In this article, I’ll tell you which rules apply to drone pilots in Nepal.
In Nepal, you need an approval from the civil aviation authority when taking aerial photographs. However, according to the experience of several readers, this permission is rarely granted to foreigners. Those flying illegally risk arrest or massive fines. That’s why I advise against starting your drone without permission.
If you manage to obtain a permit from the aviation authority, the following rules apply.
Maximum flight altitude: The maximum allowed flight altitude is 120 meters (= 400 feet) in Nepal.
Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: All flight operations must be in sight. A horizontal distance of 500 meters (= 1650 feet) is given as a guideline.
Compulsory insurance: Even if it is not stipulated, you should take out personal liability insurance for drones.
Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): Up to a weight of 2 kilograms, drones are allowed to fly on private land without permission. With a take-off weight of more than 7 kilograms, the maximum flight altitude is 200 feet (60 meters). Drones may weigh up to 20 kilograms.
Distance to airports: Unfortunately, I have not found a specific guideline, but you should keep several kilometers distance from airports.
Other safe distances: As I understand, drones with a camera are classified as Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft, for which specific minimum distances (150 meters to crowds, 50 meters to buildings and vehicles) must be observed.
Flight bans: I do not know any particular flight bans for drones in Nepal.
Flight approval: In Nepal, the flying of a drone is permitted in principle, but you must apply for an authorization from the Civil Aviation Authority Nepal (CAAN) if you want to make film recordings.
Time of operations: In Nepal, drones may be operated only during the day.
Specific regulations: Because of the high location, the air is very thin. Not all drones can fly at these heights. Before your Nepal trip, I would check if your drone can operate in these regions.
Regulations for commercial pilots: Commercial copter users need permission from the authorities.
Good to know: I would be susceptible at Hindu temples because Hindus often do not like that other believers see certain parts of their temples. Ask beforehand!
Helpful links: Directive of the CAAN, statements about the approval process
We have researched the listed drone regulations for Nepal 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 Nepal!