🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all drone law links & known rules about recreational & commercial drone laws in the Philippines (Manila). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in the Philippines 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 the Philippines
Philippines differentiates commercial & recreational drone uses. Both are subject to restrictions and a code of conduct. Additionally, depending on the weight of your drone and where you intend to fly, different rules will apply.
✅ Filipino airspace is managed by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and can be contacted anytime via:
Phone (+63) 2 879 9229
✅ The current law is fully available in the CAA's Civil Aviation Regulations Part 11.11
Can I bring my drone to the Philippines?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Philippines as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally 1 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 the Philippines?
✅ We did not find an official fly zone map for drones in the Philippines "If you have more information about this, please share it in Philippines Drones Discussion Group". Thankfully in the meantime, app.airmap.io has listed all flight zones in a convenient way organised in a 3 color legend.
Drone Fly Map Manila
🚨 Do not fly near the country's borders or undertake an international flight with your drone; aka take off/land from a different territory than the Philippines during one flight.
📰 Cebu's city council wants to regulate the use of drones in its vicinity and might soon require all pilots to be registered.. read more
🌲 National / Marine parks & reserves might be on a case by case permission & you might need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities. 🐳
💡 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 Philippines.
Recreational Drone use in the Philippines
You do not need a license or a permit for recreational use if your drone is less than 7 kg and you follow the below rules to fly:
at a maximum altitude of 122 m above the ground.
at least 30 m from people or large crowds & respect individuals' privacy.
at least 10 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 & within your sight at all times.
🚨 If your drone weights more than 7 kg, or for any other case going against the above code of conduct, you will need to comply with the commercial use rules explained below.
🚨If you wish to attend a fly show or expo & undertake flight demonstrations, check section 18.104.22.168
Commercial Drone use in the Philippines
When flying a drone for commercial use or a drone heavier than 7 kg in the Philippines, you will need a pilot certificate (1), a RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) operator certificate (2) & a registration certificate (3).
1/ To obtain your pilot's license you will need to have passed an aviation license theory examination, completed a training course for the drone you wish to operate & have have at least 5 hours of experience in operating drones outdoors to undertake a test.
2.1/ To obtain an RPA pre-application, you will need to send to the CAA:
A Letter of Intent.
A duly accomplished Pre-application Statement of Intent (PASI) Form for RPA operator certificate which shall include: your structure and organisation, your staff and their qualifications + experience, your equipment; your practices and procedures; and a general description of the proposed operations.
The application shall be accompanied by a copy of each of the applicant’s manuals relevant to the operation of the RPA.
💡 Smart! Heading to the coast? Water glare is a killer when flying above Filipino coastal waters, make sure you have a lens filter before heading there.
🚨 If 2 or more of the your declared staff is decided non eligible, your application will not be approved for your whole organisation.
🚨 If your drone weights more than 150 kg, you will need to provide upon registration a certificate of airworthiness (SCA) or an Experimental Certificate (EC) if this is a test.
2.2/ To obtain a RPA certificate you will need to prove to the CAA that:
You have your RPA's pre-application approved.
You have your pilot's license.
You have your drone insured.
You haven't been sentenced in any matter related to drone use within the last 5 years.
✅ The RPA is valid for three years
3/ Once registered, you will need to mark your identification on your drone in a clearly visible manner
✅ All about the certification process on the CAAP website.
What do I risk for flying my drone illegally in the Philippines?
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 its been specified that not complying to the drone commercial use code of conduct exposes you to a fine between P50,000 and P100,000 & a confiscation of your drone(s).
Once you got everything in order, you can start flying above Philippines' awesome landscapes and create videos like this one.
✅ Please leave a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in Philippines! Have fun and safe flight! #philippines #filippino #regulation #rule #rules #law #laws #legislation
💡 You're a local, have a question or want to share a travel experience? Head to our Philippines Drones 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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Philippines Official Letter - no importation permit required for small recreational drones.