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Old Dec 3, 19, 3:48 pm
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Bay Area
Programs: DL SM, UA MP.
Posts: 12,730
BTW, I wanted to relate some experiences trying to comply with the various laws for drones in different countries.

1. Thailand -- they want you to register and show proof of 1 million THB liability coverage on your drone. One of the requirements to register is to have proof that you will be allowed entry to the country so you show a passport stamp. This makes it virtually impossible to get it registered before entering the country so I've given up on it completely.

There are some reports that cops may or may not hassle you and that you may be able to bribe them. I'm not going to bother. I will pack it because this trip will include a stop in Hong Kong, which doesn't have strict requirements.

2. Portugal - they want you to register as pilot and also register your drone. It was a huge PITA to get through this. I had to send a signed declaration by mail twice and it took awhile for them to get it. So now I have an active account on the AAN portal. You have to request permission for each area you want to fly in.

3. New Zealand - You don't specifically need a general permit but most bigger cities are prohibited and a lot of the areas away from the cities are DOC lands, kind of like their natural parks. So you can apply for DOC permits for each province, at about 75 NZD including taxes. I applied for and got approved for the Caterbury area, which will include areas around Lyttleton Harbor and Akaroa Harbor/Banks Peninsula.

But for Otago province, it's very limited. Nothing along Lake Hawea or near Lake Wanaka, nothing around Queenstown. They offered me limited permission along Glenorchy Road for another 75 NZD. It's a spectacularly beautiful area. But I may or may not be able to visit it this month, depending on the weather. So no way am I paying for a permit that I may not be able to use at all in my trip. Most of the areas they approved are near Dunedin and the Catlins, which are places I'm not even visiting. They're not issuing any permits near Mount Cook Village or Milford Sound at all. Yet they expect me to pay the 75 NZD fee because I requested some areas (Lake Wanaka and Lake Haewea) which are not in their Recommended List of DOC lands where drone permits may be issued.

Finally, the EU is implementing a new set of drone rules for all of the EU starting in June 2020. One registration system, so I don't have to go through what I did with Portugal. It may open up some areas. For instance, you're not suppose to fly in Austria at all without paying for a rather pricey permit. So you may be able to fly in Austria in the second half of 2020 without paying for a pricey permit. Also may not have to request permissions for specific areas like in Portugal.
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