Are Drones Allowed in Sri Lanka? (Drone Laws in Sri Lanka 2024)

Can you bring a drone to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has breathtaking destinations. Those destinations include natural wonders, cultural heritage, and, most popularly, loving people.

The history of the world can be shown in Sri Lanka. So the question of today’s article is can you make videos of Sri Lanka with your drone?

Are drones allowed in sri lanka?

Yes, you are allowed to bring your drone to Sri Lanka. According to the official authorities, you can fly your drone in Sri Lanka based on size. You will also need to follow all of the rules and are required to get specific permits for your drone.

So many other questions are most important to be answered about drones in Sri Lanka. I replied in this article, no need to look elsewhere. Just keep reading.

Who controls drone rules in Sri Lanka?

The CAASL(Civil Aviation Authority Sri Lanka) manages all of the drone rules in Sri Lanka.

Other departments are also included in operating the drone rules and flying guides, including the Ministry of Defence, the Telecommunication regulatory commission of Sri Lanka, and the import-export control department.

If you are a professional or a hobbyist drone pilot and your drone has the sensors, cameras, and other data-collision sensors and your drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds. You need to contact the CAASL and register your drone in Sri Lanka.

Drones are legally allowed to fly, but the civil aviation authority CAASL has settled some drone rules that a drone pilot must follow to fly a drone in Sri Lanka.

Photo of Sigiriya rock in Sri Lanka

Contact CAASL or visit their office for drone approval.

Are drones allowed in sri lanka?

Bringing a drone to Sri Lanka is possible; you only need to follow the guidelines that the authorities will tell you. As I said, if your drone has some cameras or data collision sensors, you must register it with that CAASL authority.

You will also need approval for bringing a drone to Sri Lanka from the ministry of defense, the Telecommunication regulatory commission, the civil aviation authority, and the import-export department.

Remember, these authorities are responsible for bringing your drone to Sri Lanka. The source that controls drone rules is the CAASL only.

No matter what aspect we discuss, Sri Lanka is perfect for everything. Suppose we talk about the cuisine. It’s delicious. Places and destinations are stunning, and the people are very loving and caring.

A place in Sri Lanka

So as there is so much in Sri Lanka, there should be something that makes safety the priority, which is why there are some drone rules in Sri Lanka.

These rules are the only way to protect Sri Lanka; you should follow them because they will keep you and Sri Lanka safe.

What are the drone rules in Sri Lanka?

Following well-defined rules is crucial. Now let’s unpack them.

The first and most important rule is registering your drone with the CAASL authority. Email the CAASL and tell them about your drone flight to register the drone.

Most drones now have different kinds of sensors installed in them. If yours also has, then before taking off in Sri Lanka, you will need to get authorization from the local police station.

This rule is for the people who still need to register their drones with CAASL.

If you have already registered your drone with CAASL, you do not need to ask permission from the local police.

Colombo, Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, when you are flying your drone, you might see signs at specific places saying you are not allowed to fly there. You will see those signs in your drone flying app.

You must follow those signs and land your drone as soon as possible. These places include airports, historical sites, government-related places, and scarce places.

In Sri Lanka, keep your drone in sight and fly it at a maximum speed of 100 mph. If you are flying a drone in Sri Lanka, ensure you are not flying it over any vehicle.

Rules are crucial for drone pilots. Avoid flying in the dark or when visibility is poor. If you are traveling by airline, you must also follow the rules.

Do not fly your drone over people or gatherings. Please, keep your drone within limits and do not fly them over buildings, and please maintain privacy. It would help if you did not fly your drone more than 150 feet.

amazing view
Sunset in Sri Lanka

READ MORE: Can you fly a drone in Vietnam?

What are the different categories of drones in Sri Lanka?

It is the most critical question for drone operators because you need to know the category of your drone to avoid making so many mistakes and getting yourself in trouble.

There are four drone categories that you need to know.

Drone Category A: If you have a more prominent drone with more weight than 55 pounds, then it is essential to register it with the CAASL.

These kinds of drones have different features, like cameras and sensors. To fly this drone, you must also pass the competency check.

This competency check is temporary and is specifically for foreigners. Your age should be at least 18 years, so you must pass some additional registration.

Sri Lanka

After registration, the CAASL will provide you the stamp you will need to paste on your drone, telling everything to the person who found it if your drone gets lost or crashes in Sri Lanka.

Drone Category B: Some drones are more than 2 pounds and less than 55 pounds in this category. To properly fly this category drone, you must still get the permit and register it. 

Drone Category C: If your drone weighs more than 0.44 pounds and less than 2.2 pounds, you must get the permits and register it.

Drone Category D: Some drones weigh less than 0.44 pounds in this category. These drones do not need to get registration or any permits.

You can fly them wherever you want. In this category, drones are just made to fly, not to film or do videography and photography.

What are the drone rules for recreational and commercial drone pilots in Sri Lanka?

