Hong Kong Drone Laws

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General Hong Kong Drone Laws

  • Any drone over 7kg empty weigh requires a air permit for every flight
  • You must only fly a drone below 300 feet at all times
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you do not collide with any helicopter or light aircraft
  • You must keep a safe distance between your drone and people and property on the ground
  • You cannot fly over populated areas, and congested areas
  • You shall not fly a drone over or close to any installation that would present a risk to safety in the event of damage due to any impact by the drone
  • You must not fly your drone in the vicinity of an airport and aircraft approach and take off paths. The following areas are considered to fall under this category; Hong Kong International Airport, North Lantau Coastal area,  coastal areas from Tai Lam Chung to Tsuen Wan and Tsing Yi Island, coastal areas at both sides of the Victoria Harbour and Shek Kong area.
  • You must only operate during daylight hours
  • Your flying site should be clear of vessels, vehicles, people, or structures
  • Your flying site should be clear of power sources such as power lines, transformer stations, pylons, and transmitter towers, etc which might cause radio interference
  • Your flying site should be flat to ensure safe take off and landing and should also be free from visual obstruction

Some recommended areas to fly your drone are the following; Tai Tong in Yuen Long, Nam Sang Wai in Yuen Long, Tate’s Cairn in Sha Tin, Tseung Kwan O in Sai Kung, and Clear Water Bay Peninsula area in Sai Kung

Commercial Hong Kong Drone Laws (Non-Recreational)

  • You may not fly within 50 meters of any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure not under control of the drone operator except during take off and landing
  • You must not fly your drone within 30 meters of any person other than the operator
  • The drone operation site must be under the operators full control
  • The drone take off/landing area should be properly segmented from public access
  • Drone operator must maintain visual line of sight during the flight
  • Drone operator is responsible for ensuring that no person or property would be endangered by the drone and shall not fly the drone unless he is reasonably satisfied the flight can be safely made
  • No hazardous material may be carried onboard the drone
  • No objects may be dropped from the drone
  • The drones return to home mechanism must be fully functional
  • Drone operator must maintain records of each flight
  • A site safety assessment must be performed by the drone operator and maintained
  • Permission of the land/property owner whose land/property the drone is intended to operate on must be obtained
  • Operation of the drone must be carried out in accordance with the equipment operations manual
  • Drone altitude should not exceed 300 feet above ground level
  • Drone operator should describe the means of altitude keeping to ensure altitude flown is accurate
  • Drone operations should be conducted during daylight hours only
  • No more than one drone will be permitted at any one time within the same block of designated airspace
  • Ground visibility of not less than 5km is required
  • Cloud base may not be lower than approved altitude of operations
  • Surface wind may be no more than 20 knots unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer
  • Drone operator must have a hand held anemometer to monitor surface wind speed on site
  • Drone operator must not fly when there is a rainstorm warning, tropical cyclone warning, or a strong monsoon signal is in force
  • Evidence of pilot competency is required when making an application for permission to operate a drone. Basic national UAS certificate – small unmanned aircraft (BNUC-S) or equivalent
  • Drone operator is required to submit an operations manual covering the procedures to be followed for all envisioned operations of the drone. This document is key in the authority granting permission. A guidance to preparing an operations manual can be found here
  • The drone operator is required to seek approval from the Office of the Communications Authority on the use of radio frequencies and to ensure that no RFI is caused to air traffic operations and air navigation equipment.

Licencing:

  • All operations that do not fall under “General Hong Kong Drone Laws” and are for any use other than recreational require licensing approval
  • General application for operating a drone for non recreational purposes or for a drone over 7kg (Requires Internet Explorer)
  • Commercial Application to operate a drone in Hong Kong for reward or hire
  • The required forms MUST be submitted at least 28 days prior to the planned flight
  • Proof of adequate insurance is also required
  • Please submit all required documents to the following address uas@cad.gov.hk

Last Updated: July 2015