It is allowed to fly a drone in Thailand. However, in 2017 new regulations came into force in Thailand and registration with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) is required if your drone is equipped with a camera or weighs more than 2 kg. For more details on the regulations visit CAAT’s website.
I’m in the middle of the registration process now as I heard that drones could be confiscated in Thailand, and according to CAAT’s website, “any act of violation is subjected to up to 1-year imprisonment or fined up to 40,000 baht or both”.
I don’t think it would go that far, but I’m not going to gamble on it.
Rawai Beach in Phuket captured with my drone before the new regulations.
In addition to the registration, you’ll need an insurance that covers damages of at least one million Baht. I got insurance through Drone Thai Insurance, and the cost for insurance category B is 3,000 baht plus a 1,500 baht insurance service fee. The company can also register your drone for another 1,500 baht if you don’t want to do it yourself. It sure is a boring expense, but if you really want to fly a drone in Thailand, you have to accept it.
Right now Drone Thai Insurance is getting tons of e-mail from foreign drone pilots, and they had to deactivate their facebook page temporarily. You can always contact them, but I’m not sure they can help you at the moment.
Drone permissions from CAAT via Drone Thai Insurance.
The registration process will take between two and three months. I will update this post once I have received the permission from CAAT.
Update 29 April: still not received the permission after 5 months! I ended up flying anyway as CAAT told me that it should be OK to show the paper with a stamp from CAAT that my registration is in process.