Bali is an iconic tourist destination. Each year, millions of international visitors flock to this Indonesian island to experience its turquoise waters, black sand beaches, and soaring mountain peaks.
If you’re planning a trip, you may want to bring your drone along to capture the stunning scenery. But before you pack your bags, you need to know if Bali allows drones.
Drones are allowed in Bali, and most hobbyists don’t need a permit to fly them. However, if your drone exceeds the maximum allowed weight of two kilograms, you will need to apply for a permit from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. You will also need to apply for a permit if you plan on using the drone for commercial purposes.
Continue reading to learn more about the local laws that govern drones in Bali. I will also provide insight into how to travel to Indonesia with your drone.
General rules for flying a drone in Bali
The general rules for flying a drone in Bali are fairly similar to the rules you’ll encounter in the US. These regulations ensure the safety of both the drone pilot and others.
Here are the basic rules for flying a drone in Bali:
- Fly below 490 feet (150 meters) – If you want to fly over 150 meters, you must request special permission from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation at least 14 working days before the scheduled flight.
- Don’t fly within 9.32 miles (15km) of an airport – Drone flights are only permitted in uncontrolled airspace.
- Stay away from populated areas – Do not fly your drone within 98 feet (30 meters) of crowds. This is a safety precaution.
- Fly only when the sun is visible – In Bali, laws prohibit flying at night or in inclement weather. Minimum visibility of roughly 3 miles (4.8km) is required.
- Stay away from prohibited areas – Keep at least .31 miles (500 meters) between the drone and prohibited areas like military bases, government offices, and police stations.
- Do not exceed 100 miles per hour (161 km per hour) – This is a general safety precaution.
All individuals flying a drone in Bali must be 18 years or older. However, if your drone weighs between two and 25 pounds, you will need to be at least 20 years old.
Flying a drone near temples in Bali
Home to more than 10,000 temples, Bali is a very sacred place. As a visitor, you must respect the local culture by asking for permission to fly near these temples.
Some temples have a strict no-drone policy, while others will allow you to fly in exchange for a small donation. To avoid any misunderstandings, always ask before flying.
Flying drones during the Bali Kite Festival
Another unique cultural consideration is the Bali Kite Festival. Hosted each year sometime between July and October (exact dates depend on weather conditions), this festival is an international event that draws thousands of visitors.
The Balinese people believe flying kites is a way to send messages to the gods. As such, the kites are painstakingly crafted by hand.
Though you may be tempted to capture photos or videos of this event, it’s best to avoid flying your drone during the Bali Kite Festival. Your drone could become entangled in the ropes of a kite, causing damage to your machine.
Do I need a permit to fly a drone in Bali?
In Indonesia, there are two categories of drones:
Category 1: For hobby and recreational purposes
Drones in this category require no prior permission as long as they weigh less than two kilograms.
If your drone weighs more than two kilograms, you will need to apply for a permit from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
Category 2: For commercial purposes
Drones in this category are for professional use. For example, a film crew may use a drone to capture B-roll for a movie.
If you want to fly a drone for commercial purposes, you will need to apply for a permit from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. You will also need an insurance policy to cover your commercial activities.
How to apply for a drone permit in Bali
To apply for a drone permit in Bali, you will need to contact the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, a division of the Ministry of Transport.
You can reach out to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation at:
Phone: (+62) 8 111004222
To receive your permit, you will need:
- Valid insurance coverage
- Purpose of your flights, coordinates of where you will be flying, and when
- Drone information
- Pilot license (optional but recommended)
If you are applying to fly a drone for commercial purposes, it may be helpful to include a letter from your client explaining the nature of the project.
Penalties for breaching drone rules and regulations in Bali
If you fail to follow the laws specified by the Indonesian government, you could face certain penalties. These penalties may include fines, jail time, or a combination of the two.
Typically, the most common penalties for breaching drone conduct in Bali are:
- Flying in a restricted area without permission: Up to $72,000
- Flying in a prohibited area: Up to $360,000
- Harming people or property: Up to $720,000
Always review rules and regulations before flying a drone in Bali to avoid these sanctions.
How to bring your drone on a plane to Bali
When bringing a drone to Bali, airlines are less concerned about the drone itself and more concerned about the lithium batteries powering the device.
Since lithium batteries are flammable, airlines have established strict regulations about how these products should be transported.
- Qatar Airways allows passengers to carry up to 15 electronic devices containing lithium-ion batteries. However, the watt-hour rating should not exceed 100.
- AirAsia requires that the device’s batteries be removed, if possible.
- Singapore Airlines forbids all lithium batteries.
To be safe, always check with your specific airline before boarding. Other tips include:
- Bring the drone in your carry-on luggage.
- Use a battery protector.
- Drain the battery before your flight.
How to bring a drone through customs in Bali
There are no restrictions to bringing a drone through customs in Bali. You will not encounter any issues if your import is legitimate.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (link)