Talk with our local travel specialist who can help organize your trip.


How to Travel with a Drone in Nepal?

drones-in-nepal

Nepal is undoubtedly one of the world's most beautiful Himalayan countries and a paradise for aerial photography and video. 

As drone photography becomes more and more popular, people are capturing the beauty of Nepal from this unique new perspective. A gorgeous country offers a seemingly infinite number of spots perfect for drone shots. Nepal has every possible landscape you can desire; you have breathtaking mountains, alpine meadows, tropical forests, remote valleys, tranquil high-altitude lakes, and many more. 

Flying drones is an immensely fun activity but can be tough legally. Every new place you fly your drone in Nepal comes with these concerns: "Is a license required for a drone in Nepal, or is flying drones legal in Nepal?". 

Yes, flying a drone in Nepal is legal if you follow specific rules and regulations. 

This in-depth article shows you how to travel with a drone in Nepal. You'll learn about the rules of using drones, how to take drone permits, the no-fly zone in Nepal, the penalties if you breach the rules, and so on. 

So, read this guide and get a seamless drone flying experience in Nepal! 

Classification of Drones 

We can classify drones according to the maximum take-off weight into four categories. Depending on the drone's weight, you can also determine the risk level.

Category

A

B

C

D

Weight 

Less than 250gm

250gm to 2kg

2kg to 25kg

More than 25kg

Level of Risk

Very Low-Risk

Low-Risk

Regulated Low-Risk

Regulated High-Risk

Where to travel next?

Get help from our travel specialists for holiday ideas that matches your interests.

Drone Registration and Permit in Nepal

In Nepal, no one can operate a drone flight without obtaining a permit; otherwise, government officials will penalize you. So, if you want to fly a drone, you need to take permission from respected Nepal government offices: 

Note: Drones weighing less than 2kg don't need a permit from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). But it should fly on private property under 200 ft. However, it still requires permission from the Department of Tourism, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Area. 

Essentials documents for Drone Certificate of Registration and Permit

  • Copy of citizenship or valid passport or company registration certificate
  • Copy of the drone manual and specifications 
  • Color picture or photocopy of the drone showing model and serial numbers
  • Copy of the customs clearance certificate 
  • Details of the location and purpose of the flight
  • Copy of VAT Bill from the retailer (if purchased in Nepal)
  • Copy of Custom Clearance Certificate (if imported)

Before applying for the drone permit, you must fill out the registration form first. After registering, you'll get a Unique Identification Number (UIN) for your drone. The UIN will be valid for one year. After your drone gets registered now, you can apply for the drone permits. Depending on the local administration, it might take 3-4 business days. The drone permit will be valid for three months. 

Follow these steps to obtain a drone permit in Nepal:

Step 1: Take a permission letter from the municipality of an area where you want to operate the drone. 

Step 2: Submit permission letter submitted by the municipality to CDO. Then, CDO will offer you a recommendation letter. 

Step 3: Obtain a security clearance letter from the police headquarter of the place where you want to fly the drone.

Step 4: Submit all the documents, including permission letter, recommendation letter, and security clearance letter, to the CAAN. 

Restricted Areas for flying a drone in Nepal (No-fly zone)

The Ministry of Home Affairs has specified some restricted areas for drone flight in Nepal. Visitors are strictly prohibited from flying a drone in the below-mentioned places. 

  • For aviation safety, you can't fly a drone along the air route and five-kilometer around the airport. 
  • You can't operate a drone in a horizontal distance of up to five kilometers along the international border. 
  • Drone flight is prohibited around the famous durbar square area of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur. 
  • Drones are banned in some famous world heritage sites of Kathmandu valley, such as Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Boudhanath. 
  • You can't fly drones around the residents of some highly authoritative people like the President, Vice President, and Prime Minister. 
  • You can't fly a drone around 1000 meters from the office of the Nepal Army.
  • Maitighar Mandala and scared Budhanilkantha temple also lie in the restricted zones for the flying drone. 

General laws for flying a drone in Nepal 

If you want to keep your drone-flying privileges in the beautiful landscapes of Nepal, then you must do the right thing. So here are some general rules to keep in mind before flying a drone in Nepal. 

  • Research institutions like universities can operate drones under 2Kg within 200 meters of their property without permission but must inform the nearby police station.
  • You can fly a drone up to 120 meters but don't fly more than 500 meters.
  • Maintain sight of your drone all the time. Not only is this rule, but it will ensure the safety of everyone else.
  • The drone flight operator is solely responsible for any injury to an individual or damage to property caused by a drone.   
  • If your drone weighs more than 2kg and flies above 200 ft from the ground, you must take special permission from the CAAN to fly. 
  • Always try to keep a 150 meters distance from people or crowds. 
  • While flying a drone, maintain 50 meters distance from buildings.
  • Strictly follow the guidelines. Make sure to keep a distance of 5kms from the airport and the international border. 
  • All drone flight operations must occur within a line of sight—a horizontal distance of 500 meters per the guideline.

