Drone

As per section 66(1) of Civil Aviation Act of Bhutan 2016, the use/operation of unmanned aircraft system (drone) is regulated via Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Regulation published on 2017. As per this regulation, the use of drone is permitted only for government organisation and for government purposes.

The regulation can be accessed via the this link – UAS Regulations 2017

Related Form

  1. Drone Registration Form
  2. Drone Operation Permit Form
  3. Undertaking Form

Drone FAQ

As per the section 4.12.1.1 (f) of UAS regulation 2017, the use of drone shall be permitted only for government organisation. Therefore, private entities are not allowed to own or operate drone in the airspace of Bhutan.
The drone operator is required to obtain an import permit from BCAA before bringing the drone into the country. Once the drone is received, it must be registered with the BCAA. Finally, an operation permit must be secured before each use of the drone.
The applicant need to send an application to BCAA requesting for import of drone. The application letter need to clearly mention the make/manufacturer of the drone along with its Maximum Take-off Mass (MTOM) and its use cases for the applicant's organization. The applicant need to ensure that the drone MTOM is less than 25 kg in line with the section 4.12.1.1 (a) of the UAS regulation 2017.
As per the section 4.12.5 of UAS regulation 2017, every lawfully entitled drone must be registered with BCAA irrespective of its weight or recording capabilites.
The applicant need to submit the following for registration of drone;
  1. Forwarding Letter
  2. Drone Registration Form
  3. Picture of drone serial number
  4. Copy of the receipt for the payment of drone registration fee (Nu.1000 each for the drone + Nu. 500 application review fee)
The applicant need to submit the following to obtain a drone operation permit;
  1. Forwarding Letter
  2. Drone Operation Permit Form
  3. Undertaking Form
  4. Drone Pilot Licence/Certificate of Competency
  5. Clearance for radio frequency spectrum for C2 link from BICMA
  6. Clearance from relevant agency, if the area of operation falls under the Appendix 5 Prohibited Areas.
  7. Copy of receipt of payment of drone operation permit fee.
No, as for now BCAA does not issue drone pilot licence/certificate. However, foreign licence or training certificate may be accepted upon assessment.
The application need to be accompanied with clearance from following agencies;
  • Clearance from Department of Culture and Dzongkha Development if the area involves heritage and archaeological sites.
  • Clearance from Department of Forest and Park Services if the area involves protected area of nature and wildlife sanctuaries.
  • Clearance from Royal Bhutan Army if the area falls under the 'No Fly Zone'¬† of RBA.
  • Other clearance as recommended by BCAA.
UA Operation Permit Fees;
  • One to three weeks: Nu. 2000
  • One to two months: Nu. 4000
  • More than two months and less than six months: Nu. 6000
  • Application review fee: Nu. 500
For payment of the fees and charges, please contact Paro Cluster Finance Services at cfsparo@mof.gov.bt or whatsapp 77989320.
Yes, the penalties for violating the UAS regulation can be found in section 4.12.21 of the regulation.
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