🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all drone law links & known rules about recreational & commercial drone use in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in the Malaysia Drone Forum. 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 Malaysia
Malaysia differentiates commercial and recreational drone uses. Both are subject to restrictions and code of conduct. Additionally, depending on the weight of your drone and where you intend to fly, different rules will apply.
✅ Malaysian's airspace is managed by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and can be contacted anytime via email email@example.com or phone (+60) 3 8871 4000.
✅ Malaysia distinguishes drones into 3 categories based on their characteristics & weight:
(a) small unmanned aircraft system: other than a balloon or a kite, weighting less than 20 kg (excluding fuel weight), but including all add-on installed on the drone.
(b) small unmanned surveillance aircraft: a drone which is equipped with a camera and or any other device to record & collect data (microphone for e.g.).
(c) unmanned aircraft system of more than 20 kg.
Can I bring my drone to Malaysia?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person).
🚨 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.
💡 Smart! Get your drone batteries' firecase today and make sure you're complying with aviation safety rules.
Where can I fly my drone in Malaysia?
✅ We did not find an official fly zone map for drones in Malaysia "If you have more information about this, please share it in Malaysia Drone Discussion Group". Thankfully in the meantime, app.airmap.io has listed all flight zones in a convenient way organised in a colour legend.
Malaysia Drone Fly Map
🚨 Note, according to some online newspapers: Kuala Lumpur city centre & the region of Putrajaya are both considered as no fly zones.
💡 Smart! Pack some spare drone batteries, you never know how close is the next power plug overseas. Also make sure you have a travel adaptor for Malaysia.
Recreational Drone use in Malaysia
You do not need a license for recreational if your drone is less than 20 kg. If your drone is equipped of any surveillance device (camera, microphone, etc) you will need to follow the below rules to fly:
at a maximum altitude of 122 m above the ground.
within 30 m of any person during take-off or landing & respect individuals' privacy.
at least 50 m away from people or 150 m from large crowds (1,000).
at least 4.5 km away from airports.
it is advised to subscribe to an insurance covering all risks.
away from areas where its use could interfere with police or first responders.
fly within day light, in good weather conditions & within your sight at all times.
do not fly your drone in sensitive areas such as government or military facilities.
do not fly over driving vehicles to not distract drivers.
How to obtain my drone permit for drone recreational use in Malaysia?
🚨 If your drone weights more than 20 kg (category c) or if you desire to fly within restricted areas, you will need an authorisation from the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM). To obtain the permit, you will need to submit an application to firstname.lastname@example.org Additionally, for category c drones, you will need to provide a certificate of airworthiness.
💲 The fees are (per year)
RM1000 if you're applying for a drone weighting more than 20 kg+
RM250 if you're applying for a drone category b license (small surveillance aircraft).
Drone Commercial use in Malaysia
✅ Malaysian authorities confirms that commercial activities (aerial work) include but are not limited to: agriculture, construction, photography, surveying, observation & patrol, search & rescue & advertisement.
If you wish to undertake any of these activities and generate any kind of income from them, you will firstly need to obtain a permit from the Malaysian Civil Aviation which involves a fee.
💡 Smart! Heading to the coast? Water glare is a killer when flying above Malaysian coastal waters, make sure you have a lens filter before heading there.
How to obtain my drone permit for drone commercial use in Malaysia?
✅ When flying a drone for commercial use in Malaysia, an activity authorisation from the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) is required. To obtain the permit, you will need to submit an application to email@example.com For category c drones (more than 20 kg), you will need to provide a certificate of airworthiness in your application.
💲 The fees are (per year):
RM800 if you're registering for the first time.
RM500 if you're renewing your permit.
RM250 if you wish to change an obtained permit.
What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Malaysia?
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. Malaysian authorities however specified that you could end with one or several of the following:
recreational users: up to a RM50,000 fine &/or 3 years of jail.
professional users: up to a RM100,000 fine &/or 6 month of jail.
Once you got everything in order, you can start flying above Malaysia's awesome landscapes & create videos like this one.
💡 You're a local, have a question or want to share a travel experience? Head to our Malaysia Drone Discussion Group
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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