🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all drone law links & known rules about recreational & commercial drone use in the Maldives (Malé). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in Maldives Drone Discussion Group. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our knowledge & does not replace official sources & your research.
Recreational vs commercial drone use in the Maldives
The Maldives do not seem to differentiate commercial & recreational drone uses. However, drone use in the country of islands is subject to restrictions & a code of conduct.
✅ The use of drones in the Maldives is under the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) & they can be contacted via:
Phone: (+960) 332 4983
Can I travel to the Maldives with my drone?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within the Maldives 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 the Maldives?
✅ The Maldives are like no other country, lots of little islands all around which most are reached by seaplane. This makes it a little trickier to fly your drone safely as basically most islands will have their own seaport. The Maldives built a sweet map showing all the airports and seaports which can be found here.
Maldives Drone Fly Map
🚨 Be aware that some island resort have also completely banned the use of drones; usually for the tranquility of their other guests & to protect their bird sanctuaries 🦅 This is the case for Vilamendhoo Island Resort & seems to be the case for Gili Lankanfushi Maldives.
🌲 National / Marine parks & reserves are on a case by case permission & you might need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities. 🐳
🌊 Be aware that most people going to the Maldives are usually paying a high price for tranquillity & relaxation time. Reading forums, several guests (understandably) ask for peace whilst in this little paradise on 🌏 & you will need to consider this fact while there.
💡 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 the Maldives.
Recreational & Commercial Drone use in the Maldives
✅ You will need to obtain permission prior taking off with your drone. Additionally, there are also rules & a code of conduct to follow for all operators:
With this in mind, you must fly:
at a maximum altitude of 122 m above the ground.
fly away from airports, heliport, seaports & give priority to all other categories of aircraft. If you see an aircraft during your flight, land immediately.
fly avoiding sensitive areas including resorts, government & military facilities.
flyaway from a fire or any site where emergencies are required as you could interrupt their operation and delay their intervention.
How to obtain a permit to fly my drone in the Maldives?
🚨 This is a 2 steps process which will take a bit of time to complete as you need to deal firstly with the Ministry of Defense & National Security & then with the Civil Aviation Authority to confirm:
Complete this online form & return it to email@example.com
Complete this online form & return it to firstname.lastname@example.org
✅ The amount of information required is very reasonable & you shouldn't have to much trouble to obtain the authorisations providing you're not flying above an airport or seaport.
🚨 Note, if you intend to fly above a resort or private property, you will need their authorisation in written ahead of your permission request(s). Once obtained, you can show them your permissions on the fight day 👌
🕔 However, because of the two steps' process, allow at least 3 weeks time for local administration to process your requests & to be on the safe side.
💡 Smart! Heading to the islands? Water glare is a killer when flying above coastal waters, make sure you have a lens filter before heading there.
What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in the Maldives?
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.
The excellent news is that if you get a permission, you can start flying above Maldives' awesome landscapes & create videos like this one:
💡 You're a local, have a question or want to share a travel experience? Head to our Maldives 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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