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Getting a Drone Permit in Nepal: A Complete Guide

Drone, sometimes known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, is one of the most popular and must-have technologies for travelers all over the world. It assists you in capturing your vacation memories from a variety of perspectives. Undoubtedly, flying a drone is one of the best things to do in Nepal. Many tourists and trekkers use this gadget to create stunning trip blogs and vlogs while visiting Nepal.

Beautiful aerial shot of Jagat Village along Manaslu Circuit taken with a drone; a place worth to get permit for flying drone in Nepal
Magnificent drone shot of Jagat Village along Manaslu Circuit

Because Nepal is a mountainous nation, flying a drone will provide fantastic photos of the landscapes, mountains, hills, and the view of rivers from various angles. Many people think that flying a drone in Nepal is illegal; it is not the entire truth. Only flying a drone without a permit in Nepal is illegal and punishable.

Registration of drones with the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) in Nepal is mandatory. Those who fly without permission will be arrested or punished. Thus, we recommend you not to operate a drone without a permit. 

Note: We do not provide drone permit acquisition services to non customers.

Things to consider before packing drone while traveling

  • Firstly, evaluate if your drone meets the security standards of the airline or the airport in your nation. 
  • Secondly, check whether your drone is equipped with any dangerous materials that do not meet transport requirements. (such as high volt batteries that might need additional clarification during airport security checks)
  • Thirdly, search and examine the particular regulations of your airline on drone travel.
  • Finally, make sure you are aware of drone legislation in both your take-off and destination locations.

However, flying a drone in Nepal is not a child’s play. There are certain factors one should know before carrying a drone. Practicing is the main key to being a professional drone operator. Moreover, you need to have proper idea about the drone laws and rules in Nepal, procedures for its registration and permit for a drone in Nepal, and likewise. You can take a quick exam to ensure that you understand the rules. Besides, plan your trip during the favorable season if you are planning to fly a drone in Nepal.

Best Time and Places for videography via Drones in Nepal

In the Himalayas, a good weather is must to obtain optimal footage. So it is recommended that you travel during spring (March-May) and fall (September-November) which are the best time to visit Nepal. During spring and fall, the weather is stable and perfect for videography with a Drone in the Himalayas.

Beautiful aerial shot of  Pokhara Valley
Beautiful aerial shot of Pokhara Valley

Since getting a Drone permit is rather a lengthy process in Nepal, we suggest you make the most out of it by planning your trips smartly. However, if you do not want to go through the hassles of planning, we have perfect customizable itineraries that will take you to the best places to fly Drones in Nepal:

  1. Sleeping at Everest Base Camp Trek
  2. Everest Base Camp Short Trek
  3. Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek
  4. Annapurna Base Camp Trek
  5. Manaslu Circuit Trek
  6. Upper Mustang Trek
  7. Nepal Experience Tour

Apart from recording scenery and action videos, drones emerge as a guide to travel Nepal, probes route conditions while trekking in Nepal, and assist in many rescues.

Drone Rules and Laws in Nepal

 Although unauthorized usage of drones existed in Nepal before 2015, the massive earthquake of April 2015 resulted in the growth of drones and brought them into the limelight. Journalists and humanitarian responders flew an unusual number of tiny and lightweight UAVs over heavily damaged areas and heritage sites to aid in the urgent rescue. However, the Nepalese government realized the threats posed to national security because of the uncontrolled and unplanned flying of drones. The government then recognized the importance of a strong policy addressing drone controls and drafted the rules and regulations. 

According to Nepal’s national aviation authority, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), flying a drone with a permit is legal in Nepal; however, we recommend staying informed and complying with the drone rules and laws mentioned below:

