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The Ultimate Guide to Bringing & Flying a Drone in Bali, Indonesia (2018 update)

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Production Paradise: Interview with Andreas Von Estorff, CEO
December 11, 2017
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This Is All About Flying Drones In Bali! Yup.

Planning on making amazing videos with your drone in Bali? Do you want to know how to bring or fly your drone in?

Well, this guide is about one thing and one thing only – Drones in Bali (and Indonesia).

These mesmerizing 4-legged flying robots have been taking the world by storm throughout the last few years!
So we thought it’s about time to give you the full rundown on everything you need to know about flying drones in Bali or anywhere in Indonesia.
At Baliprod, drone videography is a part of our everyday business but although we are the pros, there is always more to learn about rules and regulations for our airborne friends. So don’t think we did all this research JUST for you :-)
Bali is overflowing with incredible locations to shoot incredible videos with your drone. This is no shortage of jaw-dropping footage you’ll have for your post-vacation video.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about laws and regulations affecting drone use in Indonesia.

Ready? Ok, let’s dive in!
Before we start, let us share with you a couple of links that will surely give you inspiration on where to go fly your drone in Bali whilst you are here.

Feel free to check out our location scouting section.
Or if you want to jump right in, here is our Youtube Stock Footage Playlist
(click on the top left burger icon to change locations)
It’s important for you to know what type (category) of drone you are using and what limitations it has.
There are two types of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV):

  • CATEGORY 1: Used for hobby or other recreational use such as entertainment or sport.
  • CATEGORY 2: Used for TV news, movie making etc.
Good thing first: You don’t need permission from the Ministry of Transport if you have a category 1 drone that weights less than 2 kilos and you are 18 years or older! That’s most of us.

If you’re category 1 but your drone weights between 2 – 25 kilos, you have to be at least 20 years old, not a threat to national security (haha!) and never been imprisoned (Hope so…)
Flying a drone over 2kg also requires a permit from the General Director of the Department of Civil Aviation. You have to carry emergency equipment such as a fire extinguisher with you.

You are also in charge of reporting accidents, not going closer than 50 meters of third parties and have valid insurance.

Drones in category 2 do need permission to operate in Indonesia. To put it in simple terms, you have to follow the same rules as a category 1 drone which weighs more than 2 kilos plus carry a license and insurance papers with you.

Coming to Bali for holidays with a drone in your luggage? Indonesia, as any other country, has their own specific set of rules about how to properly travel your drone. These rules may also become more strict based on which airline you are flying with.

Now grab out a pen and paper and take some notes!

Carrying your drone on a plane to Indonesia

When it comes to traveling by plane, the problem with taking your drone on a plane is actually not the drone itself but the batteries. After several issues with lithium batteries on planes and the danger of causing a fire on board, airlines came up with specific regulations.

1. How to carry lithium batteries by plane to Indonesia?


While flying through the sky in a big, metal bird, you should carry rechargeable lithium-ion batteries IN YOUR CARRY-ON LUGGAGE ONLY.
If you decide to check in your drone, make sure to REMOVE THE BATTERIES and TAKE THEM WITH YOU.

Why?

Because lithium batteries are known to explode or catch fire by themselves.
YOU DON'T WANT TO BE THAT GUY WHOSE DRONE CRASHED THE PLANE, RIGHT?
(it may reflect bad on you)
To avoid any disappointment or trouble passing the security check at the airport, you should prepare a bit before your trip. We recommend you to prepare each of your Lithium-ion batteries like this:

1) Insulate the XT60 plug with adhesive tape and hang the cable along the Lithium-ion batteries.
2) Put each Lithium-ion battery in an individual hermetic plastic bag.
3) Each battery has to be separated from one another, preferably in the original packaging. If you don’t have the packaging anymore, cover the battery contact points with tape and pack each battery in a different plastic bag. These rules apply for nearly every airline.

Before we go any further we'd like you to quickly watch this video of the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority, showing you how to store your batteries and devices in your luggage.
 
 

2. What are the regulations of my airline when flying to Indonesia? (with some specific examples)


As every airline has different policies regarding batteries, it’s important to check with your airline for their specific rules.
Below are some examples - but keep in mind that they can be updated so better do your homework:

Qatar Airways: Qatar Airways regulations depends on the watt-Hour rating for rechargeable batteries or the lithium content (LC) for non-rechargeable batteries. You can find clear rulings on their website.

