Some Frequently Asked Questions about flying drones in Hong Kong. What you can do: what you cannot do.
Where Can I fly a drone in Hong Kong?
You can only fly drones in open spaces, away from congested areas, and at least 50 metres from people, vehicles and vessels. Obviously, you cannot fly near the airport, or any area where other manned aircraft may be operating (this includes Victoria Harbour, where there is often considerable helicopter traffic). You also cannot fly drones near sensitive areas like prisons, power stations or power lines, and Disneyland.
How high can I fly?
The current maximum height allowed for drone flying in Hong Kong is 300 ft, or 91m, above ground level.
How far away can I fly?
While many drones these days boast a range of several kilometres, in Hong Kong you must keep your drone in visual line of sight at all times. In practise, this means probably no more than 500 metres away from you.
Can I fly a drone at night?
Night flying is currently not permitted in Hong Kong. You can only operate a drone during daylight hours and in good weather conditions. You should also avoid flying your drone in strong winds. Check your drone’s specifications to find our what’s the maximum sustained wind speed for safe operation of your drone.
Also do not operate a drone in foggy conditions, or on high ground where you might be flying into cloud cover.
What’s the largest drone I can fly?
The current maximum weight limit for any drone flown in Hong Kong is 7kg. You cannot operate any drone that exceeds 7kg in total take-off weight (including its payload, usually a camera).
What if I need to fly a drone for a job or commercial purposes?
For commercial drone operations, you need to apply for a permit from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD). In order to get a permit, you will need to fill in a couple of forms, submit a flight plan with the date(s) you want to fly, show that you are an experienced competent pilot (that means showing you have some sort of pilot training or qualification), and that you have sufficient liability insurance cover.
More information and application forms can be found on the CAD website in English and Chinese.
You can be liable to prosecution if you recklessly or negligently cause or allow your drone to endanger another person or damage property in Hong Kong. Other Hong Kong laws, such as the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, should also be complied with. Using your drone for spying, following someone without their knowledge, or looking through someone’s windows could land you in trouble.