Rules on Drones Updated: Hobbyists

Taking note of the sharp rise in the use of drones, the Indonesian government has updated the legal framework on drones with the issuance of Minister of Transportation Regulation No. PM 180 of 2015 regarding Control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operations in Indonesia’s Serviced Airspace, which was recently amended by Minister of Transportation Regulation No. PM 47 of 2016 (“2016 Regulation”).

The 2016 Regulation repeals and replaces the previous drone regulation under Minister of Transportation Regulation No. PM 90 of 2015 regarding Control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operations in Indonesia’s Serviced Airspace (“2015 Regulation”).

The 2016 Regulation mainly serves to update the rules on drone use after the issuance of Minister of Transportation Regulation No. PM 163 of 2015 on Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 107 on Small Unmanned Aircraft System (“CASR Regulation”), which sets out technical requirements that must be satisfied by drones and drone operators, as well as rules that must be complied with in any drone operation.

This article will explain the 2016 Regulation and CASR Regulation specifically for hobbyists, which means that the drone is flown strictly for recreational or hobby use (in other words not for business purposes).

Forbidden Areas

There are certain areas and airspace that are strictly prohibited for any drone operation without a permit from the Director General of Air Transportation (“DGTA”) (collectively referred to as “Forbidden Areas”):[1]

  1. Areas that entirely prohibits aviation activities of any kind (“Prohibited Areas”);
  2. Areas that are fully designated for government aviation, which may be opened for civil aviation from time to time (“Restricted Areas”);
  3. Zones in airports that are off-limits in order to ensure flight safety, which is 15 kilometres from any aircraft runway;
  4. Controlled airspace, which is where air traffic control services are provided in addition to flight information and alert services; and
  5. Uncontrolled airspace 150 meters above ground level.

A drone that intends to fly in Forbidden Areas must have a permit from the DGTA.[2] This permit from the DGTA is not required for recreational use of drones, as long as the drone does not enter any Forbidden Areas mentioned above. Furthermore, drones that are equipped with a camera must keep a distance of 500 meters from any Prohibited Areas and Restricted Areas.[3]

Failing to comply with these rules will result in the drone being forced out of the Forbidden Area in question or the drone will forcefully be taken down by either the military or the DGTA.[4]

Dos and Don’ts

In flying drones recreationally, it is important to note the following dos and don’ts in order to abide by the prevailing rules.


  1. A drone operator must ensure that the drone will pose no undue hazard to other aircrafts, persons, or property in the event of loss of control of the drone for any reason. In any case, the drone operator is directly responsible for his/her drone, which include any damages the drone may have caused;[5]
  2. Maintain the weight of the drone to no more than 7 kilograms;
  3. Operate only when the sun is visible;[6]
  4. Keep the drone in visual line of sight;[7]
  5. Know at all times the drone’s location, direction, attitude, and altitude;[8]
  6. Observe the surrounding airspace for air traffic or other air hazards;[9]
  7. Ensure that the drone does not endanger other people or the property of others;[10]
  8. See and avoid other aircrafts, as well as yielding to the right-of-way of all aircrafts (giving way to other aircrafts, and must not pass over, under or ahead of other aircrafts unless well clear);[11]
  9. Minimum flight visibility must be at least 4.8 kilometres in radius;[12] and
  10. Maintain a minimum distance from clouds of at least 150 meters below any cloud and 600 meters horizontally from any cloud.[13]


  1. Do not exceed 150 meters above ground level (this means that the distance between the drone and the ground directly above the drone does not exceed 150 meters);
  2. Do not enter into any Forbidden Area, which are generally government offices, police stations, and military bases;
  3. Do not operate near airports (specifically 15 kilometres within any aircraft runway);[14]
  4. Do not operate the drone in a careless or reckless manner that endangers other people or the property of others;[15]
  5. Do not operate the drone from a moving aircraft or land vehicle (operating the drone from a moving water vehicle is allowed);[16]
  6. Do not operate the drone under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  7. Do not operate more than one drone at the same time;[17]
  8. Do not fly the drone close to another aircraft that creates a collision hazard;[18]
  9. Do not fly the drone directly above a person who is not related to the operation of the drone;[19] and
  10. Do not exceed 87 knots calibrated airspeed at full power in level flight.



[1] 2016 Regulation, Annex I, Par. 2.2. and 2.3.

[2] 2016 Regulation, Annex I, Par. 3.7.

[3] 2016 Regulation, Annex I, Par. 4.1.

[4] 2016 Regulation, Annex I, Par. 5.1. and 5.3.

[5] CASR Regulation, Par. 107.19

[6] CASR Regulation, Par. 107.29

[7] CASR Regulation, Par. 107.31

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10] Ibid

[11] CASR Regulation, Par. 107.37 (a)

[12] CASR Regulation, Par. 107.51 (b)

[13] CASR Regulation, Par. 107.51 (c)

[14] 2016 Regulation, Annex II

[15] CASR Regulation, Par. 107.23

[16] CASR Regulation, Par. 107.25

[17] CASR Regulation, Par. 107.35

[18] CASR Regulation, Par. 107.37 (b)

[19] CASR Regulation, Par. 107.39


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4 thoughts on “Rules on Drones Updated: Hobbyists”

  1. Mr. Rahman,

    Thank you for sharing this information. Your previous post was quite helpful too.

    I will be traveling to Bali with my sister on vacation next March. My sister works in Jakarta, and we will be flying down to Bali together some diving and hiking. I plan to bring my drone with a camera, but I do not plan to sell the images or video, but do wish to publish them on my YouTube channel and on social media.

    Would you care to answer a couple of my questions?

    1. Is there a map or website which contains the forbidden or restricted airspace locations?

    2. Do I need any special documentation for travel into Jakarta and then to Bali with the drone?

    Again, I really appreciate your insight and your Blog, it is very helpful.


    1. Hello Ben,

      Sorry I’ve only taken back control of my website after a mishap with my hosting provider. For future reference:

      1. Unfortunately, no, I have not come across such map or website. This has been a frequently asked question.

      2. No you shouldn’t require any special documentation.

      Hope your vacation with your sister was with no trouble!

  2. Dear Mr. Rahman,
    We are Meisei company in Japan , My name is Takanobu , nice meet you .
    We are planning drone system to manage palm farm.
    Your url is very helpful for us . We will be happy if you inform us about following question.
    1. Our drone system will be operated by workers in palm farm.
    Does the regulation which is shown in your url in this case ?
    2. Maintain the weight of the drone to no more than 7 kilograms .
    This regulation is tight for our drone , Does the regulation apply to palm farm
    which is private area ?
    3. If so , How can we take clearance ?
    Best regards,
    Takanobu Omoto

  3. Dear Mr. Andin,

    Similar question to Mr. Omoto above,
    We are planning drone our own system in our client’s rooftop (no footage of person just building.’s rooftop).
    We will be happy if you can inform us:
    1. What and who needs to be authorized? The drone, the pilot or the event?
    2. For our client’s private area, to fly drone below 150m, even though the footage will be used for commercial purpose, does it mean we need to get authorization from government also?


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