Sri Lanka

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UAV Laws Summary

UAV flight regulations in Sri Lanka are published by the Civil Aviation Authority. The first regulations were published in 2015, and have been updated every year since then. The current regulations can be found here

All material published on the CAASL website referecing drones can be found here.

In summary:

 Except for operations of Category-D Drones without a camera or any data capturing/recording capability for educational/recreational purposes within your own premises or with the consent within somebody else’s premises and within the areas designated for that purpose, CAASL Approval is mandatory.

 All Drones of Category A, B or C, their Owners, Operators, Vendors, Importers, Designers, Manufacturers, Exporters shall register with CAASL

Apply for Security Clearance from MOD atleast seven (07) days before the intended operation.

 Attach Security Clearance to the Drone Operation Application to CAASL

 Security Clearance is only a supporting document, not the Approval to carry out the operation.

 Apply for CAASL Approval atleast five (05) days before the operation

 Approvals are granted of a case by case basis considering event, regular operations within/beyond 30 days

 Mass category is irrelevant if the Drone is operated for reward/hire, and approval is mandatory.

 At least 3 rd Party insurance is mandatory for your drone.

 For foreigners, Temporary Registration of your drone is mandatory prior to using it in Sri Lanka.

 Registration of the drone is mandatory, if the mass of the unit is greater than 1 Kg.

 Registration stamp is to be displayed at the drone  Have the registration certificate along with you all the times during operations.

 Registration certificate is not an authorization for you to operate the drone when and wherever you want. Safety distances must be maintained: 100 Meters from any congested area 100 meters of an organized open air assembly 50 meters from any person, vessel, vehicle or structure During take- off and landing 30 meters from any person, vessel, vehicle or structure

 Please read SLCA-IS053 - Regulations on Pilotless Aircraft (Drones)

Category Summary:

Category D: Mass <200g

Category C: Mass 200g - 1 kg

Category B: Mass 1 kg - 25 kg

Category A: Mass > 25 kg

Slides 23-26 of this CAA presentation provide an overview of all the requirements per category. 

There is also a page on the CAASL website around who to contact before flying UAVs.

Related to this, the CAASL's UAV regulations based application forms and information pamphlets can be downloaded from here. A local website, Roar, has this useful guide to the use of drones in Sri Lanka, based on the CAASL regulations of January 2017.


Last update / 02.03.2017

Travel and Customs Info

Legal & regulatory sources

Last update / 02.03.2017

Contact info for CAASL

For obtaining approval for operation of drones in Sri Lanka - please contact the following:

Mr.Rohan Manukulasooriya, Deputy Director General (Airspace and Security Regulation), email:

Ms. S.G.D.Vineetha, Senior Civil Aviation Inspector (Aeronautical Information Service), email:

Last update / 02.03.2017

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 The Government Information Department of Sri Lanka, associated with the Ministry of Mass Media, released a Press Release on 10th January 2017 around the use of UAVs / drones in journalism. This was the first time the use of UAVs in journalism was officially recognised and supported, within the regulations set by the CAASL. As noted by PeaceTech Labs in February 2017,

Drone journalism in Sri Lanka and other regions is increasing capacity for documenting hard to capture events such as severe drought, evictions due to urban developmentprotests, and evidence of corruption. Sanjana writes that using drones for journalism helps counter, “historical narratives written solely by those in power,” and can be a method for individuals and small organizations to hold governing bodies accountable.

Drone Journalism in Sri Lanka

On the 31st of January 2017, the Government Information Department conducted a drone journalism workshop. The Director General of the Government Information Department, Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya was joined by the Director General of Civil Aviation, Mr. H.M.C. Nimalsiri and other officials from the Civil Aviation Authority at this workshop. 

Around 30 participants from the mainstream media, including private TV stations, photographers, drone re-sellers and others were part of the full day workshop in January that included, for those who had never handled or flown a drone before, a practical session. There was a vibrant, informative exchange of views between the journalist and media community and the officials from the Government around drone regulations. More workshops are planned in the near future, with sessions dealing specifically with ethics, safety and privacy.

The use of drones in journalism, and the ethical, rights based use of UAVs under existing regulations is championed by Sanjana Hattotuwa, a founding advisor of In addition to pioneering work around training and promoting the use of drones, Sanjana maintains a database of all relevant official documentation, application forms and other regulatory material, plus training material and general guidance on the use of UAVs for journalism and recreational purposes at

On Twitter, news and information around the use of drones can be found at #dronesl.

Last update / 02.03.2017