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Drone Laws in Costa Rica

Drone regulations and links for people flying drones in Costa Rica.

drone laws in Costa RicaCosta Rica Drone Regulations

According to Costa Rica’s national aviation authority, the Costa Rica Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), flying a drone is legal in Costa Rica, but we recommend being aware of and compliant with the drone regulations listed below before doing so.

If you’d like to contact the DGCA directly before you travel with any questions you might have, here is their contact information: ecubillo@dgac.go.cr / +506 2242 8000

flying a drone in Costa Rica

Why fly a drone in Costa Rica? To get great aerial shots like these!

General Rules for Flying a Drone in Costa Rica

Based on our research and interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Costa Rica.

  • All drones in Costa Rica must be registered with the DGAC. The DGAC registration portal can be found here.
  • Fly only during the day and with clear weather conditions.
  • Keep the drone within your visual line of sight.
  • Do not fly in cities, communities, and crowds unless you have special permission from the DGAC.
  • Do not fly closer than 30 meters (98 feet) from buildings.
  • Do not fly closer than 8 kilometers (miles) from airports or airfields.
  • Do not fly in specific No Fly Zones, including the following: Arenal Volcano, La Palma passage, Zurqui Tunnel, el Murcielago Police Training Center, La Reforma Prison, The Presidental House, El Ministerio de seguridad publica.

For more information on Costa Rica’s drone laws, see this link.

Know something we don’t about drone laws in Costa Rica? Send us an email at support@uavcoach.com. We are not international aviation attorneys and do our best to keep this page up-to-date for drone pilots, but the reality is that given the pace of the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) industry and how governments are responding, drone regulations in Costa Rica can change throughout the year, and those changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.

Certification Requirements for Flying a Drone in Costa Rica

Drone pilots flying for commercial purposes must obtain a certificate issued by the Technical Council of Civil Aviation and an operational certificate issued by the DGAC.

The requirements for obtaining an operational certificate include:

  • Passing theoretical and practical courses
  • Over 10 hours of experience flying
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must have a high school diploma

Learn more about certification requirements in Costa Rica in this document created by the DGAC.

Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in Costa Rica? Here you go: