Can You Fly A Drone In Maldives? (Drone Laws in the Maldives)

Last Updated On December 02, 2022

Yes, you can fly a drone in the Maldives; however, aerial filming through drones is limited.

When you're on a fascinating vacation, you'll undoubtedly want to document all of the beautiful moments of your adventure and exploration. While in the Maldives, you can do so with certain restrictions. This is due to the large number of planes transporting visitors at the same time, other excursions such as various floating platforms, and the risk that unregulated drone usage could bring to these activities.

Stunning white-sand beaches and an amazing underwater world make Maldives an obvious choice for a true holiday of a lifetime.

Photo by Jailam Rashad on Unsplash 

And many travelers pay a premium to enjoy serenity privately and unwind themselves to a relaxing time. Because many resorts feature open toilets and private pools and jacuzzis, a drone buzzing overhead would be inconvenient and an invasion of privacy. As a result of these factors, a few islands and many resorts prohibit drone operations. In contrast, others allow them to preserve tourists' peace and calm under careful supervision.

General Rules for Flying a Drone in the Maldives

To operate a drone in the Maldives, you must first receive permission from the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF). Then you need to get a  permit from the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority (MCAA). More information about the approval process can be found in the section below.

  1. Only fly during daylight hours and in excellent weather.
  2. Fly no higher than 400 feet above ground level.
  3. Flying over humans is not permitted.
  4. Do not fly near military installations, power plants, or any other place where local authorities could be concerned.
  5. Do not fly near airports or in places where planes are taking off or landing.

Permit Requirements for Flying a Drone in the Maldives

Yes, to shoot stunning aerial photographs of your Maldives vacation, you must first seek permission from the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and a permit from the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority (MCAA). Additionally, the hotel or island where you will be filming may require approval for the use of drones.

Furthermore, you should be aware that not all requests for drone use are accepted and that the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority's standards are severely enforced. Because the approval procedure could take a long time, it is best to submit your request for drone operations at least a month before your visit.

How to get permission to Fly a Drone in the Maldives?

The first step is to seek permission from the hotel or the local island council, as many resorts forbid the use of drones because they endanger guests' privacy.

The following step is optional, depending on the goal of the drone's use. If commercial filming is planned, the National Center for the Arts (NCA) must be consulted. The NCA's clearance is not required if the goal of the filming is recreation.

While gaining approval from the hotel/local island council, you can also complete this application form and email it to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) ([email protected] to obtain their approval.

A Maldives Civil Aviation Authority (MCAA) permit is required as the last stage. Send this application form and a copy of the MNDF's defense permission to [email protected].

Drone Laws in the Maldives

The Maldives places a high value on the proper usage of drones to protect travelers' privacy and safety. As a result, the use of these devices is governed by resort management and related authorities, who make each choice based on individual needs, and these laws may range from island to island or resort to resort.

However, conventional laws state that drones must not be flown over people, near military installations, power plants, airports, or more than 400 feet above the ground. Furthermore, you may be asked to only fly the drone during daylight hours and in excellent weather.

Due to the Maldives' unusual geographical layout, including many islands and airports, users of drones must check the airport map and the relevant instructions on the official Maldives drone regulations website to verify that they are not infringing any rules.