According to the authorities, recreational drone pilots do not need to get authorization but must follow the rules. The first rule for them is if their drone does have a camera, then their drone footage should not earn anything.

are drones allowed in sri lanka
Sri Lankan elephants

Because if the drone footage earns something, it will not be recreational and commercial drone piloting. So if you fly your drone as a recreational drone pilot and sell the videos or photos, you will be in trouble.

For commercial videos with a small camera drone, register and obtain permission.

Some rules and regulations exist for recreational and commercial drone pilots in Sri Lanka. For recreational and commercial drone pilots, the speed should always remain at 87 knots, and the maximum flight altitude should be 45 meters.

You should be aware of your surroundings and the visual line of sight with your drone. You cannot fly your drone from or over a moving object or vehicle.

are drones allowed in sri lanka
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Commercial drone pilots must register their drones under the correct category and adhere to any new requirements.

READ MORE: Can you fly a drone in Colombia?

How to register a drone in Sri Lanka?

To register your drone in Sri Lanka, you will need to fill out a specific form which you can find here and fill it up. After filling up the form, you must press the submit button and be ready to wait. 

Filling out the form and flying the drone is free, but it doesn’t mean you will get the approval quickly. Request processing requires time. Kindly be patient.

Follow CAASL guidelines for safe and responsible drone operation.

Now a better understanding of the drone rules of Sri Lanka can be done this time, so as you get the approval, you will be ready.

are drones allowed in sri lanka
Train in Sri Lanka

To understand the better and the drone rules of Sri Lanka, you will need to visit the official website of the CAASL authority.

Now, if we talk about the most critical documentation or the identity documents you should have, they are in the image below. This image is from the official CAASL drone registration form.

are drones allowed in sri lanka
The image of the form

What are the different drone permits that you will need to get?

Before you plan to visit Sri Lanka and are a drone pilot or want to fly your drone there, please make sure that you are well known about the drone rules.

One of the essential rules is getting the proper permits. Before coming to Sri Lanka, you must get them from the ministry of defense.

You will need to provide everything about your drone just like you will do in the form of CAASL.

After some days or weeks, or it can be days, you will get approval from the ministry of defense. Now you will need to contact the telecommunication regulatory commission authority.

Ask their permission to give you the authority to fly a drone in Sri Lanka. After this clearance, you will need to get the license from the customs of Sri Lanka, which is easy to get.

After then, you are free, and nobody will ask why you are flying your drone in Sri Lanka.

are drones allowed in sri lanka
Masks in Sri Lanka

What are the beautiful places in Sri Lanka to shoot with drones?

Sri Lanka is home to many beautiful locations ideal for drone photography.

Some popular drone photography spots in Sri Lanka include the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Ella Rock, Adam’s Peak, Nine Arches Bridge, Horton Plains National Park, and the beaches on the southern coast such as Unawatuna, Mirissa, and Hikkaduwa.

Drone photography captures stunning aerial views, but follow CAASL regulations for safety and legality.

are drones allowed in sri lanka
Natural beauty in Sri Lanka

Important FAQs

Do I need permission to fly a drone in Sri Lanka?

Obtain required permissions from MOD, CAASL, TRCSL, and Import Export Control Department to import a drone to Sri Lanka.

Do I need to register my drone in Sri Lanka?

Yes, all drones must be registered in Sri Lanka, and any drone over 1 kg (2.2 lb) will need permission for each flight. Sri Lankan citizens apply for regular registration, non-citizens for Temporary Registration.

Do toy drones need to be registered in Sri Lanka?

Yes, all drones, including toy drones, must be registered in Sri Lanka. For drones under 250g, no permit required for flying.

Can I fly my drone anywhere in Sri Lanka?

No, there are several restricted areas where flying a drone is prohibited, such as archaeological sites, communication towers, electrical lines, highways, national parks, railways, and religious sites.
It is essential to check the local regulations and obtain the necessary permits before flying your drone.

How can I check if my drone is registered in Sri Lanka?

Verify drone registration on CAASL website. Unregistered drone? Apply for registration and permits prior to flying.

What courses are available at the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka for drone pilots?

CAASL mandates a competency test for drone pilots in Sri Lanka.
The CAASL also provides a Remote Pilot Licence course, which covers the rules and regulations for flying a drone and practical training on operating a drone safely.

Can I fly my drone in Sri Lanka without passing the competency test?

No, passing the competency test is mandatory for anyone who wants to operate a drone in Sri Lanka. You must pass the test through either the CAASL or a third party that Sri Lanka approves.

are drones allowed in sri lanka
A trendy beach in Sri Lanka

Final Thoughts

Drone pilots can fly in beautiful Sri Lanka. If drones are permitted in Sri Lanka, you must also follow all the drone rules that Sri Lanka asks you to follow. Please remember the rules all the time.

If you have any other queries: Can you bring a drone to Sri Lanka? Comment your questions, I’ll respond promptly.

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