Drone Laws in Nepal
FPV drones have gained massive traction over the last couple of years. Before we look at the drone laws in Nepal that you should know, FPV means first-person view. When flying this kind of a drone, you will see what the drone sees when airborne. One of the main differences between these modern drones with the traditional drones is that the latter are controlled or piloted based on the perspective of the pilot on the ground.
Nepal is not the only country with laws that govern usage of drones. Other countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom has regulations that drone pilots must adhere to at all times. Below is an overview of the drone laws in Nepal that you should keep in mind when flying an FPV drone.
Are Drones Legal and Allowed in the Country?
This is one of the most common questions people ask when planning to visit Nepal with their drones. Yes, Nepal allows usage of drones as per the stipulated CAAN regulations.
One of the laws is that all drones that are more than 2 kilograms in weight and intend to be flown above 400 feet above the ground, you need to get authorization from the national Department of Tourism, CAAN, and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Drones whose total weight is below 2 kilograms don’t need a pre-authorization from the said government bodies. However, the FPV drones should only be flown on properties that are registered as private and they should not fly beyond 200 feet above ground.
Safety is of paramount importance when flying an FPV drone. Familiarise yourself with the user’s manual and practice continuously to hone your skills and expertise. Recklessly flying a drone in Nepal is prohibited and you should not fly it higher than 120 meters or 394 feet. In fact, most drones cannot fly stably at such heights and so you risk crashing it if you exceed the set limits.
Even though rare, there are drone users who use them to drop articles or animals on properties. This is prohibited in Nepal and the drone may be confiscated by the authorities. Other laws that you should adhere to at all times when flying an FPV drone in Nepal are:
- You are not allowed to fly a drone within or beyond 492 feet in congested areas such as recreation parks.
- You shouldn’t fly a drone further than 1,640 feet
- When in an open-air assembly with more than 1,000 persons, you should not fly a drone beyond 492 feet.
- No flying drones in airport airspace
- FPV pilot should constantly have a clear sight of the drones
- Drones should not be flown within 164 feet of any structure, vehicle or vessel.
The market is packed with different types of FPV drones. The many options often make the process of selecting the right drone difficult. Not any more, here is a detailed article we found online that you can count on to select the best FPV drones available.
Registration and Acquisition of Permits to Own a Drone in Nepal
As mentioned earlier, the Nepal government allows its citizens and tourists to own and operate a drone provided they adhere to the set regulations. That said, the drone regardless of the model and type must first be duly registered with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAAN).
If the registration process is successful, you will be given a unique identification number for the drone. If you intend to fly the drone higher than 200 feet in any public area, you need to get a go ahead from the local administration office.
For example, if you intend to record a footage in a national park, contact the national park administration to get a permit. This permit is only valid for three months and so if you intend to film after three months you need to renew the permit.
Which Are the Restricted Areas in Nepal?
There are places in Nepal that are restricted and should be free of any drone activity. They include;
- Airport area of a maximum of 5 kilometres radius
- 5 kilometres horizontal distance around international boundaries
- 1-kilometre radius around sites that are categorized as religious, sacred or heritage
- One-kilometre radius around the President, Prime Minister, Vice-President and VVIP OFFICE
- Areas with war and conflict
- Conservation areas and ores
- One-kilometre radius around safety and military office
- 500 meters radius around safety departments
Which Permits Do Tourists Need to Legally Fly Drones in Nepal?
Tourists are allowed to fly FPV drones in Nepal provided them get permits from the following government organizations.
- Department of Tourism
- Ministry of Home Affairs
- Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal
- Conservation Area or National Parks Management
FPV drones are legal in Nepal but you need to follow the stipulated regulations. Make sure that you follow the instructions highlighted in the user’s manual to safely fly your drone and get maximum utility from it. Good luck!