Latest Drone Laws in Malaysia

Planning to take your drone for a spin in Malaysia? Then this latest drone laws Malaysia guide I’ve compiled, is just for you! 

You might be an expert drone pilot, but rules are applicable to all.

The small but beautiful country of Malaysia is dotted with islands, forests, and mountains. Needless to say, a bird’s eye view of its landscape is a treat! 

But before you indulge in this experience, read the drone laws for ensuring a responsible flight.

Overview of Drone Regulations

The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia oversees the Malaysia drone regulations in the country. 

According to the official website, all drone flights are subjected to aviation legislation, namely Part XVI of Civil Aviation Regulations 2016 and the Aeronautical Information Circular 4/2008.

Following are the broad guidelines for drone operations:

  1.  There are four categories of drone operations in Malaysia. Depending on the category your drone flight is subject to, applicable approvals are needed before flying.

  2.  The airspace in Malaysia is divided into A, B, C, and G. While A, B, and C are controlled airspaces, G refers to uncontrolled airspace.

  3.  No pilot certification is needed for flying a drone for recreational purposes.

  4.  According to the Regulations, drones are categorized as:
  • Regulation 140 – Unmanned aircraft system
  • Regulation 141 – Aerial work involving unmanned aircraft system
  • Regulation 142 – Small unmanned aircraft
  • Regulation 143 – Small unmanned surveillance aircraft
  • Regulation 144 – Unmanned aircraft system of more than 20 kilograms

Types Of Approvals To Fly

There are four types of approvals to fly given by the Malaysian Aviation Authority. These are:

Standard Authorization to Fly

This is granted for low-risk drone operations such as recreational flying. 

  • Such flights must occur within 400ft AGL and be flown in Visual Line of Sight (VLOS). 

  • No tests are required to fly in this category but you must follow the Malaysia drone safety guidelines.

To obtain this authorization you have to fill in the application and mail it to drone.atf@caam.gov.my 14 days prior to your flight. 

The Malaysia drone legal requirements application needs details such as the particulars of the owner, UAS specifications, and details of the remote pilot.

Certificate of Approval

According to the drone operation rules Malaysia, only organizations need this approval.

It is given to any Remote Pilot Training Organisation (RPTO) enabling it to carry out competency training and evaluation for RCOC-B and its Modules. 

Agricultural UAS Operations under Unmanned Aerial Work Certificate (UAWC)

If you are flying drones in Malaysia for agricultural operations then this certification is required.

This includes dispensing any agricultural payload or engaging in surveillance activities pertaining to agriculture.

Commercial agricultural drone pilots need a remote pilot certificate attached to module 2 to fly. 

Special UAS Project (SUP) Approval

If you’re using a drone for carrying dangerous goods, R&D, or flying BVLOS, then you need this approval from CAAM. 

This is because such activities involve additional risks and therefore need commercial drone permits Malaysia. 

Drone Registration

In Malaysia, drone registration is only needed for drones weighing above 20kg (without fuel). 

Once the registration is granted, the drone operator must display the unique number on their drone.

Restricted areas and No-Fly Zones

As we’ve mentioned above, the Malaysian airspace has four flying zones, namely, A, B, C, and G, where G refers to uncontrolled airspace. 

The laws require all drones to fly within a height of 400 ft from the earth’s surface.

No drone flights are allowed within 5 nautical miles of an airport or aerodrome.

For security purposes, areas like Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), the Parliament, and Istana Negara are recognized as no-fly zones.

Additionally, you can’t fly any drone beyond the Visual-Line-of-Sight (VLOS) and in bad weather conditions such as rain.  

To fly in restricted drone area Malaysia, the CAAM must be notified in advance and prior permissions and permits obtained by the flyer.

Penalties for Violating Drone Laws

If you are caught violating the drone restrictions Malaysia then be prepared to pay a hefty penalty. 

For individuals, this sum can be up to fifty thousand ringgit or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years. Or both.

For organizations, the Malaysia drone penalties involve a fine of up to one hundred thousand ringgit. So, it is best to avoid flying in the No-fly zones Malaysia.

Conclusion

Irrespective of your flying skills, it is ideal for everyone to follow the drone regulations prevailing in the country.

In Malaysia, the drone laws for recreational flyers like you and me, are not very stringent.

So, when you fly in Malaysia ensure that you fly in approved areas and adhere to the latest drone legislation Malaysia.

FAQ

No, drone registration Malaysia or a pilot license is not required if you’re flying recreationally. However, if the flight is commercial then registration is mandatory.

Yes, there are restricted areas and no-fly zones in Malaysia. Flights near airports and government buildings are prohibited.

Penalties for drone law violations involve fines or imprisonment. For serious violations, you may incur both fine and imprisonment.

Yes. Drones for commercial and agricultural use require special approvals granted by the Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia (CAAM).

If you are seeking a Standard Authorization to Fly (ATF) then the application must be submitted at least 14 days before the scheduled flight.

Author
Diptesh Das

Diptesh Das is your friendly ‘content maniac’ and drone enthusiastic! Being passionate about content writing. He is a firm believer of the power of words and thereby ended up leveraging them to create an impact by sharing his drone knowledge and experiences.

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