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Entering Thailand with a drone

You should have no problems entering Thailand with a drone. Security even stopped asking us to open our drone bags due to the increase in popularity, they’re well aware of what they are.

Your drone, and most importantly your batteries must be inside of your cabin baggage, they cannot be placed inside your checked luggage. Rapidly changing air pressure and temperature can make LiPo batteries unstable.

The number of batteries you can carry is based on watt-hours. IATA regulations state 3 classes of LiPo batteries and your rights to carry them in your checked luggage as follows:

Popular batteries for reference:

LiPo bags are necessary, though not enforced. We highly suggest you purchase one for your batteries and store them inside whilst at home and during travel. For extra safety, separate your batteries in different compartments or plastic bags so the possibility of a short circuit is zero.

Thai law

For the most part, common sense applies, but below is the important key points from a translated document on the CAAT website.

Note that these laws apply to drones up to 25kg for recreational use.

You can read the full document here.

Penalties

Registering your drone in Thailand

Note that there are two regulatory bodies:
– The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT)
– Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC)

Since 9th January 2018 Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) announced requirements to register your drone before operating it both for personal and commercial use.

CAAT drone registration information: https://www.caat.or.th/en/archives/27220

Buying a drone in Thailand

You have a variety of options to buy a drone in Thailand. Official resellers are appearing in cities around the country, as well as official stores.

In our experience, we found the best deal by going to a store which provides a VAT refund for tourists and then claiming that VAT back at the airport. Alternatively ask one of the resellers for a discount – they can be reluctant to give a discount when not paying in cash, because the product price is fixed by DJI, but we were able to secure a 7% discount.

A list of retailers can be found on the DJI Website: https://www.dji.com/where-to-buy


Have fun flying your drone in Thailand, but be aware of the laws that apply to you and try not to bother other people trying to enjoy their time outside, it gives us all a bad name đŸ™‚