🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all drone laws links & known rules around recreational & commercial drone use in Tonga (Nukuʻalofa). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in The Forum. 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 Tonga
✅ Tonga follows the same drone's regulation as New-Zealand, therefore to avoid miss-updated context, please refer to the NZ ultimate guide for relevant information. When it comes to the onsite contacts, drone regulation in Tonga falls under the Tonga’s Ministry of Civil Aviation which can be contacted anytime via:
Phone: +676 23100
Can I travel to Tonga with my drone?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Tonga as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person).
🚨 This said, it seems that your drone needs to be registered in your country of origin, if not, you might be asked to register it from Nukuʻalofa airport for a fee between $50-$200 (according to online feedback gathered) & should happen by following these steps:
Declare your drone upon arrival, it might be kept against a receipt but you get to keep the batteries & the remote in all cases.
Head the following day to the customs' office located on the port (🕔 Mon-Fri 8 am - 5 pm); if you have registered your drone elsewhere, bring proof of it. If not, you might be asked to pay a registration fee up to $200.
💡 Note, you might be asked for insurance so you should have one.
🚨 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 Tonga?
✅ We did not find an official fly zone map for drones in Tonga "If you have more information about this, please let us know in the Forum". Thankfully, app.airmap.io has listed all flight zones in a convenient way.
Tonga drone fly map
🦅 National parks & reserves might be on a case by case permission & you might need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities.
🕌 Do not fly near the Royal Palace or the Royal Tombs of Tonga & stay at least 30 m away from people when flying while respecting individual's privacy.
🚁 If you are considering getting your first drone or upgrade, feel free to check the Drone Gear content we've put together or click on the model you like below to get its full specs. Any purchase done from one of our affiliate links helps Dronemade stay free and available to all.
Once you got everything in order, you can start flying above Tonga's awesome landscapes & 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 Tonga! Have fun & 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.
Tonga drone fly map (Airmap)