Drone regulations in the Maldives

In this article, we explain the current rules for the use of drones in the Maldives.

Again and again, we are asked if we know more about the drone laws in the Maldives. The current legal situation in the Maldives differs from that in many other countries.

Drone flights are permitted up to an altitude of 121 meters (400 feet). However, you need some permissions in advance. Make sure you follow the steps we describe further below in order so that there are no delays in getting your permissions.

Overview: Drone rules in Maldives

Recreational use of drones allowed? Yes, after registration or approval
Commercial use of drones permitted? Yes, after registration or approval
Maximum Altitude:400 in uncontrolled airspace.
Is drone insurance mandatory? No. Learn more about drone insurance here.
Does the drone need a badge?Unknown.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? Yes.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people

The first approval is required from the property owners, for example the hotel or the local island council.

If you want to take photographs or video commercially, you will also need to ask for approval from the National Centre for the Arts, using this form, which you can email to [email protected]. You can read about the requirements here.

Next, approval from the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) is necessary. You can apply for this one already while you’re still waiting for a response from the property owner. In the application, you must specify the exact time and coordinates for the intended drone operation. So a thorough preparation is necessary. The MNDF application form can be downloaded here and you can send it via email to [email protected]. A reader has received permission from the MNDF within five business days.

Once you have obtained approval from the property owner and the MNDF, you can apply for a permit from the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority (MCAA). In this form, you also have to give details about the intended drone flights. You can find the MCAA form here, and you can send it to [email protected].

We know from many other drone users that they were able to fly without difficulty in the Maldives without the permits. Be sure to respect the privacy of others. It is best to ask the staff and the people in the area before each start whether they agree with a short drone flight.

We have researched the listed drone regulations for the Maldives 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 the Maldive Islands!

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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 several drones like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ or the DJI Mini 3 Pro. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a drone. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!


  • Aadhu | 17.07.2017

    Drone use is allowed in Maldives, but there are several drone laws that need to be followed when flying in the country. Operators must ensure that they follow the following laws when flying in Maldives,

    Do not fly your drone over people or crowds of people
    Respect other peoples privacy when flying your drone
    Do not fly your drone near military installations, power plants, or any other area that could cause concern among local authorities
    Do not fly your drone near airports or in areas were aircraft are operating
    You must fly during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions

  • Tal | 25.10.2017

    Keep in mind that virtually every hotel in the Maldives is in fact an island, and most of them have sea-plane ports. This may be a restricting factor to drones.

  • Mariyam A | 06.03.2018

    The drone regulations are under the process of formulating.
    But at the moment, these are the procedures to follow:
    Step 1: Approval from the resort/hotel management, depending on the location
    Step 2: Permit from the Ministry of Defense and National Security of the Maldives (Link: http://www.defence.gov.mv/file.php?fileId=148)
    Step 3: Permit from the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority, (Note: You would require a copy of the Defense Permit for this application) Link: http://caa.gov.mv/beta003/downloads/caa_ad_05_application_for_permit_to_operate_model_aircrafts_lates_unmanned_balloons_parasails_gyrogliders/

    Tip 1: Due to the multiple floating platforms and simultaneous seaplane operations, the request for Drone operations must be submitted atleast 3-4 weeks ahead.

    Tip 2: Fill all the required sections of the form, including specific times and dates of operation (this is essential to issue NOTAMs to pilots and ATC, if the drone activities are held within a vicinity of a domestic/international Airport or a Seaplane platform

    • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

      Hi Mariyam,
      Thanks for this insights! I have updated the post.

  • Pierre | 18.04.2018

    Thanks for all this information.

    I sent a request for a permit with the template you mentionned to Defence Minister, will see the, hope it will be positive, i will keep you informed.

    I got the approval from the resort which is a goof 1st step….

    • Pierre | 01.05.2018

      It s ok I received the permit for the drone valid for one week as requested. Less than 10 days to get it approved.

      Need now to request to civil Maldives aviation the agreement for flying.

      I sent the permit request form with drone specification and the forecasted flying map done through Google earth.

    • Francis Markert | 29.06.2018

      Congratulations! 🙂

      • Nick | 01.04.2019

        Pierre ..how did you get on with all the permissions

        • Pierre | 09.04.2019

          Hi guy !

