Drone Laws in Guatemala

Flying drones in Guatemala

It is not easy to understand what rules apply to drone pilots in Guatemala. In this article, we collect all relevant information.

In Guatemala, drones are divided into several categories:

  • UAV Micro: Drones with a mass of 100 grams or less.
  • UAV Pequeño: Drones weighing more than 100 grams and less than 150 kilograms.
  • UAV Grande: These include, among other things, drones weighing more than 150 kilograms.

If you want to enter Guatemala with your drone, you have to declare it at customs. You may also need to register it.

Apparently, the weight and features determine whether registration is necessary or not. For example, the DJI Spark does not have to be registered, but the Mavic 2 does. You can easily find out whether your drone is subject to registration using this form on the website of the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC). There, you can search for manufacturer and model name.

If your drone does not have to be registered, you will receive the message “El drone seleccionado NO necesita registro.” Below that is a link to a form confirming this. As far as we understand, you can print it out and show it to the tax and customs administration if necessary.

However, if your drone has to be registered, the message “El drone seleccionado SI necesita registro” will appear. To start the registration, you have to fill out this form and apparently have the signature notarized. This document also lists the requirements for drones purchased abroad. You can submit your documents to the Registro Aeronáutico Nacional at 9 Avenida 14-75 Zona 13 Aeropuerto Internacional La Aurora, Ciudad de Guatemala.

After successful inspection, the drone is assigned an identification number that is similar to UAV-TG-XXX. These last three digits must be visible either in the lower part of the left wing or, if the device has no fixed wing, on both visible sides. In both cases, a metal badge must be fixed to the inside or outside of the drone and should contain the following information: model, series, owner and identification.

Overview: Drone rules in Guatemala

Recreational use of drones allowed? Yes, after registration or approval
Commercial use of drones permitted? Yes, after registration or approval
Maximum Altitude:400 Foot (121,9 Meter) in uncontrolled airspace.
Is drone insurance mandatory? Yes, for private and commercial drone flights. Learn more about drone insurance here.
Does the drone need a badge?Yes.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? Yes.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people
Contact information

E-mail Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil: [email protected]

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Further information for drone pilots in Guatemala

The legislature in Guatemala expects you to insure your drone.

Keep a distance of 5 kilometers (3 miles) to airports.

Night flights are not allowed in Guatemala with drones unless the drone is visible through adequate lighting.

Commercial pilots need a Certificado Operativo (CO) to use drones in Guatemala.

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Guatemala 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 Guatemala!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!

Discussions

  • Hans G | 28.12.2018

    Here is an article that states the drone rules in Guatemala in Spanish:
    http://www.dgac.gob.gt/index.php/drones

    https://www.prensalibre.com/economia/economia/bajo-incentivo-para-el-registro-de-drones

    Has anyone had any troubles entering the country with a drone weighting 900 grams (mavic pro/pro 2)?

    • rani | 11.03.2019

      thanx for the links….

  • Antonio | 12.02.2019

    Does one need to buy a permit of some sort in order to fly your drone in Guatemala?

    • Hans G | 25.02.2019

      I entered Guatemala by land from Mex and no one checked my luggage, in fact, my passport was stamped in 2 minutes and I was sent on my way. However, entering the country by air might be different.

      • rani | 11.03.2019

        At which border crossing did you pass?

  • Hans | 12.03.2019

    I entered through El Ceibo border crossing.

    • rani | 18.03.2019

      Did you have your own car?

      • Hans | 18.03.2019

        no, through a tourist shuttle

        • rani | 19.03.2019

          ok, thanx….i drove my car through the La Mesilla border crossing and it was a small place and pretty easy crossing….i was wondering if El Ceibo would also be an easy crossing….
          thanx, rani

  • Hans | 19.03.2019

    They didn’t bother with my luggage at all. It’s a small crossing as well

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