Shahriyor Abduboqiev

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       We know that in our time, drones, that is unmanned aerial vehicles have become a driver of widespread technology and innovation in many countries around the world.  In the age of science and technology and globalization, drones are becoming a real help to humanity in many countries in agriculture, crop control, military industry, law enforcement, business and other fields.  Drones are available almost in each of the world’s 10 most visited and peaceful countries.  In some countries, free use of drones is allowed, but in some countries, usage of drones is under state control.  In Uzbekistan, for example, the use or import of drones is a crime.  So why?  Under current law, the unauthorized import, sale and use of drones was restricted from January 1, 2015. The government has not yet commented on why they are banned, and whether they are banned for security reasons only. This blog post analyses an alternative system for regulating the use of drones in Uzbekistan using the method of comparative law.

    How liberalized is the use of drones in foreign countries?

    In this section, I analyse the experience of foreign countries in the management of drones.  First of all, I will start with Uzbekistan’s close and strategic partner – the Russian Federation. It is safe to say that the use of drones in Russia is much more liberalized.  According to the Federal Air Transport Agency (hereinafter FATA), in June 2015, changes and additions were made to the country’s air code and all unmanned aerial vehicles were reclassified as aircrafts.

   If you want to use drones weighing more than 250 grams in Russia, you do not need a permit, just register with FATA.  But there are some limitations.  That is, drones are not allowed to fly in densely populated areas, to observe the lives of others without their permission, and to fly at night in bad weather.  They should also be kept at least 5 miles away from any airports, helicopters or airfields.  Also, you can fly no longer 500 meters from a military base.  If you want to fly your device over Russian reserves and national parks, you will need to get a permission to fly.  Most importantly, registration and access can be done online.  All you have to do is to enter the correct number for your drone.  The Russian legislation has also solved the security issue of drones in a smart way.  It imposed restrictions on areas of strategic importance using GPS devices. These devices, in turn, cause radio interference and turn off devices such as drones.  This leads to maintaining a safe distance.

   Drone regulation in Western Europe

   In the United Kingdom, drone-related cases are reviewed by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (hereinafter CAA).  Drones are allowed in the UK.  Drone permits from other countries in this country are not considered valid “automatically”.  Even if your drone is registered in your home country, you will need to register it in the UK.³ In this country, drones can only fly with permission of  the CAA. We will now look at the requirements for launching drones in the UK.

   – All drones, regardless of location, must not fly at an altitude of 122 meters (400 feet).

   – Drones are directly controlled.

   – You must not endanger anyone or anything with your drone, including anything you drop from it.

   – It is forbidden to fly at an altitude of 150 meters (492 feet) in congested areas or in places with more than 1,000 people

   -Fly 5 kilometres (3 miles) away from airports, airfields, military borders and other protected areas.

   Chinese solution

   In China, the drone industry is much happier.  The Chinese Civil Aviation Authority (hereafter CAAC) allows using drones with specific rules. In China, registration is not required if your drone weighs less than 250 grams.  CAAC registration is required for drones weighing more than 250 grams and CAAC licenses for drones weighing more than 7 kilograms. For drones weighing more than 116 kg. CAAC license and UAV certificate is required.  The registrant will be required to provide complete personal information, telephone number and email address, drone model number, serial number and reason for using the drone.  Once your drone is registered, you will need to print a registration sticker with the JV code and attach it to your drone.  Surprisingly, in order to register a drone in China, you need to know Chinese language and have a Chinese mobile phone number.

From a security standpoint, drones are banned from flying at airports, military bases and certain cities such as Beijing, as well as sensitive areas such as Xinjiang and Tibet.  In addition, drones are programmed to protect a limited area. Their flight is restricted (although hackers are trying to bypass it).  However, this does not mean that China’s security will be compromised.

Drone regulation in Japan.

The issue of drones has been significantly liberalized in the country.  But as in the countries we have seen above, there are prohibitions and norms in Japan as well. If you want to use a drone, you should not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the first place.  You need to be careful to launch your device during daylight hours, to drive 30 meters away from people on land or water, and not to steer the drone carelessly, not to carry explosives, and not to throw anything through the drone.

There are exceptions, such as search and rescue operations in accidents and natural disasters. In case of violation of the above rules, the drone owner will be fined up to 500,000 yen.  If convicted of a crime under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he could face up to a year in prison or a fine of up to 300,000 yen. If you wish to operate your drone in accordance with the law, you will need to apply in Japanese for permission from the Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism 10 days before the drone launch (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays). In terms of security, the Japanese do not lag behind any other country.  They are mapping special areas where drones are not allowed to fly.  Most of them are strategically important areas that are constantly guarded and controlled

In sum, this means that in the UK, China and Japan, the legal framework for the use of drones has been created.  Given the level of tourism and development in these countries, the judicious use of drones is also having a positive impact on their economies.  The conclusion is that the use of drones poses little threat to state sovereignty and security.  I assume that if the legislators in Uzbekistan had found a reasonable solution to the security problem, there would not be a ban on drones.  Proof of this can be seen in the example of the abovementioned states, which are on the list of the most peaceful countries in the world.

