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*General Safety Guidelines for Flying UAS

*Flying UAS for Hire or Reward

*Frequently Asked Questions

Flying UAS for Hire or Reward

Application Procedures

The required information and documents are listed in the Checklist of Required Documents for UAS Applications.

The application form(s) and all relevant information shall be submitted to CAD by email at uas@cad.gov.hk or by fax to 2877 8542, at least 28 working days prior to the date of the proposed flight. If by email, these documents shall be either in PDF or MS Word format for text files, and PDF or JPEG format for photo files.

Depending on the complexity of the proposed operation, extra time may be required for processing the application.  Incomplete or insufficient information may delay the application process.


Forms and Downloads

Application form for Operating UAS – e-DCA255 form

Permission (for hire or reward) – DCA122A form

Guidance on Operations Manual


Safety Parameters

Any person who operates UAS for hire or reward shall observe the following safety parameters, unless otherwise permitted by CAD:

1. Area of Operations
(i) UAS shall normally not be flown in the vicinity of an airport and aircraft approach and take-off paths, which include:
- Areas within 5 km of Hong Kong International Airport;
- North Lantau coastal area;
- Coastal areas from Tai Lam Chung to Tsuen Wan and Tsing Yi Island;
- Victoria Harbour and its coastal areas; and
- Shek Kong area.
(ii) UAS shall not be flown over or within 50 m of any person, vessel, vehicle or structure not under the control of the UAS operator; except that during take-off and landing, the UAS must not be flown over or within 30 m of any person other than the person in charge of the UAS or a person necessarily present in connection with the operation of the UAS. Further conditions on flight safety clearance may be imposed on the operation of the UAS as necessary.
(iii) The UAS operation site (including emergency operation zone and any safety zone for the operation of the UAS) shall be under the operator's full control.
(iv) The take-off and landing area should be properly segregated from public access.
2. Control of UAS
The UAS operator shall be on site and keep the UAS within Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) during the period of the flight. Operating within VLOS means that the UAS operator is able to maintain direct, unaided (other than corrective lenses) visual contact with the UAS, and is able to monitor the UAS flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vessels, vehicles and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions.
3. Other Related Issues
(i) The UAS operator is responsible for ensuring that no person and property would be endangered by the UAS, and shall not fly the UAS unless he has reasonably satisfied himself that the flight can be safely made.
(ii) No hazardous material may be carried nor objects be dropped from the UAS in order to avoid endangering persons or property on the ground.
(iii) The person in charge of the UAS shall not fly the UAS unless before the flight he has satisfied himself that the mechanism that causes the UAS to home and land in the event of a failure of or disruption on any control systems, including the radio link, are in working order.
(iv) The UAS operator shall maintain records of each flight made pursuant to the permission and make such records available to CAD on request.
(v) A site safety assessment has been completed by the UAS operator, and can be made available to CAD on request.
(vi) Permission of the land/property owner on whose land/property the UAS is intended to operate has been obtained.
(vii) The operation is carried out in accordance with the operations manual submitted to CAD.
(viii) The UAS operator shall perform a safety check on UAS (including its fuel or lithium batteries) before operating UAS.
4. Altitude of Operations
The altitude of UAS shall not exceed 300 feet (~90 m) above ground level.
5. Altitude Keeping Performance Capability
The UAS operator shall describe the means of altitude keeping to ensure that the actual altitude flown is accurate.
6. Time of Operations
(i) UAS operations shall be conducted during daylight hours only.
(ii) No more than one UAS will normally be permitted at any one time within the same block of designated airspace.
7. Weather Criteria
(i) Ground visibility of not less than 5 km - visibility of more than 5 km may be required depending on the nature and area of operations;
(ii) Cloud base not lower than the approved altitude of operations;
(iii) Surface wind of no more than 20 knots, unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer (the surface wind speed limit may be reduced if the controllability of the UAS is in doubt);
(iv) The UAS operator shall have a hand-held anemometer to monitor surface wind speed on site; and
(v) The UAS operator must not launch the UAS when Rainstorm Warning, Tropical Cyclone Warning or Strong Monsoon Signal is in force.
8. Heavy UAS
Except with Civil Aviation Department's endorsement, heavy UAS weighing more than 7 kg (without its fuel) is not allowed to fly in Hong Kong.
9. Pilot Qualification
Evidence of pilot competency is required when making an application for permission to operate UAS.
10. Operations Manual

The UAS operator is required to submit an operations manual covering the procedures to be followed for all envisaged operations of the UAS. This document is a key requirement to enable CAD to accurately assess the application and the safety case before deciding whether to grant a permission. You may refer to the Guidance for the compilation of the UAS operations manual for details.

11. Communication with ATC (if required)
(i) The UAS operator shall inform the CAD/Aerodrome Supervisor before launching and on completion of the UAS operation.
(ii) The UAS operator shall provide his/her contact phone number to the CAD/Aerodrome Supervisor, who may instruct to stop the operation when necessary.
12. Frequency Spectrum and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)
The UAS operator is required to comply with the regulations set by Office of the Communications Authority on the use of radio frequencies and to ensure that no RFI is caused to air traffic operations and air navigation equipment.

Click here for frequently asked questions.
For further enquiries, please contact the Air Services and Safety Management Division of CAD at uas@cad.gov.hk.