The 2008 decree on management of unmanned aircraft and ultralight aircraft gives authority over the flight of unmanned aircraft to the Ministry of Defense. These duties include the organization of aviation clubs, establishing airfields and flight zones, and managing and supervising the flight of unmanned vehicles. The flight of UAVs is not legal without a license from the Operations Bureau of the General Command Post, and applications for licenses must be recieved at least 14 days in advance of the proposed flight. Licenses will be issued within 10 days of submission of the application. One license can be valid for multiple flying events, as long as users list places they plan to fly their drones in their application. Filming or taking photographs in the air using a UAV is not permitted without a license and. Penalties for violation are not specified in the 2008 decree but there have been incidents where foreigners were deported upon violating rules and drones with cameras have been confiscated upon flying in restricted areas.
The above text was partially taken from drones.newamerica.org
GENERAL PROVISIONS Article 1.- Scope of regulation
This Decree prescribes the management of unmanned aircraft and ultralight aircraft; organization of flight activities; grant of flight licenses and management of flights of unmanned aircraft, unpiloted balloons, gliders and piloted balloons which do not take off from and land on airfields opened for civil activities.
Article 2.- Subjects of application
1. Vietnamese and foreign organizations and individuals in Vietnam (below collectively referred to as organizations and individuals for short) that import, export, manufacture or trade in unmanned aircraft and ultralight aircraft.
2. Organizations and individuals that use unmanned aircraft, unpiloted balloons, gliders and piloted balloons and airships to make flights for economic, social, cultural, sport and scientific purposes.
3. State management agencies competent to license organizations and individuals that import, export, temporarily import for re-export, design, manufacture, test or trade in unmanned aircraft and ultralight aircraft.
4. Unmanned aircraft and ultralight aircraft used in service of security or defense tasks comply with the Ministry of Defenses regulations.
Article 3.- Interpretation of terms
1. Unmanned aircraft means flying vehicles, flights of which can be controlled and propelling of which can be sustained without a direct control by any pilots or flight crews onboard.
2. Ultralight aircraft includes balloons and gliders of all kinds.
a/ Balloons means flying objects, the lift of which is provided by lighter-than-air gases contained in their envelopes. There are two types of balloon:
- Piloted balloons;
- Unpiloted balloons, including free balloons, automatically controlled balloons and balloons stringed to fixed positions on the ground.
b/ Gliders, including:
- Gliders resembling various airplanes in shape and design, mounted with engines powered by batteries, liquid or solid fuels or solar energy, and controlled by radio devices or preset programs;
- Piloted or unpiloted parachutes, canopies and hang gliders, excluding traditional kites.
3. Flight license means a document issued or a command given by a competent state agency stating conditions and limitations on permitted operation of unmanned or ultralight aircraft.
Article 4.- Import, export and manufacture of, and trading in unmanned aircraft and ultralight aircraft
1. State agencies competent to license organizations and individuals to import, export, temporarily import for re-export, design, manufacture, test or trade in unmanned or ultralight aircraft may grant licenses only after obtaining the consent of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Public Security.
2. Organizations and individuals wishing to import, export, temporarily import for re-export, design, manufacture, test or trade in unmanned or ultralight aircraft shall send written requests to the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Public Security for approval before submitting their plans to competent authorities for decision.
ORGANIZATION OF FLIGHT ACTIVITIES
Article 5.- Management, administration and supervision of flight activities
The Ministry of Defense shall perform the unified management, administration and supervision of flights of unmanned aircraft, unpiloted balloons, gliders, piloted balloons which do not take off from and land on airfields opened for civil activities. The management covers:
1. Establishing, licensing, answering inquiries about and announcing zones in which flight activities are permitted (flight zones).
2. Designating agencies, organizations or units to manage and supervise flight activities.
The agency directly in charge of management, administration and supervision of flights is stated in each flight license.
Article 6.- Establishment of airfields and flight zones
The Ministry of Defense shall establish airfields, flight zones and test flight zones for unmanned aircraft and ultralight aircraft, ensuring the satisfaction of all flight conditions and no impact on defense, security and aviation safety maintenance.
Article 7.- Organization of aviation clubs
1. The Ministry of Defense shall direct the Air Defense-Air Force Service in coordinating with provincial/municipal Peoples Committees in organizing aviation clubs to involve organizations and individuals in activities of flying ultralight aircraft for economic, cultural, social, sport and defense education purposes.
2. The Ministry of Defense shall issue a regulation on organization and management of flying activities of aviation clubs in accordance with legal documents on security, defense, and management and administration of flights within Vietnams airspace.
GRANT OF FLIGHT LICENSES AND MANAGEMENT OF FLIGHTS
Article 8.- Competence to license, refuse or terminate flight activities
1. The Operations Bureau of the General Command Post licenses or refuses to license flights of unmanned aircraft, unpiloted balloons, gliders, piloted balloons which do not take off from or land on airfields opened for civil activities.
Address of its mail box: 1 Nguyen Tri Phuong street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi; Its telephone numbers: 069 533200; 069 533105; Its fax number: .
2. The National Flight Management Center and regional flight management centers of the Air Defense-Air Force Service and air defense sections of military zones and military command posts of provinces or centrally run cities may request termination of flight activities in the cases specified at Point b, Clause 3, Article 12 of this Decree.
Article 9.- Dossiers and procedures of application for flight licenses
1. When wishing to organize flight activities, organizations and individuals shall submit dossiers of application for flight licenses. A dossier of application for a flight license comprises:
a/ An application for a flight license, made according to a set form (not printed herein);
b/ Technical documents on flying vehicles, including photos of the type of the aircraft or flying vehicle and a written explanation of technical aviation properties of the aircraft or flying vehicle, made according to a set form (not printed herein);
c/ A license or lawful document of authority permitting the aircraft or flying vehicle to take off from or land on an airfield or a land or water surface area;