Additional requirements for foreign travelers for flying a drone in Nepal

As per Nepal government drone laws, foreign travelers have no additional requirements. However, please do note that to fly a heavy and technologically advanced drone, there are some strict rules in some places you need to adhere to. You must have a license to operate the gadget. Also, you need to submit a comprehensive list of documents to respective authorities. The team of CAAN put together a handy, inspiring guide with detailed information on drone laws in Nepal.

Furthermore, besides essentials documents for drone permits mentioned above, foreign travelers need an authorization letter from the following authorities:

  • Letter from Home Ministry, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Federal Affairs, and General Administration.
  • Letter from a specific travel agency and guide who is organizing a trip
  • Commitment letter from the drone pilot to follow the drone rules and regulations.

Likewise, if you are an international traveler planning to trek in Nepal. In that case, all treks leading to Everest, Annapurna, Langtang, and Manaslu regions need a drone flying permit from the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation. For instance, if you are doing Everest Base Camp Trek in the Everest region, then you require the following documents with you:

  • National Park or Conservation Area Permit 
  • Authorization Letter from the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA)
  • Other permits, as per the trekking region of Nepal 
  • Biodata of the drone pilot 

Consequences of Breaching the Rules for Flying Drones 

If you violate any of the abovementioned rules, penalties can be high as you'll be fined, held into custody, or both. According to the law, you have to pay fine ranging from Nrs. 2000-5000 based on the severity of breaching the drone rules. The amount of the fine also depends on the damage or loss. Besides, your intentions to fly a drone, i.e., for recreational activities or commercial purposes, also determine the level of punishment. In some cases, officials might seize your drone too. So, depending upon your action, the fine or other charges can be changed. 

 

Where to travel next?

Get help from our travel specialists for holiday ideas that matches your interests.

Handy Tips for flying a drone in Nepal 

  • Obtain permits from a government official.
  • Don't fly your drone over a crowded area or people.
  • Respects other privacy while operating the drone.
  • Fly drone during day times and in good weather conditions.
  • In high-altitude regions, the air is fragile. Not all drones can fly at such high altitudes. So, checking whether your drone can fly in these regions is good. 
  • You can't fly a drone carelessly or recklessly, as it will risk aviation safety or the safety of any person or property. 
  • You can't operate a drone from moving vehicles, vessels, or manned aircraft. 
  • For the safe conduct of the flight, the operator needs to learn the essential functions of drones.
  • Make sure not to break any local rules while flying a drone.
  • You can't use drone flight to carry objects and harm living beings.

Conclusion 

The stunning country of Nepal has so much to offer aerial photographers and transforms with every season, making it one of the top drone photography locations. Now you can enjoy your trekking adventure in Nepal while capturing world-class footage of the Himalayas.

Nonetheless, traveling in Nepal with a drone and obtaining a drone permit can be overwhelming for a tourist. So, you can always seek help from a reputable local travel agency like Third Rock Adventures. We are familiar with how the regional offices operate, which makes the procedures simple, easy, and fast.

You can contact us or check Civil Aviation Authority's website for more information on how to travel with a drone in Nepal.




Recent Comments

JH
Jeremy Hagen | Fri Sep 29, 2023
Hello, I am visiting Nepal and would like to fly my drone for recreation purposes. I see your article say you can help with this? How does this work exactly? I am going to the Everest region as well as the Annapurna region. I understand there are many letters of approval needed and this is confusing as a foreigner. Is this something you can help with?? I am arriving in Nepal tomorrow, and will be trekking starting next week. Is this enough time? Thank you in advance for any info!
Reply
Write a Comment
Name *
Email *

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Write a Comment
Name *
Email *

How will you be traveling?

solo
couple
family
group




Explore Trip By Duration : 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 4 days, 5 days, 6 days, 7 days, 8 days, 9 days, 10 days, 11 days, 12 days, 13 days, 14 days, 15 days, 16 days, 17 days, 18 days, 19 days, 20 days, 21-days and above, View All Trips

Trending Trips for 2024 and 2025

See All Trending Trips
Recommendation

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Sign up for our newsletter and get alerts on amazing travel deals and latest news.

Contact Us

USA & Canada
Australia
51 Spring Street, Thomastown Vic 3074
Europe
864 route de la Marqueze, 40230 Josse
Nepal
Keshar Mahal Marg, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tibet
Sera Road/ Tashi Xintsun, Lhasa, Tibet
Bhutan
Changlam, Thimphu 11001, Bhutan