Situation in the rest of Central Asian states

Central Asia is made up of five former Soviet republics, but when it comes to the regulation of drones, they represent very diverse practices and legal systems. 


Currently, the legislation of Kazakhstan does not impose any restrictions on the purchase and use of drones for individuals and legal entities. Terms of flight and use of unmanned aerial vehicles (hereinafter – UAVs) in the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated July 15, 2010 “On the use of airspace and aviation activities of the Republic of Kazakhstan” (31, Articles 33 and 33).  Article 33) Chapter 5 of the Rules of Use of the Airspace of the Republic of Kazakhstan, approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan No. 506 of May 12, 2011 (hereinafter – the Rules of Use of Airspace) are legal norms related to drones.

If you want to use drones in Kazakhstan and the drone weighs more than 1.5 kilograms, you need to register with the Civil Aviation Committee.  Your application will be processed within 30 days.  You will need to verify the drone’s ID number, proof of legal ownership of the drone (or purchase agreement), manufacturer’s data sheet, serial numbers of the drone and controller, as well as any military or listening equipment attached to the drone. There are also some restrictions when launching a drone, first you need to control the drone from a distance, make sure the weather is good. More precisely, you need to make sure you are 1.5 kilometres horizontally and 300 meters vertical follow. During taking off and landing, you must keep a distance of at least 50 meters horizontally with people, vehicles, buildings and structures, and 100 meters during the flight. A safety distance of 150 meters applies to crowded and larger vehicle groups.  There is also a rule that drones should be used 5.5-kilometers flight away from the airports.


The use of drones is allowed in Tajikistan, but a number of drone laws must be complied with when flying in the country.  Operators must ensure that the following drone laws are observed when flying in Tajikistan:

    Do not steer your drone over people or large crowds

    Respect the privacy of others when flying your drone

    Do not encounter your drone over airports or in areas where aircraft are operating

    You should fly during the day and only fly in good weather

Your drone should not be encountered in sensitive areas, including government or military facilities.  The use of drones or camera drones in these areas is prohibited. In addition, permission is not required for the drone to be used for recreational purposes.

Kyrgyz Republic and Turkmenistan

According to official websites, there are no legal norms for drones in these countries. From this we can assume that the use of drones in Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan has been liberalized in some of our neighbours, and there is currently no legal norm in this area.


The use of drones in Uzbekistan and related issues are carried out in accordance with the Regulations approved by the Government Resolution No. 322 of November 26, 2014 and Resolution No. 287 of August 31, 2016. ⁹ In short, the use of drones is allowed By the Cabinet.  Interestingly, a permit can only be obtained by a legal entity to perform administrative duties. Currently, the number of organizations that have received such a permit is 15.

If you want to get a permit as the organizations above did, you first need to get a permission from the Cabinet of Ministers. After registering with the State Aviation Inspectorate, you need to apply to the Airspace Administration for the use of the airspace of Uzbekistan.  This is time consuming and leads to paperwork.  Failure to comply with these rules may be punishable by up to three years of imprisonment for violation of the rules of detention provided for in Article 116 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, Articles 260 and 244 of the Criminal Code and Article 248 of the Criminal Code.

Importantly, platform of public initiatives “My opinion” has published a petition calling for a review of the ban on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in Uzbekistan. The statement said there were no such strict restrictions on the use of drones in other districts.  These devices open up a wide range of opportunities not only in tourism, but also in other areas. The petition garnered more than 2,500 votes in four days.  If a petition receives 10,000 votes within a specified period, the parliament will need consider it. Unfortunately, this did not lead to a revision of the law in this area. In 2020 alone, 11 drone-related crimes were committed, while in five months of 2021, 9 drone-related crimes were committed.

Now, let’s think about why, while our country’s legislators are still banning unmanned aerial vehicles for safety reasons, other countries are finding security solutions.  In Russia, for example, GPS barriers have been installed in strategically important areas to protect against drones and other aircrafts by generating radio interference. China is creating programs that ensure that drones do not fly in restricted areas in the country.  That is, in those places, drones do not fly spontaneously or fail.  In Japan and South Korea, a separate map of the areas where the drones can fly has been developed, which includes the restricted areas, the densely populated areas and the important strategic facilities as a no-fly zone.  Live map-updating system has been developed for convenience.  Also, in most of the above states, the permits for drones can be obtained online.


In this blog post, I have comparatively examined the legal framework for the use of drones in Uzbekistan and abroad.  It seems that in our country this area is not very liberalized and it needs to be reconsidered.  As we can see, the developed countries described above have found rational solutions to this problem and those do not include banning the use of drones.  In general, the development of this sector is necessary for agriculture, tourism, cartography, and many other areas of Uzbekistan. I hope that the government agencies will reconsider this issue.

Cite as:  Shahriyor Abduboqiyev, “Drone control in Uzbekistan: isn’t it time to transform drones from criminal weapons into household appliances?”, Uzbekistan Law Blog, 18.03.2022.