  • Tourists who wish to fly a drone during their visit to Nepal must first acquire authorization from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Tourism, and Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal. However, it is not crucial if a drone is less than 2kg and below 200ft. from the ground.
  • Prior authorization from the department relating to the specific subject matter of study, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal is required to fly a drone (more than 2kg) for research and educational purposes. 
  • Tourists who wish to fly a drone in the national parks and conservation areas of Nepal need to acquire authorization from the concerned  Conservation Area/ National Parks, Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Tourism, and Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.
  • Drones weighing less than 2kg (4.5 pounds) do not require CAAN authorization if flown over private land and at a height, not more than 200 feet.
  • Drone pilots should have skills in flight and a basic understanding of drone operation rules and laws in Nepal.
  • Do not fly a drone in a way that endangers the safety of the aircraft flying in the area.
  • Use a UAV only within the extent of your authorization.
  • Flying a drone without a permit is forbidden and will result in a penalty in conformity with civil aviation laws.
  • Flying an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in a public place for recreational purposes necessitates authorization from the local security agency.
  • The person operating a drone is solely responsible for any injury to individuals or damage to property caused by the operation of the drone.
  • Don’t fly a drone higher than 120m (394ft) and further than 500m (1,640ft).
  • Avoid flying a drone carelessly and don’t use it to kill animals or insects.
  • Flying within 50 meters (164 feet) of any ship, transport, or construction is prohibited.
  • Controllers must retain the unhindered visual sight of the drones at all times.
  • Airport zones should be clean from all the drone activities.

The drone rules and laws in Nepal are quite lengthy. For this reason, it is best to consult with an adventure and travel company. Himalayan Glacier, which has several years of experience in helping to get drone permits for the traveler, is a leading local adventure travel company that will help you obtain drone permits in a hassle-free manner.

What are the procedures to register a drone in Nepal?

Drones’ registration with the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is mandatory for valid and legal operation. Flying a drone without registration is a violation of the local laws and might result in grave consequences. The government of Nepal has classified drones into four categories as mentioned below:

BasisABCD
WeightUp to 250gm250gm-2kg2kg-25kgAbove 25kg
RiskVery Low RiskLow RiskModerate RiskVery High Risk

As per the prevailing law, registration of all categories of drones is must to have flight permission. The procedure to register a drone in Nepal is listed below:

  1. Visit the Flight Safety Standard Department situated at Sinamangal, Kathmandu, with the following documents:
    • Filled form as per instruction
    • Copy of Citizenship Certificate, Valid Passport, or Certificate of Company Registration
    • A copy of the manual specification of the drone. 
    • Picture of the drone with its clear color, brand, and serial number
    • Introduction to the uses of Drones
    • Copy of the retailer’s VAT bill (For those purchased in Nepal)
    • Copy of the Customs Clearance Certificate (For imported drones)

  2. After all the required documents, the concerned authority will analyze them closely. If registration is successful, a certificate, which includes a Unique Identification Number (UIN) will be issued in 2-3 working days as a confirmation of being registered. This certificate will be valid for a period of one year.  
Beautiful view of the Glacier, Village and Manaslu Massif taken via drone
Beautiful view of the Glacier, Village and Manaslu Massif taken via drone

What are the procedures to get a drone permit in Nepal?

In Nepal, obtaining a permit to fly a drone is not difficult. It is, however, a common procedure that takes a little time. First and foremost, you should register your drone by following the above procedures. You can further move to acquire a permit for drones in Nepal only after obtaining the unique identification number. To get the permit, you need to complete the following procedures:

Please keep in mind that if your drone has a bandwidth greater than 2.4 MHz, you must seek clearance from the Information Department. A recommendation letter from the local government will be useful at every stage of the license application process.

  1. Take approval from the respective authority
    • If your drone weighs less than 2 kg, you must contact the District Administration Office to obtain permission. In case of drones weighing more than 2kg, you must contact the Information Department Office and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
    • In case of foreigners, they need to obtain valid permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Tourism, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, and Concerned Conservation Area/ National Parks
  2. Submit the following documents (similar for all three cases mentioned above)
    • Filled form as per instruction
    • Registration certificate of drone
    • Flight information (start date, end date, purpose, and location map) 
    • Letter of authorization (only for a foreigner or a foreign company)
  3. Foreigners and foreign companies need the authorization letter from the following authorities:
    • Letter from Ministry of Tourism, Home Ministry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, and Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration
    • Letter from a specific trekking agency and local guide who is handling the trip 
    • Copy of citizenship certificate, valid passport, valid visa (only for foreigners), and biodata of the drone pilot
    • Letter of commitment from the drone pilot to work in with the regulations
    • The Concerned authority will go through your documents. In case all the documents are true, they will provide you a permit to fly a drone in Nepal. 

The granted authorization is valid only for three months. It can be renewed for another three months if the cause for the extension is genuine.

