Drone regulations in Bhutan

Flying Drones in BhutanHere are the rules for operating drones in Bhutan.

In Bhutan, all drones must be approved before operation at the Bhutan Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) at Paro International Airport. However, the approval is granted only to governmental organizations. Thus it is not allowed to operate drones as a traveller. If you can somehow get the permission, the following rules apply.

Maximum flight altitude: In Bhutan, your drone is not allowed to climb higher than 90 meters (300 feet) above ground or the water surface.

Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: Bhutan allows the operation of drones only within the visibility.

Compulsory insurance: In Bhutan, it is required by law to insure your drone.

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): Your drone cannot weight more than 6 kilograms.

Distance to airports: You must guarantee a distance of 5 kilometers (3 miles) to airports at any time.

Other safe distances: No further safety distances are defined so far.

Flight bans: In Bhutan, you cannot fly over yellow roofs (religious buildings).

Regulations for commercial pilots: Currently, there seems to be no distinction between private and commercial flight manoeuvres.

Helpful links: BCAA

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Bhutan to the best of our knowledge. We can not guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, please contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Bhutan!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!


  • Michal | 27.08.2017

    Hey, the info is not correct. While the rules and regulation don’t state it openly, BCAA will not allow tourists to operate drones in Bhutan. Permits are only issued for government agencies, contractors and farm/forest land owners (for monitoring purposes). We investigated directly with BCAA on July 2017. See details here https://www.firefoxtours.com/blog/can-you-operate-drone-bhutan

    • Francis Markert | 26.10.2017

      Hi Michal, thank you for the update! It’s a pity.

  • Jean Hessen | 12.01.2018

    According to the flowing document (update Sept 2017) it looks like you have to be a citizen of Bhutan in order to operate a drone in the country.

  • Jill Crosher | 22.12.2018

    Just back from Bhutan. Delighted drones effectively not allowed. Bhutan is dedicated to conservation and protection of its heritage. Here on the coast of Ireland we are plagued by drones in seabird colonies in the breeding season and at our many beauty spots.

    • Francis Markert | 07.01.2019

      Thank you for keeping us updated!

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