          I put here below the way to get it, i’m sorry it is in french as I posted it detailed on a french web site… I think with google you can translate easily. Tell me in case of problem 😉

          J’ai la chance de revenir d’un sejour aux Maldives ou j’avais décidé d’emmener mon drone. La réglementation est en train de changer la bas et desireux de respecter la réglementation locale, j’avais pris soin de faire le nécessaire pour opérer dans les régles et je vous donne donc toutes les informations si vous avez l’occasion de passer quelques jours au soleil Wink .

          Contrairement à ce qui est mentionné sur la toile, il y a des règles aux Maldives et désormais, il est nécessaire d’obtenir un permis de vol de la part du ministere de la defense, puis avec ce permis de vol faire ensuite une demande de vol auprès de l’aviation civile

          Il faut procéder dans l’ordre

          1- Demande du permis
          https://my-road.de/downloads/Malediven_DRONE PERMIT FORM-MNDF.pdf puis envoyer le doc complété à l’adresse suivante : [email protected]

          2 – Permis obtenu demander l’accord de vol auprés de la DGAC locale
          https://my-road.de/downloads/Malediven_DRONE PERMIT FORM-MCAA.pdf puis envoyer avec le permis validé à l’adresse suivante : [email protected]

          Le délai pour l’obtention du permis à été de 10 jours et pour l’aviation civile …. de 3 heures après envoi du formulaire, j’avais néanmoins relativement bien préparer mon dossier en ajoutant (voir PJ) un plan de vol ainsi que la fiche technique du drone (Mavic Pro) et bien le formulaire documenté. Pour ceux qui sont interressés les documents et lien sont en PJ.

          Je n’ai fait qu’un seul permis pour une semaine (Pas un par vol) en précisant “Daylight” dans les heures de vol

          A noter que la 1ere démarche à effectuer est de demander au Resort si les drones sont autorisés … En effet 95% les interdisent pour éviter les nuisances pour les clients et le respect de la vie privée (et oui aux Maldives 3/4 des salles de bain sont en extérieures, pas besoin de faire un dessin Wink )

          Si vous souhaitez plus d’info n’hésitez pas.

          PS #1: Batterie et drone en cabine et pour ceux qui prendrait la compagnie locale (hydravion ou vol domestique, les batteries sont également autorisées) dans un sac à Lipo individuel (3 batteries pour ma part)

          PS #2: Contrairement aux apparences il y a beaucoup de trafic aérien à basse altitude la bas à cause des hydravions, il est donc vivement recommandé de se renseigner des horaires de ceux qui arrivent sur le resort pour éviter de voler à ce moment là ….

          Permis du ministere et complement envoyé lors de la demande dans les liens ci dessous :

          Flight map –> https://drive.google.com/…/1bK7IlWFPo7GyX3SyyOX…/view…
          Drone Permit Maldives https://drive.google.com/…/1mh6NNR3L32WpOQqq7zV…/view…

          • Alejandro | 26.05.2019

            Thanks for the explanation. Could you upload the Google Drive links again? It can not be accessed. Thank you.

  • Jack | 18.06.2018

    Does anyone have experience with obtaining a general film permit from The National Centre for the Arts in conjunction with the above permits? Or have details of a local fixer who could help us procure these over the next few weeks?

  • Marc | 09.02.2019

    Took my mavic Air to kuredu resort in Jan 2019.
    Hotel requires you to sign a waiver at reception.
    You are not allowed to fly over the island, only over the reefs and lagoon.
    I took some fantastic footage from above the sand bank showing the whole island from 120m high

    • Guillermo | 12.04.2019

      Hi! Do you ask the permission from the Ministry of Defense and the Maldives Civil aviation? Or just from the Hotel?

  • DroneUser | 19.03.2019

    This is only required for commercial use not for recreational use.

    In case of recreational filming all you need is approval from the resort.

  • Miriam | 08.06.2019

    Pierre, can you please share with us your flight plan and also advice please from where to get the data sheet for the drone.
    Thank you.

  • Florian | 26.06.2019

    Approval only required for commercial flights. For recreational flights only approval from owner/resort is required.

  • Yordan | 04.12.2020

    @Florian are you sure about that? the link you provided is not valid anymore

  • Bashar AK | 16.02.2022

    Hi, can anyone suggest how to create the flight chart when we do not even know where exactly will we be flying the drone at our resort island. The chart is required for the permission.

  • Mariah | 08.10.2022

    Hi, I was wondering if you need to have all the permits before you enter the Maldives with your drone? I am applying a bit later than I should (I arrive 17 Oct.), but I am staying for one month. I have the DJI Mini 2 and only plan on flying at sandbars or beaches.

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