THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BRINGING & FLYING A DRONE IN BALI, INDONESIA
Can I bring and fly a drone in Bali, Indonesia?
Are you considering visiting Bali? Maybe you're thinking of using a drone to capture those incredible moments and stunning vistas. Can you bring a drone to Bali? What are the requirements for obtaining a drone permit in Indonesia? What are the drone rules in Indonesia that you should be aware of?
So, to answer your question(s): Yes, you are allowed to bring your drone to Bali and Indonesia.
But, you have to follow the rules and requirements.
These incredible flying robots have taken the world by storm in recent years!
So we decided it was about time to give you the entire scoop on all you need to know about flying drones in Bali or elsewhere in Indonesia.
We wrote this a few years ago and have updated it in July 2021 with several new facts and rules. Drone videography plays a significant role in our daily operations here at Balishoot. Although we are experts, there is always more to learn about the rules and regulations that apply to our flying companions.
Bali is brimming with magnificent settings for captivating drone footage. You'll have enough jaw-dropping footage for your trip film. This tutorial will teach you all you need to know about Indonesian rules and regulations governing drone use. Here are a few "must-knows" for bringing or flying a drone in Indonesia.
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: (PRIVATE USE) Used for hobby or other recreational use such as entertainment or sport.
CATEGORY 2: (PROFESSIONAL USE) Used for TV news, movie making, etc.
The maximum weight allowed for drones is 2 kilos.
This means flying a drone over 2 kilos within Indonesian airspace 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 require 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 carries a license and insurance papers with you.
In short: You don’t need permission from the Ministry of Transport if you have a Category 1 drone that weighs less than 2 kilos and you are 18 years or older! However, if your drone is included within Category 1 but weighs 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…)
What About FPV Drones? Are They Allowed in Bali?
FPV drones have become one of the fastest-growing categories of RC flying due to the unique experience they give, the immersive perspective, and access to really exhilarating activities such as drone racing. It also doesn't hurt that getting started with FPV flying is quite simple. All you need is a video-capable drone and a receiver capable of displaying it in real-time, either a monitor or video goggles. Once you've set up your FPV system, you may utilize your FPV drone for a variety of purposes, including aerial photography and cinematography, entertainment, racing, and more.
FPV drones fall under the same umbrella of conventional drones. What sets them apart is unlike traditional drone flying, where the pilot operates the drone from the ground perspective, FPV pilots use the live video transmission from the drone’s camera. That video is transmitted from the drone to a compatible ground receiver and display—either a monitor or video goggles.
The answer is, yes, you’re allowed to fly your FPV in Bali - as long as you stick to the rules mentioned above.
How to Get Your Drone Permits
To get the permits (for the drones only) you will need to contact the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil aviation, called also DGTA) or AirNav to make a request for your flights. For this, you will need :
Valid insurance coverage.
Purpose of your flights, places, times, and drone information.
Pilot license (optional but recommended).
A letter from your client who explain that they choose your services for the project, and details of the project. (If you are the origin of the project, just explain the purpose of your project).
When it comes to flying, the issue with bringing your drone on a plane is not the drone itself, but rather the batteries. Following many incidents involving lithium batteries on flights and the risk of a fire onboard, airlines established specific regulations.
How to Transport the Drone and the Batteries?
Bring the drone or batteries in your carry-on luggage only.
The basic guideline while traveling with your drone is to keep it in your carry-on luggage. For safety reasons, like with other electrical gadgets that employ Lithium Batteries. These batteries may quickly catch fire, so keep them close and visible. For the sake of your safety and the safety of the other passengers on the aircraft.
Use a battery protector.
There are a lot of battery protectors that you could use to prevent and/or dampen a potential fire hazard to your drone batteries.
Empty the battery before your flight.
It's a good idea to drain the drone's batteries a day before your trip, as they generally have a large capacity. When these batteries pass through airport scanners, they will look as fluid, allowing airport officials to inspect your bags. Also, the more empty your batteries are, the less flammable they are.
What are the regulations of my airline when flying to Indonesia? (with specific examples)
Because each airline has various regulations about batteries, it is important to verify with your airline for their unique requirements.
Here are some examples – but bear in mind that they are subject to change, so do your research:
How to Carry Lithium Batteries by Plane to Indonesia
Qatar Airways regulations depend on the Watt-Hour rating for rechargeable batteries or the lithium content (LC) for non-rechargeable batteries.
Passengers can carry up to 15 portable electronic devices containing lithium-ion batteries. The Watt-Hour rating for batteries should not exceed 100 (or 2g, for lithium metal).
The maximum number of batteries allowed is 20 per passenger, regardless of the type of battery, yes that does include your phone, laptop, etc.
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.
Over 160 Wh, the drone and its replacement battery are prohibited in the cabin or the hold.
Below or equal to 160 Wh, the drone may be transported in the cabin or the hold, provided it is completely switched off. The replacement battery is permitted in the cabin: however, it may not be transported in the hold.
AirAsia: If its batteries are removable, they must be removed and carried as or in the cabin baggage.
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 its 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.
Citilink: The airline has declared lithium batteries as dangerous and thus prohibited on planes. To get further information, click this link for more details.
Batik Air: Batik Air prohibits lithium batteries on all aircraft, as they fall under the dangerous articles section of their rules.
