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Drone regulations Costa Rica

Discussion in 'News' started by Salko, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Salko

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    After receiving several questions about Drone regulation in Costa Rica, I decided to contact officials to clarify what is actual situation with drones.

    All questions were referring to following press release from CostaRicaNews.com
    New Specs for Those Wishing to Fly Drones in Costa Rica

    After talking with officials from DGAC (DIRECCIÓN GENERAL DE AVIACIÓN CIVIL DE COSTA RICA) I could conclude that all information mentioned in press release above should be considered only as their plans, but new bill which will define new rules is in progress. Currently nobody knows how long will it take for the government to workout new rules and make them as active legislation (may be few months, may be half a year o even more).

    So at the moment (6th April 2016) following rules are applied for the drones:
    - Current bill which regulates drones
    - Explanation what is allowed done with the drones and what is prohibited
    - Map of restricted areas of Costa Rica, where it's not allowed to operate the drone, without preapproval with DGAC


    These are official documents, but they are in Spanish. I translated main things, which need to be considered, while flying drone in Costa Rica.
    Bill AIC Series C 05 which is active from 8 MAY 15 puts following restrictions, where it's no allowed to operate the drone:
    1. In a restricted areas (restricted areas are published on the DGAC website. Actually listed areas are not related to the drones, but to all civil aviation in general: like Costa Rican country border with Nicaragua, Presidential palace, Arenal volcano (there was one accident a while ago), Airports), except with the permit set by the DGAC.
    2. In the controlled airspace (like airports), except with the permission set by the DGAC.
    3. Within a radius of 8 km of any airport, except with the permission set by the DGAC.
    4. No person may operate an drone close enough to another aircraft (in terms of the plane), so that it may become a collision hazard.
    5. Can not operate above 400 feet (120 m) above the ground in the uncontrolled airspace except with the permission and set by the DGAC.
    6. Air activities can be performed with drones only during the day and visual contact (taking into account meteorological conditions), making night flights is subject to the approval of the DGAC.
    7. Drone can only operate in areas outside agglomerations buildings in cities, towns or settlements, meetings of people outdoors in uncontrolled airspace except with the permission and the conditions set by the DGAC.


    So to conclude currently it's very general and obvious rules (except of 8km airport radius and 120m height). In any case there is no problems to obtain a permit for certain activity


    Hope you find information useful.
     
    Phatzo likes this.
  2. Phatzo

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    wow. nice work of transaltion :) thanks. unfortunatley i will not be going to that wonderful place in near future but good to know :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. Natty

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    Salko, thank you so much for this. People like you make forums such a valuable resource. Hopefully this information was useful for you as well.
     
  4. hoodlum1

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    Can you ship me a few pounds of your great tasting coffee beans
     
  5. Quadpilot

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    Thanks, Salko, for posting this, as I am about to head south for CR to film a friend's coffee plantation. Good to know that the permit and license are not yet in effect until the law is finalized.
     
  6. Salko

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    Nice to hear from everybody. Thanks for feedback!

    Coffee is really amazing here it's true. Will you share your video from the planation?
     
  7. Tetra9999

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    Thanks for the info Salko... Off there myself next month, I don't suppose you know if the regulations have changed do you?
     
  8. Salko

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    So far I haven't heard about any amendments or changes. CR officials sually aren't so fast )))))
     
  9. Tetra9999

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    Phew... Thanks for the reply Salko. I don't suppose you know what would happen if it was stopped in Costa Rica? Presumable they wouldn't take it but it will mean that I just couldn't fly it.... Don't want to lose my new phantom ;(
     
  10. Salko

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    I don't think that there are any real actions, which could be performed to seize the drone...
     
  11. Felipe Reyes

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    So i will be heading to Costa Rica this Thursday from Nyc to CR...so you telling me I will not have a problem bringing my drone to Costa Rica...
     
  12. Salko

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    1 week ago I just arrived to CR back from Europe bringing drone back as well.
    No any issues with customs or authorities.
     
  13. Antoine Broquet

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    I am going in CR in December, did someone know if the law about the permit has passed?
     
  14. Salko

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    I checked "DIRECCIÓN GENERAL DE AVIACIÓN CIVIL DE COSTA RICA". So far I haven't heard about any amendments or changes.
     
  15. Cina

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    Thanks so much for the info! I'm planning on taking a trip to Costa Rica in November this year - and want to bring my drone along. I looked at a few different websites and some mentioned needing a license to fly a drone? I wouldn't be using it for commercial use - just personal. Is this true? Also - any issues taking it as carry-on for flights into/out of Costa Rica? I'd prefer not to check it.
     
  16. Antoine Broquet

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    Salko and Cina, thank you very much for your infos!
     
  17. Salko

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    Currently same regulations as described above are active. I do not expect that CR aviation inspection will amend them so fast.

    Regarding taking drone to CR, there are no special rules, you just need to check airline you're flying with. Usually rules are the same as for others, just take batteries to your hand luggage in lipppos and make sure not to take more than 2 TB48 batteries (TB47 - without limitation).
     
  18. Cina

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    Thanks so much for the quick reply! I appreciate it! I'd hate to have my drone confiscated at the airport because of new regulations I'm not aware of.
     
  19. cheebs

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    @Cina I fly in & out of Costa Rica with drones about every 2 months (just got home Saturday). Not once since 2014 have I even been asked about what's in the case. The regulations posted here apply to commercial flying, but in general the same common-sense based rules apply in Costa Rica. There are a lot of small airports and lots of small commercial and charter traffic, so be sure you check for NFZs before flying.
    One caveat: I have NOT yet gone there with the Inspire, so cannot confirm that you'll be allowed to carry it on. The I1 case is definitely bigger than allowed carry-on.
     
  20. Cina

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    hey thanks for the reassurance! I actually ordered the DJI Mavic ;) so I'm assuming it will definitely be small enough to carry on.