The use of drones has increased in Costa Rica over the last few years. It is common to see these aircrafts flying over concerts or sports events, filming artistic videos or movies, and even in private events. Consequently, on February 2018, the Nacional Aviation Department, or DNAC for its name in Spanish, issued a decree that regulates the use of drones in Costa Rica, for recreative, institutional, or commercial purposes.
According to our legislation, drones–despite its purpose– should not fly at a height greater than 120 meters and must not approach at a distance closer than 8 kilometers any airport, places where there are big concentrations of people such as concerts, the Presidential House, jails, or wherever the privacy of third parties may be affected. When an operator wants to obtain an exception to these conditions in order to carry on a project for profit, the operator must request a special permit before the DNAC. Notwithstanding the permit, all the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (R.P.A.S) must comply with the restrictions mentioned above unless an exception is granted. Likewise, even the drones that are used for recreational purposes that are greater that 25 kilograms, must obtain a license to operate.
If drone operators breach any of the provisions established in our legislation, such operators would be exposed to penalties that start from USD$700.00 up to USD$14,000.00 (from 1 to 20 base salaries) depending on the seriousness of the offense.
If you have had any problems with the misuse of drones by third parties or if you feel your privacy has been diminished we can help you take action. If this is your case, you can contact any of the attorneys in our Firm, we would be happy to assist you in this matter.