Drone Laws in El Salvador

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Republic of El Salvador

Civil Aviation Authority of El Salvador (AAC)


UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in El Salvador

The El Salvadorian agency responsible for drone safety, AAC, has provided several internet-accessible details on flying for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the link above.

Are drones allowed in El Salvador?

According to AAC, drone use is allowed in El Salvador, subject to AAC regulations. Read on for more details.

Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in El Salvador:

According to the Regulation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (RAC- VANT), issued on April 27th, 2017, UAS are aircraft, including those with fixed wings and rotary wings and unmanned blimps, to be used in aerial work, experimental and recreational flights different from aircraft modeling.

Drones 25kg and heavier are not covered by the authorizations described below.

UAS for private use (non-recreational) must obtain a Certificate and register the aircraft

Leisure UAS only needs to be registered at AAC.

  • UAS operators are responsible for inspecting the aircraft before each flight to ensure it is functioning and safe.
  • There are laws regarding privacy protection, so the operator must have written authorization from the owner to operate above private property.
  • UAS cannot be operated in a radius of 2 km from authorized private runways.
  • If UAS are operated at less than 400 feet, the UAS operator must inform the operator of crewed aircraft to avoid collisions or interferences.
  • The UAS operator must verify that other radio frequencies and transmissions do not interfere with the control of the aircraft.
  • UAS operations are not allowed when:
    • its maximum take-off weight is higher than 25 Kg;
    • if UAS are over the pilot’s visual range;
    • 400 feet above ground level,
    • when the speed of   70 km per hour is exceeded;
    • if there are not minimum visual conditions or it is nighttime;
    • the distance from international airports is less than 6 kilometers;
    • the distance from private runways is less than 2 kilometers;
    • the distance from heliports are less than 250 meters;
    • UAS constitutes an obstacle for another aircraft;
    • over military facilities, voting centers, prisons, judicial courts, electric stations, hydroelectric and geothermal plants, maritime ports, hospitals, embassies, frontier zones, and other restricted areas published in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP);
    • over private property and meetings of people;
    • when two or more UAS are operated at the same time;
    • from a moving platform;
    • when the operator transfers the command of the UAS during the flight stage;
    • there is not an appropriate and safe landing and takeoff zone;
    • UAS transport dangerous goods or are going to drop any object or substance. 

How to get a License or authorization to operate UAS?

To obtain authorization to operate UAS, the aircraft and the operator must be registered before AAC.

The application to register the UAS must contain the following information: owner’s name and ID number, contact information (telephone number and email address), UAS’ manufacturer, model and serial number, Remote Pilot Station or remote-control device serial numbers, radio frequency control, and any other information requested by AAC. Each UAS will have a unique ID number to identify them.

UAS operators must file a form with the following information: name and ID number, contact information such as mail address, telephone number and email, the aeronautic licenses, and any other information AAC may request. The registration of operators is only for census and does not ensure the competence or expertise of the operator.

According to AAC the following are the current fees:

DescriptionAmount
Registration of UAS$20.00
Registration of UAS operators (per UAS).$20.00

Note for Foreign Operator

All UAS operators and aircraft must be registered with AAC.

Foreign operators must file a copy of the passport to obtain the license and the registration authorization.


Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in El Salvador

Leisure UAS only needs to be registered at AAC.

Private UAS operators must have an insurance policy on the UAS with a minimum coverage of $ 1,000,000 (one million dollars of the United States of America) for civil liability (in case of damages to third parties or private property) and coverage within the territory of El Salvador.

See general rules above.


Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in El Salvador

UAS for private use (non-recreational) must obtain a Certificate and register the aircraft

Every UAS’s operator that intends to carry out aerial work must have an insurance policy on the UAS with a minimum coverage of $ 1,000,000 (one million dollars of the United States of America) for civil liability (in case of damages to third parties or private property) and coverage within the territory of El Salvador.

See general rules above.


Useful published information on flying drones in El Salvador

Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in El Salvador…

NOTE: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model aircraft, toy aircraft, Remote controlled aircraft, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.


Traveling with a Drone?

Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone



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IMPORTANT NOTE

The content on this site is collated by volunteers from public general information. This material is not presented as legal advice of any kind, and we cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Do not substitute the information you find here for legal advice from a licensed attorney who is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction. When in doubt, contact the local aviation authority responsible for drone safety, utilize a licensed drone service operator, and/or consult a qualified attorney.

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