Drone Laws in Panama

Flying drones in Panama

In this article, you will find the current rules for multicopter pilots in Panama.

In Panama, drones are divided into different categories:

  • RPA Micro: drones up to 250 grams
  • RPA Liviana: from 250 g to 25 kg
  • RPA Mediana: from 25 to 150 kg
  • RPA Pesada: from 150 kg

Four types of use are distinguished in civil operations:

  • Recreation
  • Private, not commercial
  • Commercial
  • Sports

If you capture aerial images with your drone, this does not count as recreation or sport in Panama.

In Panama, all drones must be registered with the Autoridad Aeronáutica Civil (ACC), regardless of what weight class they fall into. Remote pilots require a remote pilot license. Foreign drone operators receive a special permit.

This form (docx for download) is available for the application. You send this along with a copy of your passport, your drone license, proof of insurance, a photo of your drone, and the serial numbers of the drone and remote control to the e-mail address given in the form.

Overview: Drone rules in Panama

Recreational use of drones allowed? Yes, after registration or approval
Commercial use of drones permitted? Yes, after registration or approval
Maximum Altitude:400 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?No.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? Yes.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people

Further rules for drone pilots in Panama

The maximum flight altitude for unmanned flight systems in Panama depends on the weight class (see above). RPA Micro has a maximum altitude of 30 meters (100 feet), for RPA Liviana and heavier categories it is 120 meters (400 feet).

A multicopter is allowed to move around the pilot in Panama within a maximum radius of 500 meters.

You will need permission from the AAC to perform drone maneuvers for commercial purposes.

Safety distances and flight bans

In Panama, you have to keep your drone 8 kilometers away from airports. The same distance applies to the presidential seat and all correctional facilities. You should also stay away from areas that are sensitive for security, such as embassies, public institutions, and banks.

Flying over bystanders is prohibited unless you have permission from the AAC, the individuals involved, and liability insurance. Otherwise, you have to keep a safety distance of 30 meters (horizontal) or 10 meters (vertical).

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Panama 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 Panama!

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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!

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