From a drone photographer’s perspective, the Maldives islands are one of the most sought-after destinations for beautiful drone shots of a tropical island paradise. So how easy is flying a drone in the Maldives and what are the currently applicable drone laws? (Updated 2020)
The Maldives consist of hundreds of islands that can be reached mostly only with seaplanes, so there are more than 90 floating seaplane bases scattered all over the country. Flying drones in the Maldives is therefore an activity that needs careful planning. Currently, there is a rigorous and a bit lengthy process for approval of drone flights in the Maldives, starting with getting permission from the Maldivian National Defense Force and then applying for approval from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
This can take several weeks and requires prior approval from the hotel or island where you stay – expect that to be difficult as well, as in 2020 drones have become somewhat of a burden to beautiful tourist destinations.
The exact process of approving your drone flight in the Maldives is the following:
1 . Get approval from your hotel/island/land owner for the drone flight
2. Apply for permission from the Maldivian National Defense Force (MNDF). Download the form here and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
3. After receiving MNDF approval, apply for permission from CAA. Download the form here and send it to email@example.com
4. With all permissions granted, you are allowed to proceed flying your drone in the Maldives within the time/space you requested as well as under 400 feet of altitude.