Do I need a drone license in the Philippines to shoot videos for my blog and Youtube channel?

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Do I need a drone license in the Philippines to shoot videos for my blog and Youtube channel?
Category: Philippine Drone Industry News

Do I need a drone license in the Philippines to shoot videos for my blog and Youtube channel?

Drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are now so popular that you’ve probably seen people post drone photos on their blogs or watched aerial videos on your Facebook feed.

But is that actually allowed? Do you need a license to fly a drone in the Philippines?

This is a question we get a lot – not only from newbies, but also from professional photographers who want to provide aerial services to clients.

To answer that, we need to clarify one thing first.

 

The Philippines does not have a “drone license”. We give Certifications instead.

As of 2021, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) awards different kinds of certificates for drone operators and UAV pilots. 

You can apply for any of these 3 certifications:

  1. RPA Controller Certificate – Given to individual pilots. This is the closest thing we have to a “license” 
  2. RPA Registration Certificate – This is what you get when you register your actual drone
  3. RPA Operator Certificate – Given to businesses who want to charge money for commercial services

Note: RPA stands for “remotely piloted aircraft” 

Read more here: 2021 Updated Guide on Philippine Drone Laws and Certificates

You don’t need to be certified to fly a drone recreationally or as a hobby

Flying and operating UAVs and drones for personal use recreationally is ok in the Philippines

It is perfectly fine to fly, take photos, and shoot videos for your personal blog or Youtube channel because this is considered non-commercial use. 

But there are drone laws, rules and limitations you NEED to follow.

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 visual line of sight (do not go behind buildings, billboards, clouds, or anything that blocks your view to the drone)
  • Drone must weigh 7kg or less (common models like the DJI Mavic Mini, Mavic Pro, Spark, etc are all ok)
  • Keep your drone at least 30 meters or 98 feet from other people
  • Not allowed near emergency situations (ex: fires)
  • Not allowed during night time (fly in daylight hours only)
  • Not allowed in populated areas (malls, schools, etc.)
  • Not allowed in restricted airspace (10km from airports, government/military buildings)

And of course, respect private property and follow the rules set by the owner.

You don’t need a certificate as long as you operate your drone or unmanned aerial vehicle within the rules above.

Source: Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations Article 11.11.3, 11.11.4, 11.11.7.2, and 11.11.7.

But you do need to be certified first to fly drones commercially or as a business

If you want to make money with your skills as a UAV pilot, then you need to apply and get a certificate from the CAAP first. 

This includes professional services like:

  • Aerial photography and videography
  • Drone surveys for construction and real estate
  • Crop spraying and health monitoring for agriculture

Source: Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations Article 11.11.4  

 

How do you apply to get an official drone certificate from the CAAP?

All certifications are awarded only by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. We made an application guide with steps you need to get certified in the Philippines:

 

Reminder: there are local laws that require extra drone permits

There are many cities and regions in the Philippines that have their own regulations in addition to the CAAP rules.

For example, Davao City and Boracay have local laws where you need to get local government permission before operating a drone.

If you’re planning to shoot videos for your travel blog, then call their tourism office ahead of time to check if they require special permits for operating UAVs.

 

Have questions about flying drones in the Philippines?

Leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to answer.

 

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Comments (3)

  • Oland Call Reply

    I am a Filipino who already citizen of Canada. I already have a drone license here in Canada, am I authorized to fly a drone of beautiful places in the Philippines for personal vlog

    September 18, 2021 at 8:51 am
    • Philippine Drone Network Reply

      Hi Oland. The CAAP does not automatically recognize licenses from other countries, but you can still fly your drone here without a license as long as you follow the limitations for unlicensed/uncertified operation. Please read this guide for more info on local drone laws and limitations in the Philippines you need to follow: https://philippinedronenetwork.com.ph/drone-industry-news/philippine-drone-laws-licenses-and-registration-2021-updated/

      September 18, 2021 at 8:55 am
    • Philippine Drone Network Reply

      Hi Oland. That’s fine if you only for personal use and follow the list of limitations above for hobbyists.

      September 28, 2021 at 10:01 pm

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