Table of contents
- UAS regulator
- Prohibitions in drone operations
- Drone Laws in Philippines Governing UAV / RPAS Controllers (Pilot):
- Drone Laws in Philippines GoverningUAV / RPAS Controllers (Foreign Controllers):
- Drone Laws in Philippines GoverningUAV / RPAS Operators (Company/Organization):
- Tips For Travelers
- Local UAV Groups
Drones/RPAS/UAS are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)
CAAP homepage http://www.caap.gov.ph/
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines – +63 (2) 944 20 30
PART 11 Aerial Work and Operating Limitations for Non-Type Certificated Aircraft
Remotely Piloted Aircraft System Chapter 11.11-1
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has released Memorandum Circular 29-15 titled “Amendment to the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (PCAR) Part 2, 4 and Part 11” dated December 8, 2015. It states that regulations on Remotely Piloted Aircraft are now part of the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulation (PCAR) and is in effect. MC 29-15 supersedes previously issued MC 35-14 and MC 21-14. The term Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has been changed to Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) in compliance with ICAO.
The new regulation amendments has been disseminated through a conference with RPA/UAV Operators during the 2nd CAAP UAV Stakeholder Conference at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines on May 4, 2016.
Prohibitions in drone operations
Reference:Civil Air Regulations part 11.11-1
- No flying over populous area[11.11.2, paragraph (a)]
- Example: flying over gathering of people in an event
- Stay clear of populated area[11.11.3, paragraph (b)]
- Example: flying over housing subdivision
- No flying at 400 feet and above [11.11.3, paragraph (a)]
- No flying within 10 kms radius of any airport [11.11.3, paragraph (a)]
- No flying over controlled or prohibited airspace [11.11.3, paragraph (c)]
- Examples: Aircraft approach and take off route, military camps, presidential palace
- No commercial drone operation without an RPA controller Certificate [11.11.4, paragraph (a)]
- Flying drones weighing more than 7 kgs require an RPA controller certificate [11.11.4, paragraph (b)] and it requires drone registration at CAAP [11.11.5, paragraph (b)]
- Drones with a gross weight of 150kgs and above are required to obtain a Special Certificate of Airworthiness (SCA) or an Experimental Certificate (EC) [Phil. Civil Air Regulation part 5]
- RPA Controller doing non-commercial operations may operate only within Visual Line of Sight [220.127.116.11]
- No night flying [18.104.22.168]
- Drone flying display or air show requires permit from CAAP [22.214.171.124]
CAAP holds RPAS Forum for the Media: http://www.caap.gov.ph/?page_id=5475
Drone Laws in Philippines Governing UAV / RPAS Controllers (Pilot):
Reference:Civil Air Regulations part 11.11-1
- RPA Controller Certificate is required when flying a drone for commercial operations [11.11.4, paragraph (a)]
- RPA Controller Certificate may be obtained from CAAP office at Old MIA road Pasay City after passing written & practical exams
- All RPA Controllers doing non-commercial operations are prohibited to operate an RPA at night unless authorized by the Authority [11.11.7-3, paragraph (a)]
Drone Laws in Philippines GoverningUAV / RPAS Controllers (Foreign Controllers):
PCAR 2.13.10 – Validation of Foreign RPA Controller Certificate, License or Authorization.Note: This new provision provides a mechanism for foreign companies that possess a current and existing certificate or authorization from their country to be validated in order to operate in the Philippines.
Drone Laws in Philippines GoverningUAV / RPAS Operators (Company/Organization):
PCAR 126.96.36.199 – No person may operate a RPA for commercial operations unless the person holds an RPAS Operator Certificate.
- A person must have the following to become an RPA Operator Certificate Holder [188.8.131.52, paragraph (a)]
- Organization & structure that is appropriate for safe operation of RPA
- Has enough qualified and experienced personnel to undertake the proposed operations safely
- The person has facilities and equipment
- Has suitable practices and procedures to conduct operations
- Must have a chief RPA controller & maintenance controller
- Two or more persons cannot be certified jointly as an RPA operator [184.108.40.206, paragraph (a)]
- An RPA operator must
- Have a chief RPA controller
- Employ as its chief RPA controller a person who is certified as a RPA controller and who is competent to carry out those duties and perform those functions
- have an arrangement with another qualified and competent person to carry out those functions and duties
- If the RPA operator operates more than 1 RPA, the chief RPA controller must carry out the duties and functions as such on a full-time basis
- An RPAS Operator Certificate issued by the Authority is effective for a period of three (3) years from date of issuance and remains valid until:
- (1) The Authority amends, suspends, revokes or otherwise terminates the certificate;
- (2) The operator surrenders it to the Authority.
- RPAS Operator Certificate is not transferable
Tips For Travelers
Importing UAV’s into the Philippines
Prior to entry into the Philippines, it would be best to get a “Carnet” or Merchandise Passport for your UAV equipment. This may avoid un-necessary dealing with extensive customs procedures and possibly eliminating the need to pay import taxes. While the Philippines is a non-carnet country, it may be accepted as documentation by the Philippine Bureau of Customs.
In some cases the Bureau of Customs will require an “Import Bond” to ensure that the UAV equipment that is being imported will not be resold into the market. The cost depends on the declared value of the UAV being imported.
Other Possible Documentation Needed
“Import Clearance” from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. Addressed to the “Airworthiness Department (AWD) – Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. There has been cases where the Philippine Bureau of Customs would not release UAV equipment without this clearance. (See Specimen: RPAS Import Certification)
No issues in exporting UAV and its associated equipment in the Philippines.
Moving Around The Philippines
Standard UAV travel procedures apply, such as proper packaging of Lithium-Polymer batteries. UAV hard-cases are a must, weather-proofing would be better.
It would be best to coordinate operations with the following authorities:
- Prior to Deployment
- Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines
- Philippines Drone Association (PDA)
- On the ground:
- Local Government Units (LGU’s)
- Municipal (City) level
- Barangay (Village) level
- I-NGO Focal Points / Cluster Focal Points
- They would be able to advise on who to contact on the ground to notify of your intentions and movement schedules.
Local UAV Groups
Philippine Drone Association. Please contact us if you have any questions: Contact
- Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines – (Website)
- Memorandum Circular 29-15 titled – “Amendment to the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (PCAR) Part 2, 4 and Part 11” – (PDF)
- Philippine Civil Aviation Regulation (PCAR) – Part 11 – AERIAL WORK AND OPERATING LIMITATIONS FOR NON-TYPE CERTIFICATED AIRCRAFT – (PDF)See: 11.11 – Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS)