In this blog post we’ll share all law links and known rules about recreational and commercial drone use in Nepal (Kathmandu). Give a 👍 at the end of this post & feel free to share your experience or any updates you might have. 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 Nepal
Nepal does not seem to differentiate much commercial & recreational drone use - see our post to differentiate recreational vs commercial drone usage. However, both are subject to restrictions & a strict code of conduct. Additionally, depending on your drone's weight & your destination within the country, different rules will apply.
✅ In Nepal, drone laws falls under the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), & they can be contacted anytime via:
Phone: (+250) 2 5258 5845
Can I bring my drone to Nepal?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Nepal or at Kathmandu Airport 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.
Where can I fly my drone in Nepal?
Nepal drone fly map
✅ We did not find an official fly zone map for drones in Nepal "If you have more information about this, please share it in the Forum". Thankfully in the meantime, app.airmap.io has listed all flight zones in a convenient way organised in a 3 color legend.
🚨 You should not fly above or near military installations & strategic infrastructure. Fly away from airports & any aerodromes or airports in the country. Do not fly over anyone and/or congested areas.
🦅 National parks & reserves might be on a case by case permission & you might need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities.
🗻 Beware of the country's high altitudes; as the air gets thinner, your drone will have increasing troubles to fly properly.. a light drone is the best way to go in Nepal such as the Spark or Mavic Air.
Recreational & Commercial Drone use in Nepal
🚨 No matter what the intent of your flight or where you intend to fly, you will need to seek permission prior taking off into Nepal's gorgeous landscapes. Additionally consider how to fly once you get permission, which is set to be:
at a maximum altitude of 120 m & 500 m away from you or within sight (whichever comes firstly).
150 m away from large crowds, people & respect individuals' privacy.
50 m away from buildings & vehicles in movement
a drone weighting maximum 20 kg & only during daylight
away from airports (any airport, seaplane base or area where aircraft or helicopter take off & land) & give way to all other type of aircraft.
only during permitting weather & within your sight at all times (beware of the altitude).
away from areas where its use could interfere with police or first responders.
avoiding sensitive areas including government or military facilities.
How to ask for permission to fly my drone in Nepal?
🚨 Asking permission to fly your drone in Nepal can be a hazardous process as you will need basically to prove that no one is against your flight intentions rather than seeing it in a way the person/entity you're flying above is happy to (☯).
After explaining your intents & flying area, you will need to seek written permission from one of these bodies & regulators depending on where you intend to fly:
Department of Tourism (recreational & commercial use) or Line Ministry/Department relating to the subject matter of research/study (research use).
Ministry of Home Affairs (more info)
Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (only for drones heavier than 2kg or flying above 61m)
✅ The process seems pretty simple & straightforward as you will need to complete this form. Unfortunately, you will need a bunch of side paperwork to make it work; to complete the permission form, you will need:
your full personal details
the full tech info about your drone & explain the intend of your flight(s).
a copy of Operation Specifications of Drone
a copy of Map of Operation Area.
a copy that shows latlong box of operation area.
a proof that no Objection / Recommendation Letter of concerned owner / unit if operation area is over private / public place or property.
a letter from the concerned authority for security clearance and or other clearance (as mentioned above).
What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Nepal?
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.
Once you've got everything in order, you can start flying above Nepal's awesome landscapes and create videos like this one:
✅ Please leave a comment or update the Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in the Nepal! Have fun and safe flight!
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.