Air France-KLM: Air France-KLM doesn’t allow more than 2 spare batteries per person. Watch out for this strict rule when carrying your batteries in your carry-on luggage. The airline advises not to carry damaged batteries with you, as in this case, the danger of fire is even higher.
Check the specific regulations here.

AirAsia: AirAsia released a statement saying that you’re not allowed to carry lithium powered transportation services in your carry-on or checked luggage. However, please get in contact with the airline to discuss your personal case or check their website.

Garuda Indonesia: Garuda Indonesia has declared lithium powered transportation devices such as mini segways, etc.. prohibited on planes. Please get in touch with the airline for further information. Info here.

Emirates: Emirates is more specific about their rules for carrying your drone batteries. Check out their dangerous goods and restricted items list first. You’ll see what battery sizes are allowed in your carry-on luggage.

Flying your drone in Indonesia

So, you made it to Bali with your drone and batteries? Time to celebrate!
Before we get too excited, let’s brush up on the laws and rules to flying your drone in the wonderful country of Indonesia.

First and foremost:
Indonesia has gained its fame in part by the wonderful culture and sights that comes from its multiple religions across the country. Mosques and Temples are holy places that everyone needs to respect. So please don’t fly your drone over or too close to a temple or mosque and don’t disturb local ceremonies unless you have official approval.

Now on the more formal side of things, the goverment of Indonesia released new regulations for flying drones as they noticed the increase in usage.
The Ministry of Transportation Regulation No.180 / 2015 (in Bahasa) goes over in detail regarding the control operation regulations of unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV) in Indonesian air space“.
Forbidden Areas:

There are certain areas where you can’t operate your drone without permission from the Director General of Air Transportation (DGTA).

Prohibited Areas – Areas that are entirely closed for aviation activities of any kind (usually government offices, police stations or military bases)
Restricted Areas – Areas that may be open for civil aviation but restricted for government use
• Areas close to airports in order to secure flight safety. This area is marked 15 km around any aircraft runways
• Controlled airspace where control services for air traffic is provided
• Airspace 150 meter above ground level that is not controlled

If you want to use your drone closer than 500 meters from restricted or forbidden areas, you need to apply for a permit from the DGTA.

We also recommend NOT to do the following (ready for a laugh?):

• Do not operate your drone under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• Do not operate more than one drone at a time (love that one)
• Do not fly the drone close to an aircraft (see below!)
• Do not fly your drone directly above a person who’s not related to the operation
• Do not exceed 87 knots or 161km/h airspeed
• Do not fly over temples without proper permit

What we DO recommend you to do before the flight:

• Check your drone and remote control for any damage and make sure it’s in a good condition
• Check the area you’re planning to fly in (are you allowed to fly your drone, find suitable place for take-off and landing, observe your surrounding for any air traffic or hazards)
• Have an emergency plan in case of an accident
• Make sure just to fly your drone between sunrise and sunset when you have good visibility

What we DO recommend during your flight:

• Avoid flying into or near clouds
• Don’t operate your drone higher than 150 meters from the ground
• Make sure you are able to see your drone at all times, do not rely on your monitor or other devices
• Respect the privacy of others
• Keep a distance of at least 30 meters from people, buildings, vehicles, etc...

Drone shops and community in Bali


Yes you can find other drone lovers in Bali! Get together, fly your drone, talk about new techniques and best spots to go. Share your love for everything around you hobby and have a few Bintangs! (after flying that is)

Check Bali Drone Club (in english) on Facebook as well as Bali Drone Community (in bahasa) to connect to other creative people on the island, ask questions and meet up. You’ll find a lot of information about drone shops and repair places in Bali as well. Engage with the community. Great people out there.

Whooop the end!


We hope we were able to help you see clearer in the jungle of laws and regulations so you don’t get lost on your journey.

Now that you are the master of drone operating 101 in Indonesia, enjoy the beautiful nature and culture of Bali and take as many shots as you can! Use common sense, have fun and fly safe through paradise.

