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Best Place Where to Fly Drones in the Philippines

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

The use of drones to take captivating bird’s eye view perspectives of cities and provinces has become a very popular activity and has become a new go-to tool for many aspiring photographers. While most of us would love to travel to the many tourist destinations across the Philippines and immediately take aerial snapshots, we cannot instantly do that without first considering if a place allows for drone use and if you have the proper documentation if you are flying said drones for commercial use. These are some considerations on how to choose locations where to fly drones in the Philippines.

No drones near airports

It is common knowledge that flying drones in airports is considered a big no-no. One big reason this is so is simply due to security reasons. It has been said that drones were first introduced by the military and that they could be considered a robotic tool for war. Simply put, the humble drone that you brought to a tourist attraction near the airport might cause red flags for the airport and security might confiscate your drone, thinking it is a potential bomb-scare.

Interference with technology

Some places have delicate pieces of technology that can cause problems for the neighboring area or even your drone. The drone may cause malfunctions and interference with the local telecommunications towers within the area, so flying within areas with cellular towers may be prohibited.

Wildlife in jeopardy

You may think that taking photographs of your favorite wild animal via drones would be a good idea since you aren’t going near the animals. Although you may be safe and sound taking photographs, you may just have interfered with nature. Drones can spook animals very easily, causing predators to not catch their prey that you carelessly spooked.

Best Place Where to Fly Drones in the Philippines
Coron, Philippines — Photo by Leon Macapagal from Pexels

Not all places allow for drones

One of the big reasons why you should check with the local authorities first before you decide to take your drone out for a spin in their areas. Some locations need you to carry a permit in order to simply bring your drone, let alone fly one if your drone weighs more than 7kg, which classifies it as a commercial drone. Some places will be lenient with you and only need for you to ask permission from the local guards and law enforcement. Be sure to respect the no-fly zones because those areas may be high-security areas and need privacy.

Hospitals, Fire Stations, and their respective emergency vehicles

It should be common knowledge that drones must not operate around emergency response vehicles. This is simply because they can potentially interfere with the radio and communication signals of the vehicles. Every moment those vehicles get delayed, a life may potentially be lost, so if you are flying a drone within their vicinity, shut it off or move to a different location.

Populated areas are no-fly zones

Most populated areas are considered no-fly zones simply because they can be considered as an invasion of privacy. You cannot fly a drone in the majority of residential areas because you could accidentally take sensitive photos of other people. Schools are another place that you cannot fly drones at unless the school themselves allow for it during their events.

Where to Fly Drones in the Philippines

RegionMunicipality/CitySiteAllowedNotes
NCRManilaLunetaNoNo-Fly Zone due to Government buildings. Can as for permission.
IntramurosYesRequires Permit
MakatiMakati CBDNoTakaw fly-away
No-Fly Zone
TaguigBGCNoTakaw fly-away
No-Fly Zone
Quezon CityQC CircleNoAsk for permission.
Requires CAAP License
WildlifeNoAsk for permission.
Requires CAAP License
Neopolitan, FairviewYes
UP DilimanNoAsk for permission
MarikinaTumana
(Sta. Lucia Acropolis)
Yes
Marikina RiverYes
PasayPasayNo
SucatSucatNo
AntiqueSan RemigioAningalanYes
BenguetBaguio CityWhole Baguio CityNoPermit needed.
No-Fly Zone
BicolAlbayCoastal AreasYes
Camarines SurFarm and Coastal AreasYes
Naga CityPacol AreaYes
CALABARZONRizal/RodriguezRodriguesYes
Batangas/LemeryFantasy WorldYesPhp 500 Fee
Batangas/TagaytayTagaytay People’s ParkYes
Twin LakesNo
Lake HotelNo
Taal VistaNo
EscalaNo
Starbucks Leslie’sYesPaalam sa Guard
CrosswindsNo
SkyranchYesHuwag ipasok.
Multa Php 10,000
CagayanTuguegaraoTuguegaraoNo
Central LuzonBataanOraniYesIngat sa tanod
Morong
(Beach Area)
Yes
Mariveles
(Camaya Coast)
No
Las Casas (Bagac)Yes
AuroraBaler, SabangYesStrong winds
BalerYes
DingalanYesStrong winds
TarlacSan Jose
Monesterio de Tarlac
Yes
Central VisayasBoholBoholYesBefore 8am. Ask the guards.
DumagueteManjuyod
Sand Bar
Yes
IlocosLa UnionBeach AreYes
ViganViganYes
PangasinanTayug/Sunflower MazeYes
Laoag CityLaoag CityNo
MIMAROPAPalawanCoron TownYes
IslandsYes
Amanpulo ResortNo
Oriental MindoroPuerto Galera White BeachYes
Quezon ProvinceLucbanKamay ni HesusYesAsk for permission
Western VisayasAklanBoracayYesPhp 2,500 Fee
Special thanks to Rob Panis of Drones Club Philippines from the Facebook community group.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to get a license if I want to fly a drone in the Philippines?

Flying a drone as a pastime or hobby does not need certification. It’s considered non-commercial usage when flying, taking photographs, and filming films for your personal blog or YouTube channel.

Section 11 of the latest Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (PCAR) says you don’t need any RPA certificate as long you follow these rules:

– Maximum flight altitude or height of 400 feet or approximately 122 meters
– Must always have a visual line of sight (do not go behind that blocks your view)
– Drone must weigh 7kg or less (common models like the DJI Mavic Mini)
– Keep your drone at least 30 meters or 98 feet from other people
– Not allowed near emergency situations (ex: fires)
– Not allowed during nighttime (fly in daylight hours only)
– Not allowed in populated areas (malls, schools, etc.)
– Not allowed in restricted airspace (10km from airports, government/military buildings)
– Respect private property and follow the rules set by the owner.

What is the certificate/document issued by CAAP?

The certificate that you can get from CAAP here is as follows: RPAS Controller Certificate, RPAS Registration Certificate, RPAS Operator Certificate, and Flight Permit.

Where can I find Drone / UAV Rules and Regulation?

For RPAS / UAV Requirements, you can download the form here: https://caap.gov.ph/forms/. You can also watch the video requirements here: https://youtu.be/va3I4S7HgDg

Can I get penalized for violating drone safety regulations?

Yes. You may be fined anywhere between P20,000 and P100,000 for each violation of CAAP rules, even if you are only doing it as a hobby or recreationally.

Conclusion

No matter what place you choose to go to, take the time to ask the law enforcers whether or not you can fly your drone within their areas. It will save you the time and effort to go to a specific area with the hopes of taking beautiful aerial photos and videos for your portfolio, only to be rejected by the locals. It is better to be informed than not, and most of the time, if you ask properly from the officials, they may even grant you special permission to do so even if you are normally not allowed to do so.

For more information, visit www.caap.gov.ph. You can also contact them at +632-8944-2030 if you have any other inquiries. You can also keep in touch with them through their Facebook fan page at https://www.facebook.com/caaphilippines.

Please let us know in the comment if you have any other information that can help our fellow Filipino drone users on where to fly drones in the Philippines.


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