Regulations On Drones & Other Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Regulations On Drones & Other Unmanned Aircraft Systems

With the recent rise in popularity of drones and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), there are growing concerns regarding the safety, privacy, and legal aspects of UAS operations. In response, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) has established a set of regulations regarding the usage of UAS. Be it for leisure, photography or surveillance purposes, you should familiarize yourself with these regulations, to operate your UAS safely and legally.

Source: medium.com

To fly your UAS, you do not need authorization. However, you must be satisfied that the flight can safely be made, and must maintain direct and unaided visual contact with the UAS to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures to avoid collision. Additionally, you must not cause or permit any article or animal to be dropped from the UAS (whether or not attached to a parachute).


Unmanned Aircraft Systems Categories

Source: droneblog 

Varying rules apply for different types of UAS. Which category does yours fall under?

(a) Small UAS

“An unmanned system, other than a balloon or kite, having a mass of not more than 20 kilograms without fuel, but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight.”

(b) Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft

“A small UAS equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition.”

(c) UAS of more than 20 kilograms



The CAAM states that, a person found guilty of breaching regulations may be subject to:

  • A fine not exceeding fifty thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both, where the person is an individual
  • A fine not exceeding one hundred thousand ringgit, where the person is a body corporate


Restricted Areas

Source: CREATIVE Safety Supply 

Apart from a hefty penalty, violation of restricted areas can bear serious consequences and safety threats to other aircraft. So, where are you not allowed to fly your UAS?

Unless authorized by the Director General, you are restricted from flying a UAS:

  • Within an aerodrome traffic zone
  • At a height of more than 400 feet above the surface of the earth
  • In Class A, B, C or G airspace (see below for details)

*IFR = Instrument Flight Rules

VFR = Visual Flight Rules


Mandatory Authorizations

Source: Birds Eye Drone Training

Certain uses of UAS require authorization from the Director General. Such uses include, but are not limited to:

  • Flying the UAS for aerial work purposes

“Aerial work means an aircraft operation in which an aircraft is used to provide specialized services in agriculture, construction, photography, surveying, observation and patrol, search and rescue, aerial advertisement and other similar activities.”

  • Flying a UAS of more than 20 kilograms (this category of UAS also needs to be registered and most obtain a Certificate of Airworthiness in order to fly)


Applicable Fees

To apply for authorization to fly, the following fees are applicable:

  • Unmanned aircraft system of more than 20 kilograms – RM1000
  • Small unmanned surveillance aircraft – RM250

For the application for authorization to fly unmanned aircraft system for aerial work purposes:

  • New application – RM800
  • Renewal – RM500 per year
  • Variation – RM250


Information obtained from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia may vary after the time of publishing. Please visit the official CAAM website (www.dca.gov.my) for the latest information.

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