Costa Rica Drone Laws (2019)

Costa Rica Drone Laws

Img 1: Aerial Photography In Central African Republic


  1. General Costa Rica Drone Laws
  2. Drone Permits In Costa Rica
  3. Brining Your Drone On Airplanes Guide
  4. Buying Drones In Costa Rica
  5. Drone Travel Guide Articles
  6. Contact Information For Questions

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General Costa Rica Drone Laws

Drone use is allowed in Costa Rica, but there are several drone laws that need to be followed when flying in the country. Operators must ensure that they follow the following drone laws when flying in Costa Rica,

  • You cannot fly higher than 120 meters (400 feet)
  • You must fly stay at least 8km (5 miles) away from an airport
  • You cannot fly within 30 meters (100 feet) of any house or building
  • You cannot fly over large activities or groups of people without prior authorization
  • You must fly your drone during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions
  • Do not fly your drone above buildings, or around built up areas
  • The following areas are completely off limits to drones, La Reforma Prison, The Presidential House, El Ministerio de seguridad publica, Arenal volcano, La palma passage, The Zurqui Tunnel, El Murcielago Police Training Center

Permit Needed For Recreational Drone Use?

A drone permit is not required for recreational drone use in Costa Rica at this time. (What Is Recreational Drone Use?)

Permit Needed For Commercial Drone Use?

A drone permit is required for commercial drone use in Costa Rica. Operations with Drones intended for commercial activities may only be carried out by natural or legal persons that have a certificate of operation. Only the operator can request it in person.

One of the requirements to obtain certification is to complete a drone flight course that consists of 48 theoretical hours and 10 practical hours. The training will be facilitated by centers that Civil Aviation will authorize.

Please Click here or contact the local aviation authority to obtain a permit. (What Is Commercial Drone Use?)

Bringing Your Drone On Airplanes Guide

For a detailed guide to bringing your drone on airplanes click here. All drones should be brought on carry on luggage if possible. This is because according to the Montreal Convention, airlines are only liable for losses up to ~$1,000 USD. When traveling internationally, theft and lost luggage can be common issues, particularly if your flight has many connections. If your drone is worth more than $1,000 USD and you cannot bring it onto the plane you should consider shipping it with DHL, Fedex, or UPS instead and fully insure the shipment.

You should NOT place drone batteries in your checked baggage. All drone batteries should be placed in a Medium Size Lipo Battery Bag" data-src="//" alt="" width="1" height="1" border="0" /> like the one shown here in the link and brought onto the plane in your carry on bag. Lithium-ion batteries are considered “dangerous goods” by airlines and rules surrounding these batteries on planes are EXTREMELY strict due to multiple incidents of these batteries catching fire. Failure to properly pack lithium-ion batteries in a bag such as the one shown in the link above can result in the airline seizing them, you getting fined, or being denied boarding.

Here is some video footage shot by Stealth Goose when flying a drone in Costa Rica.

Buying Drones In Costa Rica

Read all of our Costa Rica Drone Laws, and now looking for drones, parts, accessories, or something else? Read our guide for Buying Drones In Costa Rica. It includes information on drones for sale in Costa Rica, import taxes, payment options, and shipping.

Drone Travel Guide

Costa Rica drone laws are up to date as of June, 2019. Please email [email protected] , or click “leave a message” at the bottom right of the screen if you have any questions or comments.