Himalayan Glacier will assist in obtaining drone permissions for all treks in Nepal, including Everest Base Camp Trek, ABC Trek, Upper Mustang Treks, and other excursions. All you have to do is tell us and pay a few government fees, then plan a Nepal trekking tour with us.  

How to get a drone permit for Everest Base Camp Trek?

Flying a drone on the Everest trek is a dream of many people. It allows trekkers to record the beautiful vista of the Himalayan region, including Mt. Everest, as well as the cultural variety and culture of the Sherpa people. This is why drones are considered crucial in the packing list for Everest Base Camp. However, flying a drone in Everest Base Camp Trek is not easy and even considered illegal if it’s done without obtaining a drone permit for Everest Trek.

For flexibility and lightweight, the Mavic Pro drone is considered best for Everest Trek. So, flying a drone on Everest safely requires a drone of a good brand, a series of permits, and an excellent team with the required knowledge about all legal matters. The list of special permits required for flying a drone in the Everest trek are:

  • Sagarmatha National Park
  • TIMS (Tourist Information Management System)
  • NMA (Approval from Nepal Mountaineering Association)
  • General Travel Permits
View of the Magnificent Mount Everest; photography via Drone
View of the Magnificent Mount Everest

The procedure to obtain the drone permit for Everest Base Camp is somehow similar to other destinations, which is listed below:

  • You must get permission from the Defence Ministry, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, and the Ministry of Information and Communication.
  • You should provide the biodata of the pilot with drone functioning proficiency.
  • A map of the Everest region where you will fly a drone, itinerary of the trip, as well as the site coordinates and date of flying a drone, must be submitted.
  • You must obtain extra licenses from the department of wildlife reserves, conservation areas, or national parks to get access to Sagarmatha National Park.  

Take your Drone to the Everest Base Camp
From the glimmer before the sunlight to the starry nights after sunset, do not miss any moment. Rather than taking regular itineraries to the Everest Base Camp which have tight schedules, get an opportunity to spend two nights under the starlit sky at the Everest Base Camp and enjoy the epic journey with our Sleeping at Everest Base Camp Trek.

Because the Everest region is a part of the Sagarmatha National Park, you will also require special permission from the park. This needs permission from the Ministry of Information and Communication, as well as permission from the National Park Service.

Illegal use of camera drones

Camera drone capabilities vary but can include features such as video cameras, microphones, GPS, and powerful zoom lenses. The growing usage of camera drones has raised concerns about both confidentiality and protection. These unmanned aerial vehicles, like any other technology, may represent a serious hazard if they fall into wrong hands. Some of the illegal uses of camera drones are:

Any infringement of the Ministry of Information and Communication and CAAN’s laws and rules while flying a drone may result in severe legal consequences.

1. Effective Spies

Drones may be extremely effective spies. Their ability to approach nearly any location where private data is kept (for example, an office room) without even being observed makes them the ideal spy.

 2. Cyber-Crime

Cybercriminals can utilize drones to get their harmful tools near their target destination without struggling to overcome physical hurdles that the possible victim may have in place (security guards, access control systems, biometric sensors, and surveillance cameras).

 3. Hide Security Attacks 

A drone might conceal a jammer, a malicious hotspot, or a gadget that launches assaults through Bluetooth or NFC. The possibilities for using these airborne gadgets to spy on people and steal private information are nearly limitless.

 4. Invasion of Privacy 

Drones might help to capture identifiable private data (such as vehicles identification numbers) or personal data (such as pictures) of individuals without their knowledge, which is a serious privacy problem. It is crucial to understand that if a commercial drone operator obtains PfCO, they can sell any film or photos captured with their drone.

However, if you’ve asked the camera drone operator to cease flying over your private property and they keep doing so, it might be considered harassment. If you suspect an organization has captured, acquired, or stored your private information without your consent, the very first step is to call the organization and consult its public privacy policy. People have a right to seek access to their data, a replication of their data, and the removal of their data.

