In this post, you’ll learn what laws to follow if you want to fly in Costa Rica with your drone.
Maximum altitude: You are not allowed to fly in Costa Rica with a drone higher than 120 meters.
Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: Drones must always be operated in sight.
Compulsory insurance: As far as I know, you do not need special drone insurance by law. Nevertheless, you should cover your drone worldwide.
Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): No restriction found.
Distance to airports: To airports, you have to keep a distance of 8 kilometers. If you want to get your drone within 8 kilometers of an airfield, you will need a single permit from the Dirección General de Aviación Civil (DGAC).
Other safety distances: Flights are only allowed in uncontrolled airspace. For buildings, a distance of 30 meters must be observed.
No flight zones: Drone flights are only permitted outside urban centers. You need permission for flights in cities and communities and crowds. Absolute flight bans apply in the following areas: La Reforma Prison, Presidential House, El Ministerio de Seguridad Pública, Arenal Volcano, La Palma Passage, Zurquí Tunnel and El Murciélago Police Training Center.
Operating Hours: Drone flights are only allowed in daylight. Night flights are subject to approval by the DGAC, which imposes special conditions for flights at night.
Requirements for commercial pilots: Currently, there seems to be no particular provision for commercial pilots. But I recommend a consultation with the Dirección General de Aviación Civil (DGAC).
Sources: DGAC, Q Costa Rica
We have researched the listed drone regulations for Costa Rica to the best of our knowledge. We cannot guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Costa Rica!