Share your experience in the comments below and feel free to ask if you have any questions!
Hey, by the way, DJI is also a regular client of Baliprod. Amongst other video and photo campaigns, here is a commercial we shot in Bali in 2017 for the Mavic Pro.
For sure you will recognise some familiar places :-)

If you’re looking for professional drone operators (we know our stuff!) feel free to contact us for a chat!

24 Comments

  1. John says:

    Great article,
    Thanks,

    John

  2. Georges says:

    Very interesting! every drone owner should read this!

  3. Elsa says:

    Very interesting article, fully documented, and nice to read. Showing the airline regulations is super useful.
    Is there a specific place to buy drone on Bali Island, or better to buy it in my home country?
    Thanks for the info!

  4. Julia says:

    Finally! I was so curious about the rules regarding drones when I travel to Bali. This helps and I have had many friends ask me about this while there. Thanks again I’ll share this!

  5. Koko says:

    If you have a category 1 drone (GoPro Karma drone), do you need to have insurance? I have no idea where to get it. I’m leaving for Bali in less than 24 hours! Anyone who can help?

    • Hey Koko,
      I doubt any insurance company will insure your drone…
      If you are worried about crashing it, just fly low till you get the hang of it.
      I crashed mine a fair bit in the early days 🙂

  6. Koko says:

    *My drone weighs 1.009 kg.

  7. Koko says:

    I’m not worried about crashing it. I’m sure that will happen a few times. 😀 I’m just wondering if customs in Bali will seize my drone if I cannot show any insurance or permit for my drone. I just bought it and it cost me a great deal of money and so I can’t afford it being seized. I’m just worried. :s

  8. Koko says:

    Ok! I’m definitely reassured now! Leaving in a few hours! I’m so excited. Thanks so much!

    • Glad we could help. Enjoy the holiday in Bali and fly safe!

    • Alberts says:

      koko… do let me know if u had any probs with customs at bali. As i am going to bali this month end and would like to take my dji spark with me. i have corresponded with the customs through mail and they tell me you have to pay a ” temporary import fee” for drones. which is returned on departure!
      Do keep me posted.

      Rgds,
      Alberts

      • Any country in the world has import fees for any kind of items you may bring in. Even coming back to your home country, you should be able to provide receipts for anything you have in your suitcase, your watch, your phone, etc…
        Dura lex sed lex.
        Thankfully between the law and its enforcement there is a gap.
        Believe me you won’t have any problem bringing your drone in Bali 🙂

  9. leaving in a week – thanks for the great info!

    know of any must shoot spots around seminyak?

    • Hey Richard,
      in and around Seminyak there is only the beach to shoot with your drone as the area is extremely urban and dense.
      If you drive for 20 minutes towards Canggu and beyond, there are plenty of great locations to shoot.
      This is access to one of my favourite rice fields in the Canggu area: https://goo.gl/maps/4gNhjPjNWc92
      Must be on a bike/scooter as the road is too narrow for cars.
      Also, you can go to Pantai Seseh, you’ll have amazing rice fields on the way (the last 3 kilometers basically)
      Pantai Seseh is a beautiful black sand beach. Pantai Nyanyi too, slightly further. No tourists around too!
      *Pantai means beach

  10. Jonas says:

    Hi, I am going to Bali in September and I will take my Dji MAvic air on a flight from Qatar Airways (I hope they will won’t make any problems because I have the fly more package. What should I take with me to not get in trouble and what are must do drone flying points for great footage?
    Thanks

    Kind regards Jonas

  11. Dean says:

    Any concerns flying around Ubud?

    • Hi Dean, in Ubud like anywhere else:
      – no flying above temples unless with a permit
      – flying above private properties such as villas and hotels is not only unrespectful for people’s privacy but also not safe.

      Monkey Forest: impossible! And to get a permit, you’d have to ask the Ministry of Tourism in Jakarta. Local Monkey Forest office won’t authorise it (I know we tried)

      Apart from that there are a million amazing rice fields you can fly your drone above (although not too close to farmers).
      North of Ubud, Tegalalang has breathtaking rice terraces. If you want to take it one step further, I recommend you to go to Jatiluwih. You can ask for a permit at the ticket office. Amazing.

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