If you look for information about how to get a drone licence in Pakistan, you are going to get a little bit confused. The country doesn’t have a legislation on drone use that would be applied in all regions, except for some general rules. There are particular regulations in each federal territory, so you have to do your research well not to end up in trouble. Though we’ll not analyze each region, we will try to make you familiar with the most important aspects of using a drone in Pakistan that every tourist should know before beginning his/her journey across the Pakistani sky.
Is drone licence required in Pakistan?
Pakistan doesn’t have a regulation that makes all drone users to hold a drone licence. A permit is required only in case of commercial flights, while civil flights may be conducted without having a document issued by authorities. The types of commercial flights that fall under the requirement of having a licence include: inspections, wildlife research, event shooting, advertisment shooting, crop monitoring, construction site assessment and so on. If you intend to do one of these activities, you need to get a permit from the Civil Aviation Authority that you will be able to use for more flights.
Now, even if you don’t need a permit to conduct civil flights, you will still need to get permission from the local authorities of some territories. In some autonomous administrative units in the north there is a blanket ban for using drones. You will also need to request permission to fly your aircraft in the Allabad and Hunza regions as well as in Gilgit-Baltistan, which is the northernmost part of the Kashmir autonomous territory. So, if you get ready for a civil flight, you are better off checking out the regulations of the province or city where you intend to conduct the maneuvers. Any unauthorized flight in the above mentioned areas will be perceived as a national threat by the security agencies and your plane will be either shot down or you will get a fine.
Is it legal to import a drone in Pakistan?
After getting everything straight about drone licence, and finding out that flying a drone is allowed in some regions of Pakistan, you may want to know how to get a drone in this country. Well, when starting talking about buying a drone in Pakistan, things are getting complicated again. The point is that Pakistan forbids civilians to import drones since they may be equipped with spying systems. Foreigners are also not allowed to bring a drone in the country, for the same reason. There is only one legal way you can get a drone from abroad. Whether you are a Pakistani resident or a foreign tourist, you have to contact the drone dealer in Pakistan and ask them to sign a NOC, which will be presented at the customs upon drone’s arrival.
If you don’t want to get involved in the complicated process of purchasing or bringing a drone from abroad, you can order it in a local shop. There isn’t as much paperwork and you will get your aircraft in just some minutes.
General Rules of flying a drone in Pakistan
Provinces of Pakistan enjoy a certain degree of freedom in regulating drone flying on their territory. However, there is a list of general rules that each province must implement.
1. Don’t let the drone out of your sight
The pilot must not lose sight of the drone. He may let it depart only at a distance that allows him see it and control its movement.
2. Pilot only during day
Flying a drone during night hours is forbidden in Pakistan. Your attempt to conduct night maneuvers will be met with a fine.
3. Don’t fly near crowded places
Flying over densely populated areas or crowded places, such as: schools and parks is illegal in Pakistan as a crash may injure people and damage properties.
4. Avoid airports
Airports are a dangerous place to perform drone maneuvers. In Pakistan, you have to keep the drone 4 miles away from airports.
All in all, while Pakistan implements the common rules for flying a drone, met in all countries, it has still some other regulations and limitations that every tourist should know about when arriving in the country. Drone licence is a must for commercial flights while civil flights are relieved of this obligation. However, some regions forbid drones. This is why, you have to be vigilant and do your research carefully before launching your aircraft, even if you are going to have a civil flight.