Latest Drone Laws in Vietnam

Flying your drone in Vietnam is attractive due to its breathtaking landscapes and rich culture.

However, the country is strict about operating your gadget within its borders. Thus, it’s essential to know the latest drone laws in Vietnam for legal and safe flights.

The current laws governing drone operations in Vietnam require you to obtain a license for the specific purpose of your flight. They also include no-fly-zones outlines and insurance requirements.

The CAAV (Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam) provides various regulations online that govern drone flying for fun and work. 

This article profoundly explains the legal status of drone flights in Vietnam. It’ll help you enjoy shooting fantastic aerial photos and videos within the law. 

Let’s dive in.

What Are the Latest Drone Laws in Vietnam?

According to the drone’s regulatory agency, CAAV, below are the latest regulations in Vietnam:

  • Obtain a special flight license for every flight you intend to conduct. So, you must apply to the Ministry of Defense via the Operations Bureau of the General Command Post 14 days before flight dates. 

  • Never fly banners or flags, release leaflets, or conduct propaganda-oriented activity during your flights.

  • Avoid launching, jetting, or shooting potentially harmful substances or objects with your drone.

  • During your flights, keep off sensitive areas such as government buildings and military bases.

  • Don’t carry explosives, flammable materials, or radioactive substances on your drone.

  • Don’t exceed the maximum altitude and weight of 492 feet and 26 lbs, respectively.

  • Always consult the local authorities before flying your drone in public spaces.

  • Don’t mount your drone with aerial equipment or shoot without a license.

  • Only fly your drone in good weather conditions during daylight hours.

  • Avoid violating other people’s privacy when using your drone.

  • Keep off airports and areas with ongoing aircraft operations.

  • Don’t fly your drone over crowded places or people.

What Is the Legal Landscape of Drone Flying in Vietnam?

The legal landscape of drone flying in the country includes the following:

  • Permissions and registration: Before operations, register your drone with CAAV and obtain the necessary approvals.

    The process, which involves providing your drone’s details, specifications, and personal information, is vital to your responsibility as a drone operator.

  • Insurance recommendations: Obtaining insurance coverage for your drone ensures its legal operation in the country and provides you with a sense of security.

    Some policies even offer liability coverage to operators in case of damage or accidents, further enhancing your protection.

  • No-fly zones: Identify and keep off the designated no-fly zones. These areas, including airports, government buildings, and military installations, are off-limits for drone operations. 

How Do I Obtain a Drone Permit in Vietnam?

You obtain a drone Permit in Vietnam by providing the required documents and following the correct procedures. Here is how:

  • Fill out and submit your application form to the Department of Operation (Office of General Staff) in the Ministry of National Defense.

    Do so 14 days before your flight. You can make modifications at least ten days before your flight.

  • Additionally, present the following support documents:
  • Passport, identity card, or citizen identification card — notarized photocopy required — of your representative.

    Also, you must submit a business registration certificate (with a notarized photocopy) if you’re applying as a company.

  • Your drone’s photo (color print and a minimum size of 18cm x 24cm).

  • A colored photo of your target flight area (use Google Maps).

Can I Bring My Drone to Vietnam?

Yes. You can bring your drone to Vietnam. Only register your device and get a permit for every flight you intend to take.

Also obtain authorization from the Ministry of Defense and follow the latest drone laws in the country. They may take up to three weeks to approve authorization.

Always fly away from all the no-fly zones, such as military and government facilities. Keep off China-bordering areas in Hà Giang and Cao Bằng.

You can complete the permit application form or ask an agency to assist you.

Self-Completed Application

It involves completing the form by filling in details regarding the following:

  • Flight coordination notification regulations
  • Your stay and drone category
  • Intended flight activities
  • Flight direction and trail
  • Flight supervision
  • Flight times

Submit your completed form to the Ministry of Defense.

Agency-Completed Application

You can hire a local company to help with your recreational permit application. The process takes seven working days.

Depending on the agency, you may spend $350 -$700 per daily flight. 

You can’t change days if the weather becomes stormy. So, you may end up overspending.

Note:

  • A permit’s approval is on a case-by-case basis, and the Department of Operation makes the choice.

