Skip to main content
A legal perspective of Drones registration in Thailand H&P law firm for aviation and aerospace

Mr. Damian Cambronero, head of the aerospace and aviation practice at H&P and Mr. Jose Herrera, managing partner of H&P have prepared an article summarizing the legal framework of drones in Thailand and also including some comparative research with other regulations as well as the proceeding to register drones in Thailand.


In technical terms, we call them unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), as they are aircraft operated with no pilot on board. Nevertheless, these aircrafts are commonly known as drones or RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft). They can vary from very small aircraft as big as a fly on your finger (nano-drones weighing just 10-20 grams) to very large ones such as the Global Hawk with its 15 tons, used by NASA for scientific purposes.

The use and different applications for small drones are large, almost unlimited. As the technology is constantly improving and prices are dropping, the access to these aircrafts is larger than ever.

As it can be expected, the market potential of drones is enormous and this creates new job opportunities from the aerospace community and the society will all benefit.

In addition, drones can also save lives and improve efficiency. Another very positive impact might be a reduction of carbon emissions, as we will replace some big and heavy helicopters by small electrically-powered drones.

Drones will operate in the same airspace as general aviation (GA), so GA community concerns in terms of air risk or airspace occupation. Nevertheless, the opinion prepared by EASA addresses this issue accordingly and includes several provisions to reduce the risk both on ground and in the air.

The development of the drone industry will also benefit the GA community, making new technologies, such as envelope protection or traffic awareness, much more affordable. In addition, we cannot deny that drone enthusiasts share the same interests as GA pilots: flying, technology and adventure. An opportunity for cooperation pops up here and we should definitely take advantage of it


2.1. EASA

To ensure the free circulation of drones within the European Union EASA has developed common European rules. The approach taken is to apply the highest safety standards achieved in manned aviation to drones as well. The rules are based on an assessment of the risk of operation, and strike a balance between the obligations of drone manufacturers and operators in terms of safety, respect for privacy, the environment, protection against noise and security.

Up till now, there was not much that EASA could do, since EU Law gave competence to the Member States for the range of drones lighter than 150 kg (the market segment that is booming). But the revised EASA Basic Regulation – the future European aviation safety regulatory system – expected to be approved in summer this year will extend EU competence to all drones. In order to gain time, EASA issued the proposal for a new regulation –EASA Opinion No 01/20181 – to the European Commission in February 2018.

2.2. FAA

The regulation is UAS Certificated Remote Pilots including Commercial Operators (Part 107). The FAA requires to register the drone when flying under Part 107.

In order to fly the drone under the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107), the applicant must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA. This certificate demonstrates that the applicant understands the regulations, operating requirements, and procedures for safely flying drones


The announcement of the Ministry of Transport on rules to apply for permission and conditions to control and launch unmanned aircraft in the category of remotely piloted aircraft B.E. 2558 (A.D. 2015) stipulates that by virtue of Section 24 of the Air Navigation Act, the Ministry of Transport shall have power to permit and specify conditions to control and launch unmanned aircraft in the category of remotely piloted aircraft. In other words, according to Thailand’s National Aviation Authority, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), flying a drone is perfectly legal in Thailand, but we recommend to understand the existing regulation and compliance.

Thai people and visitors can fly their drones in Thailand; however, the users are not allowed to fly the drones here until they have registered their devices with the NBTC and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).

In fact, Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced a penalty of not drone registration that could bring a drone’s owner to face a one-year jail term or a fine of up to 40,000 Baht.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) announced that all drones in Thailand need to be registered.

H&P lawyers in Bangkok would like to point out some of the general Rules for Flying a Drone in Thailand. Based on our legal research and interpretation of the Thai laws, here are the most important rules to know for operating a drone in Thailand:

-All drones must be registered if they 1) Have a camera, and 2) Weigh 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) or more.

-Drones weighing more than 25 kilograms (55 pounds) must be registered with the Minister of Transport.

-Drone pilots must maintain a visual line of sight with their drone at all times.

-Drones must not be flown close to manned aircraft

-Drones must not be flown close to any person, vehicle, construction, or buildings at distance less than 30 meters (98 feet) horizontally.

– Drones must not be flown in restricted areas without authorization.

-Drones must not be flown within 9 kilometres (5 miles) from an airport or temporary airfield except with special authorization.

-Drones must not be flown higher than 90 meters (295 feet).


Flying a drone in Thailand used to not be regulated but with the increase in visitors traveling to the Kingdom and using their drones, this has led to implement regulations like Thailand drone laws that need to be complied with. These laws are effective for any UAV unmanned aerial vehicle or RPA remote piloted aircraft.

H&P lawyers in Bangkok can provide a service of registration the drone in Thailand via CAAT and NBTC. The paperwork and also the process of registration can be complex and tedious in Thailand if you are not aware of the regulation. If you are a tourist or a Thai national who wants to fly your drone, our firm H&P can assist you to fly the drone legally in Thailand.

H&P aviation experts and lawyers can manage the whole process of registration and insurance coverage.

Please contact our lawyers if you require for assistance on registering your drone at [email protected]

This article was written by Mr. Damian Cambronero H&P Aerospace & Aviation Consultant and Mr. Jose Herrera Managing Partner of H&P

Close Menu