🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all drone law links & known rules about recreational & commercial drone use in Laos (Vientiane). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in the Laos Drone Discussion Group. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.
Recreational vs commercial drone use in Laos
Laos does not differentiate commercial & recreational drone uses. Both uses are subject to restrictions, registrations & a strict code of conduct based on the drone's weight.
✅ In Laos, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications is in charge of the safety & importations of unmanned aerial vehicles in the country. However the use of drone for any purpose falls under the permission of the Department of Civil Aviation & you can contact them via:
Phone (+856) 21 512164
✅ Laos distinguishes drones into 3 categories based on their weight:
below 200 g
between 200 g & 2 kg
over 2 kg
Can I bring my drone to Laos?
🚨 If you bring your drone from overseas & it weights more than 200 g, you should seek for a permission of importation from the ministry of Public Works & transportation before bringing it into the country. "Unfortunately it seems that not many replies have been received, if you know anything please share in the Laos Drone Discussion Group so we can update this post".
💡 Note that if you are crossing the border by land, there is very little (if any) check of your luggage and belongings. Unrelated to drones, to cross by land and pay your visa fee, you will need new ("And we really mean shiny new") USD notes. Any dented or old ones are refused or will engage a long negotiation at the border as we learned the hard way.
🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.
Where can I fly my drone in Laos?
✅ We did not find an official fly zone map for drones in Laos "If you have more information about this, please share it in the Laos Drone Discussion Group". Thankfully in the meantime, app.airmap.io has listed all flight zones in a convenient way organised in a 3 colour legend.
Drone fly map Laos
🚨 According to some online comments: flying near the monument of Patuxay, Kuang Si Falls, Wat Pa Pon Phao Temple & the town of Vang Vieng will lead you into troubles. In general, avoid flying above or near military installations & strategic infrastructure. Fly away from airports & any aerodromes or airports in the country.
🚨 Luang Prabang is a tempting place to fly, but the city's airport is located only 2 kms from the city centre make it unsafe to fly your drone here. Some travel guides will tell you its possible to fly from Phousi Hill but this is simply against all aviation safety rules.
🦅 National parks & reserves are on a case by case permission & you might need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities.
💡 Smart! Get your drone batteries' firecase today and make sure you're complying with aviation safety rules.
Recreational & Commercial Drone use in Laos
You will need to register and obtain a permit from the Ministry of Public Works and Transports to fly any drone weighting over 200 g, no matter for what purpose.
✅ Drones weighting less than 200 g are considered as toys and exempt from most rules. However, when flying a drone weighting over 200 g, you must fly:
with a radio frequency between 2,400-2,500 MHz or 5,725 – 5,875 MHz.
your equivalent isotropic radiated power (EIRP) should be 100.
away from large crowds.
it is advised to subscribe to an insurance covering all risks.
away from airports (any airport, seaplane base or area where aircraft or helicopter take off & land) & give way to all other type of aircraft.
avoiding sensitive areas including military facilities
🚨 Drone insurance is compulsory in Laos if your drone weights more than 200 g no matter if you intend to fly for recreational or commercial purposes.
What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Laos?
The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such. However some precedent cases have leaded to fines up to 100€ per drone.
The excellent news is that once you've passed all this admin work, you can start flying above Laos' awesome landscapes & create videos like this one:
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 rules and regulations.
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