  • The direct fee depends on your flying location, schedule, and drone type.

  • You must have a local friend who can recommend you for authorization.

  • An approval from the customs department is also a requirement.

Where Can I Fly a Drone in Vietnam?

You can fly your gadget in Hanoi, Saigon, Ban Gioc, Phu Quoc, Thuot, Dalat, Can Tho, Halong Bay, Buon Ma Danang, Hoi An, and more.

Hoi An is an ancient Vietnamese town with many aerial photography and videography sites.

Its street plan and buildings reflect the influence of indigenous and foreign trading ports. The filming sites include the following:

  • Tra Que vegetable village in the morning. Locals work in the fields before the tourists arrive.

    The beautiful alignment of the herb and vegetable fields creates spectacular images.

  • The river delta on the west side of Hoi An. It’s the widest part of this river, where you may find crossing fishing boats and substantial fishing nets that form a beautiful aerial scene.

  • Cua Dain and An Bang beaches during sunrise. The beach’s sunrise look is fantastic, plus the wooden umbrella and the Silhouette’s Cham islands at a distance.

  • The paddies and rice fields surrounding the town, especially the Cam Kim island.

Tips for Safe and Smooth Drone Flying in Vietnam:

Here are a few tips to ensure a safe and smooth drone flying experience in Vietnam.

  • Communication barrier: English isn’t standard in all Vietnam regions. Therefore, learning basic Vietnamese terms or using a translation app to communicate with the locals is crucial.

    It’s helpful when seeking assistance or flying permission in a particular place.

  • Weather patterns: The country’s weather is unpredictable. Hence, it’s advisable to check weather forecasts before your flight.

    Avoid flying in extreme conditions like strong winds or heavy rains.

  • Data protection: Be careful of where you store or share your footage. Avoid capturing sensitive information and respect privacy laws.

    Consider local regulations about the exportation of drone footage.

  • Battery capabilities: Consider your drone’s battery life, especially in the interior sites where charging may be challenging.

    Extra batteries and a portable charger offer an extended flight time.

  • Local etiquette and culture: Appreciate and respect people’s privacy and customs.

    Don’t fly your device over religious sites, crowded places, or private properties.

Conclusion

Vietnam is a drone-friendly country but very strict about the laws that govern drone operations within its borders. The Civil Aviation Authority is responsible for overseeing civil aviation in the country.

Our article provides a list of the latest drone laws in Vietnam to ensure your drone flights in the country are safe and legally binding. 

The laws require you to register your drone and obtain a license whenever you intend to fly your gadget. Foreigners must also obtain authorization from the Ministry of Defense.

It also shows how to obtain the license and requirements yourself or via an agency.

Further, you can contact CAAV using the contact details below for more needed support:

  • Email: tinbai@caa.gov.vn
  • Phone: (+84) 04-38722394, 069 533200, or 069 533105
  • Address: 1 Nguyen Tri Phuong street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi

FAQs

Yes, there is an altitude limit for drone flying in Vietnam. The law restricts drone flight altitude to a maximum of 492 meters, slightly higher than the 400 feet of the United States and many other nations. 

Yes, you can fly a drone in urban areas in Vietnam. You only need to get the specific area license by applying at least 14 days before your flight date.

However, you must be cautious about obstacles, people, and buildings. Keep a safe flying distance from crowded places. 

Yes, there’s a specific rule regarding drone operations near airports: You shouldn’t fly your drone within 5 kilometers from airports or airfields.

However, you can do so after obtaining an airspace authorization from the airport authority. Otherwise, you’ll attract severe fines.

The consequences of violating drone laws in Vietnam are fines, legal action, and drone confiscation.

For instance, an individual pilot’s failure to have adequate documents during flights can result in a fine between 1.000 VND and 2.000 VND.

An organization’s violators’ fine is 2.000 VND and above.

Yes, there are restrictions on the weight of drones flown in Vietnam. The maximum take-off weight is 7 kilograms.

If your drone’s weight exceeds this cap, you must get additional CAAV permits and approvals.

Author
Peter Karanja

Peter is a licensed drone pilot and drone fanatic. He owns a DJI Air 2S that he uses to shoot videos for fun, enjoyment and for clients.

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