in January 2018 but there are no official announcement by the country since.

  • Drone ban in place since: unknown

  • Drone ban effective until: undisclosed

North Korea We will let you take a guess of why for this one...

  • Drone ban in place since: unknown

  • Drone ban effective until: end of dictatorship

The island of Sri Lanka is the most recent addition to this list as Sri Lanka used to allow drones until 2019. Unfortunately, the Easter terrorist attacks of April 2019 have conducted Sri Lankan civil aviation to ban drones for the time being.

  • Drone ban in place since: 25.04.2019

  • Drone ban effective until: undisclosed

Uzbekistan alike Azerbaijan does not technically have an official drone ban to fly over their skies, however their customs rules are clear here too. If you try to enter to Uzbekistan with your drone, it will be ceased and destroyed (in front of you) should you decide to enter the country.

  • Drone ban in place since: undisclosed

  • Drone ban effective until: undisclosed

Several other Asian countries don't have clear statements such as Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan which doesn't mean its necessarily alright to fly your drone here either. On the other end, many Asian countries are leading the way by implementing smart drone laws/rules such as Singapore, Taiwan, Japan or South Korea. On a world scale, only a relatively small group of countries ban the use of drones completely (21).

We hope you found this information useful and that it will allow you to prepare your trip to Asia a little more safely. Note that this post only refers countries with total bans, many countries allowing drone uses will have restricted airspace and forbidden drone zones.

Countries that banned drones

✅ Please leave a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in a country so we can update information for others in turn. #asia #asian #forbidden #illegal #ban #banned #drone #countries #country #restricted #zone

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Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone regulations.

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