Singapore Airline: Singapore Airlines prohibits lithium batteries on all aircraft, in accordance with their guidance.
Lion Air: Non-removable lithium batteries exceeding -0.3 g or 2.7 Wh are forbidden. For further information, check this link.
Turkish Air: Lithium batteries can be carried as checked baggage according to the airlines’ rules. Click here for further information.
Can I Fly A Drone In Bali?
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 of flying your drone in the wonderful country of Indonesia.
Respect the culture.
Indonesia has gained its fame in part by the wonderful culture and sights that come 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.
Bali is also a tranquil destination where people come to unwind and enjoy some peace and quiet. Don't bother anyone by flying a drone over private property or a hotel if you don't have permission to do so. It is preferable to get permission first, rather than getting into difficulties with the police or other people. Absolutely do not fly your drone under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Beware of kites.
Yes, you read that right. The Balinese people compete between June and August for the Nagaraja, the king of the kites.
Hundreds of them are flying above Bali around this time, some of them are quite high and far from their owners.
The ropes are extremely hazardous, and we know from experience that the drone will not be able to cut them.
Remember that you are not the only one who flies drones, so keep a watch on your drone and the area around it during your flights.
Avoid exposing your material to excessive heat.
Never leave your drone's batteries in the sun in a car or on a beach. The temperature in Bali fluctuates from 32°C to 34°C during the day and 80°C in an hour. If your battery has bulged, don't use it; it's dangerous.
Choose the best time.
In Bali, the sun shines quite brightly. It is tough to get the best results after 10 a.m. since the difference between the shade and the sun is so great. As a result of the high temperatures between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. It may be appropriate to use a screen hood, such as the one seen beside:
Fly between 10 a.m. and after 3:30 p.m. if possible. It's also worth considering using a lens filter when flying during the daytime. If you want to give your films and images a dramatic aspect, filters are crucial.
Take off and land in a clean area.
Bali is a volcanic island. All the ground is charged with iron and magnetic particles. If you lift off immediately from the ground, all of the dust will attach to the magnet within the engine or the fan of your drone.
To avoid damaging your drone, we recommend using a landing pad, or if you have enough ability or someone who can assist you, take-off from your hand.
We also recommend NOT to do the following:
Do not operate more than one drone at a time
Do not fly the drone close to an aircraft
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
Where Can I Fly a Drone in Bali?
There are certain areas where you can’t operate your drone without permission from the Director-General of Air Transportation (DGTA).
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 to secure flight safety.
Controlled airspace where control services for air traffic are provided
Airspace 150 meters above ground level that is not controlled
If you want to use your drone closer to 500 meters from restricted or forbidden areas, you need to apply for a permit from the DGTA.
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 a 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 can see your drone at all times, do not rely on your monitor or other devices.
Follow The Map
The website app.airmap.io displayed all of the restricted and banned zones. It might be a useful tool if you are unsure whether you are in a restricted area. Bali is highly drone friendly, so if you want to fly in a purple region (see below), simply follow the restrictions stated above and everything will be OK.
purple = restricted airspace
orange = airport airspace
Drone Communities, Drone Rental, And Drone Shops In Bali
Is there a Bali drone community?
Yes, you can find other drone lovers in Bali! Get together, fly your drone, talk about new techniques and the best spots to go. Share your love for everything around your hobby and have a few Bintangs! (after flying, that is!)
Check Bali Drone Club (our group, in English) on Facebook as well as the new Drone Bali Club (in Indonesian – very similar name to our group, good people too) and of course Bali Drone Community (in Indonesian) to connect to other creative people on the island, ask questions, share your best footage and meet.
You’ll find a lot of information about drone shops and repair places in Bali as well. Don’t be shy and engage with the community!
Balishoot Favourite Drone (And Apple Gear) Supplier
At Balishoot, we buy all our Apple stuff & DJI drones from our good friend and long-time supplier At Balishoot, we buy all our Apple stuff & DJI drones from our good friend and long-time supplier Ibham Brahmantyo (here are his Facebook and his WhatsApp for direct contact).
Very professional, great prices, deliver anything anywhere within a few hours which is a huge plus. If you contact him, say that you come from Balishoot, you might get a discount 😉
Other Drone Shops In Bali
Here is a list of drone shops. We haven’t tested them all so it’s really up to you to pick one.
DJI Online Store
The most obvious one. There are no official DJI stores in Bali however purchasing your drone or accessories online works fine like in any country.
Below USD1500, piece of cake, nothing to do. Shipment fees (DHL) and local taxes are included.
Above USD1500, still no taxes or shipment fee however there are a bunch of paperwork to take care of.
DJI website says: “As per Indonesian customs regulations, shipments with a customs value greater than $1500 will be processed under formal clearance. The customer will be required to provide a Tax ID No., Import ID No., Customs Registration No., and Power of Attorney information. Failure to provide these documents after 30 days will result in the shipment returning to its origin (RTO) or being abandoned.”
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've mastered drone operation 101 in Indonesia, take advantage of the magnificent landscape and culture of Bali by taking as many photos as you can! Use caution, have fun, and soar across paradise safely.
Share your experience in the comments below and feel free to ask if you have any questions!
If you’re looking for professional drone operators (we know our stuff!) feel free to contact us for a chat!