Kathmandu, April 24
Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) has seized six drones from Everest region that were being flown by foreign trekkers and mountaineers without taking permission from the concerned authorities.
As per law, flying an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or a drone in Nepal is prohibited without taking permission from the Department of Tourism (DoT), Ministry of Home Affair and Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). The permission from the authority is not necessary for drones weighing less than two kilograms and that are flown below 200 feet from ground level.
Likewise, for study or research purpose one has to take permission from line ministry or department relating to the subject matter.
Meanwhile, to fly drones within the premises of public areas, the user has to take permission from local security agency. Hence, to fly a drone in the Everest region, one has to take permission from SNP too.
“This spring season, we have seized a total of six drones from trekkers, who were using them without taking permission from the concerned authorities,” said Pramod Bhattarai, chief conservation officer of SNP. As per him, one has to pay $1,500 to fly a drone in the Everest region.
“The drones are returned safely to the trekkers and climbers while they return from the trip,” he said.
He further said that the related guides and trekking or expedition agencies were already informed by the DoT about the rule. However, some trekkers carry drones with them on the trip without even informing their guides.
DoT had published a notice on Tuesday reminding trekkers and climbers to refrain from flying drones in the Everest region without taking due permission from the concerned authorities.
A version of this article appears in print on April 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.