As in any other country, flying drones in Manila, PhIlippines, requires from drone owners to stay compliant with a list of rules that aim at ensuring a safe flight. If you have a small drone, you can pilot it without any permit, as it is easier to control and in case of a crash it is less likely to cause significant damage. At the same time, if your drone's weight exceeds 7kg, you need an authorization to be allowed to fly the RC aircraft.

The rules for using a drone are regulated by the National Aviation Authority and they change constantly. So you need to stay always up to date about the new rules to avoid getting a fine in the most inappropriate moment. We invite you to check out the current regulations so that your next trip to the PhIllipines turns out to be full of breath-taking aerial views taken from your remote controlled plane.


1. Always fly in daylight

It is forbidded to fly a drone in Manila during night. It may be tempting to take shots of the amazing street and building lights of the night city, but it is not allowed by national aviation authority. Drone owners can launch their aircraft only during day. The main reason night flying is forbidded is the limited visibility. The pilot can easily lose sight of the drone and cause its crash, which can hit and injury people upon impact with the ground.


2. Avoid flying in bad weather

Aside from night hours, it is also forbidded to fly the drone during bad weather. Whether it is foggy or cloudy, you should refrain from launching the aircraft, due to the low visibility that can lead to you losing control over the drone.


3. Do not fly above crowded places

If you want to capture a wonderful view of the city downtown or a crowded plaza, you will have to give up on this idea. Flying over populated areas such as residential districts or crowded places such as restaurants, schools, plazas or supermarkets is acutely forbidden. While you may be an advanced drone user, you are still powerless in front of unecpected breakdowns, motor failure or collisions with sudden obstacles. This is why, the best for you would be to move at the outskirts of Manila and set your drone in action in a safe place.


4. Keep it not higher than 400 feet above the ground

Many owners of powerful drones try to send their aircraft as high as possible to be able to capture a larger area in a single shot. If you are in Manila, the maximum height you are allowed to reach is 400 feet. This has to do with the low visibility as the drone gets higher. Fog and clouds that often occur in Manila sky could be also a factor that made authorities to set the 400 feet height limit.    


5. Keep away from airports

Drones not only can be an obstacle for airplanes that are landing and taking off, but their radio signals can be also a headache for air traffic controllers, creating interferences that can break the connection between the airport's control tower and near-flying airplanes. This is why, PhIlippines aviation authority doesn't allow to fly the drone closer than 10 km from the airport. You have to comply with this rule, otherwise you risk to be deprived of your RC aircraft.


6. Keep away from emergencies

Another restriction that you will have to comply with is avoiding flying near emergencies, such as fires, hurricanes, traffic accidents. While it may be tempting to capture views, it can interfere with the activity of emergency services, such as: fire planes, or with rescue operations, such as the use of helicopters to scan the area affected by a natural disaster, looking for survivers.


Authorization requirements for flying drones in Manila

If you have a drone whose weight exceeds 7kg (15pounds), you need to obtain an authorization to be allowed to fly the drone. You will need to attend a course, then pass an exam and finally prove your practical skills in a flight demonstration. Once you complete all these steps successfully, you receive a pilot certificate that is valid for 5 years.