Legal Issue: Can we use quadrotor for filming in Malaysia?

The answer is yes, you can use quadrotor for filming in Malaysia. At the time this write up is made, there are no specific regulation that deter you from using quadrotor for filming. However if you are in the US, there are some regulation applies.

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration, America) outlined the below quote from this article:

Hobbyists are allowed to use small, radio-controlled crafts under specific guidelines, but “if you’re using it for any sort of commercial purposes, including journalism, that’s not allowed,”

But the FAA is only responsible to the US aviation. Their regulations can only be enforced in the US. The rules regarding the legality on such application should be based on the country where the quadrotor filming is practiced e.g. South Africa, Malaysia, Thailand and so on.

The user Peter Sachs commented:

FAA spokesperson Les Dorr is 100% wrong. ​Radio-controlled model aircraft are completely unregulated (at this writing). The FAA can send all the “cease and desist” letters it wants, but it has no legal authority whatsoever to force anyone to cease or desist. In fact, (at this writing), operators of those types of craft have an unfettered right to use them for pleasure or profit.​

There exists not a single FAA regulation concerning the use of radio-controlled model aircraft, (“drones”). I challenge ​Mr. Dorr (​or anyone else from the FAA​)​ to cite a single regulation that does.

​- ​Advisory Circular 91-57 is merely a list of ​common sense ​”suggestions,” and ​is not legally enforceable.

​- ​The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 is merely a set of “​directives​”​ to the FAA to develop regulations concerning unmanned aircraft. By definition, that means none currently exist. Moreover, ​language found within ​”directives​” ​​to ​an agency​ ​are not ​themselves regulations, and are not legally enforceable.

​- ​The FAA 2007 “​Clarification” ​merely ​clarifies the FAA’s current ​”​policy​”​ concerning operations of unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System. ​Agency “policies​”​ are not
​regulations, and are not legally enforceable.

Attorney Brendan Schulman, (who has also commented here), has argued quite correctly and eloquently on behalf of his client in the first test case regarding commercial drone use— Administrator v. Raphael Pirker, NTSB Docket CP-217.​ ​It will be interesting to see the outcome of that case given the points I’ve included above and the far more expansive arguments Attorney Schulman set forth in his motions and memoranda of law.

At the moment this writing were made, there were no regulation exists yet (please drop an update in the comment area if you are able to find any for other’s information as well). However safety, ethical and common sense applies.

  1. Don’t fly your drone in public area, but if public area were to be used, make sure you are can be easily seen so the public will be aware, or set the time when people are not in the zone
  2. Observe the local property and people when flying.
  3. Safety first. If your drone should crash, let it be. Make the public safety paramount.

Fly safely, fly responsibly and enjoy.

————————-Updates below———————–

Update: One of the commenter outlined below regarding the legal aspects of flying in Malaysia. He said (name redacted for privacy) –

DCA and JUPEM ( west Malaysia only ) have policy to control the flight of UAV or Drone in Malaysia. No matter is hobby or commercial, we need approval from them. I copy paste this term from the DCA policy : “2.2 UAVs shall not be flown without obtaining prior relevant DCA approval” This mean what we are flying now consider illegal flight. I have a meeting with DCA officially, what I can said is they just close 1 of their eye. However this doesn’t mean you wont receive saman from them. In Sarawak, DCA did give saman to flyer few months ago.

4 thoughts on “Legal Issue: Can we use quadrotor for filming in Malaysia?”

  1. Salam Tuan,

    My name is Alias Lani 0162266855 and I would like to ask you further concerning this JUPEM and DCA requirement as I would like to start a new business using drone. Or can I have you mobile please.

  2. If you want to start a business using drone, definitely you have to get a permit from DCA Malaysia for that.

    Refer to Malaysia Civil Aviation Regulations (MCAR) 2016, section 141(1) which stated, “No person shall fly an unmanned aircraft system for the purpose of aerial work without the authorisation of the Director General (of DCA)”

    Aerial work, as defined in section 2 of the same Regulations “means an aircraft operation in which an aircraft is used to provide specialized services in agriculture, construction, photography ……”

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