Tips for flying drones in Nepal

Some most popular places you shouldn’t fly a drone

The new drone operating regulation has designated the following areas as restricted areas to fly a drone:

  • The Airport zone (up to 5km) should be free from all drone operations. 
  • The international frontier is within a 5-kilometer horizontal distance.
  • Religious, historic, and holy places within a one-kilometer radius such as Maitighar Mandala, Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, Budhanilkantha, Durbar Square (Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan), and so on.
  • Residence area of the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, VVIP office, and Singha Durar within 1 km aerial radius.
  • Military and security offices (up to 1 kilometer), while other safety agencies up to 500 meters.
  • Conservation areas, National Parks, and wildlife reserves
  • Conflict and war-torn areas
  • Other restrictions imposed by local or regional governments

The air may be quite thin in Nepal because of the high altitude. At this altitude, not all drones can fly. We recommend that you check whether or not your drone can fly in these areas, before going to Nepal.

Tips for flying drones in Nepal

  •  While flying drones, be considerate of others’ privacy.
  • Fly at or below 400 feet and keep a safe distance from nearby objects
  • Keep an eye on your drone.
  • Never fly too close to other planes, particularly near airports.
  • Flying above a crowd of people is never a good idea.
  • Never fly above sporting events or stadiums.
  • Never fly near fires or other disaster areas.
  • Flying under the influence of drugs or alcohol is never a good idea.
  •  Avoid flying over mist, haze, or smoke.
  • Consider flying a drone only during the day.
  • Recognize the limits and regulations that apply to airspace.

Video compilation of beautiful footages taken via Drones in Nepal

To summarize, flying drones is an adventure in itself, and it may be much more so if you can fly over the Nepal Himalayas. Flying a drone without permission, on the other hand, is prohibited. To get the most out of this activity, it is important to realize that getting drone permission in Nepal and knowing about the country’s rules and regulations are both required. Furthermore, if you don’t have experience in the art of flying drones, you must first ensure that your flight does not threaten anyone’s life or liberty.

It is quite a problematic and time-consuming process to obtain a permit for drones in Nepal. So, it is always best to consult with a local adventure travel company in Nepal to obtain a permit in a hassle-free manner. Himalayan Glacier has assisted lots of trekkers in the past to obtain the permit for drones in Nepal. So, if you are visiting Nepal anytime soon with a drone, then we are more than happy to help you in obtaining the permit. You can contact us anytime if you want to know further about drone permits in Nepal.

Himalayan Glacier Adventure and Travel Company
About the author

A leading adventure & tour operator in the Himalayas since 1992, Himalayan Glacier Adventure & Travel Company® is the #1 guiding adventure travel company on Mount Everest Base Camp and beyond with 98% success rate. Continuing its decades-old legacy, Himalayan Glacier is a little different from other adventure & tour operators. Each of our holidays is truly a tailor-made package which we design for all ages, groups, families & solo travelers. We have veteran mountaineering leaders who have been into this industry for several decades. So, we offer you complete choice and freedom to explore the real pleasure of traveling.
10 Responses
  1. D-Traveler

    Hi Sir,
    I’m a professional drone operator (flying and developing drones since 13 years) planning a trekking of 60 days from Sibrung area up to Dingboche, through Makalu and Everest region.
    Reading your article I see that multiple request must be made to many entities, could you please contact me in order to arrange costs and permission requests for our expedition?

    Best Regards

    1. Himalayan Glacier
      Himalayan Glacier

      Thank you for your comment. One of our travel expert will contact you about your concerns via email. By the way, what is your good name? Look forward to your patience. Have a great time!

    1. Himalayan Glacier
      Himalayan Glacier

      Thank you for your comment. One of our travel expert will contact you about your concerns via email.

  2. Cj
    Cj

    Hello, I am traveling to Nepal next month and I was wondering if I could get some assistance with bringing my drone. Thanks!

  3. Shine

    I think Nepal is copying pretty much 100% Drone Laws and regulations from others developed countries like ,USA, Europe. which is fare enough, But from my openion Nepal should not tight that much their drone’s laws in Nepal, Becauce Nepal and other developed countries are way more different in every aspect . like infrastructures ,ground, citiy, population , people privacy ,etc, Drone in Nepal can be a life saver tools, in mountain’s, jungles and rural areas .So Nepal Government should consider their drone law for tourist asap.

  4. olivier
    olivier

    Bonjour
    pouvez vous m’aider a obtenir un permis pour mon drone mini 3 pro
    affin d’évoluer lors d’un trek pour le lac Tilicho en avril 2023..
    merci

    1. Himalayan Glacier
      Himalayan Glacier

      Bonjour Olivier
      Un de nos experts en voyages vous répondra par e-mail, veuillez donc vérifier votre boîte de réception.

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