Drone Laws in Guatemala

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Republic of Guatemala

Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC)


UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Guatemala

The Guatemalan agency responsible for drone safety, DGAC, 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 Guatemala?

According to DGAC, drone use is allowed in Guatemala, subject to DGAC regulations. Read on for more details.

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

The Guatemalan Drone laws enumerate drones into three classes:

  • Large UAV: An unmanned aircraft with a wrapping capacity of more than 170 cubic meters.
    • An unmanned parachute powered with a launch mass of more than 150 kilograms.
    • A drone with a take-off weight greater than 150 kilograms.
    • An unmanned helicopter with a take-off weight greater than 100 kilograms.
    • An unmanned lifting device powered with a throwing mass greater than 100 kilograms.
  • Small UAV: It means a UAV that is not a large UAV or a micro UAV, that is with take-off weight between 100 grams and 150 kilograms.
  • Micro UAV: It means a UAV with a total weight of 100 grams or less.

Registration

You must declare your drone at customs if you wish to enter Guatemala with it. Additionally, you may need to register it. 

The weight and features of the vehicle determine whether registration is required. You can quickly determine whether your drone is required to be registered by using the form on the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil’s website (DGAC) drone model selector. There, you can conduct a manufacturer- and model-specific search. 

If your drone does not require registration, you will see the message “El drone seleccionado NO necesita registro” or “The selected drone does not require registration.” You may print it and present it to the tax and customs authorities if necessary. 

On the other hand, if your drone requires registration, the message “El drone seleccionado SI necesita registro” or “The selected drone DOES need registration” will appear. 

To begin the registration process, you must complete a form and have your signature notarized. Additionally, this document details the requirements for drones purchased outside Guatemala. You may submit your documents to the Registro Aeronáutico Nacional, 9 Avenida 14-75 Zona 13 Aeropuerto Internacional La Aurora, Ciudad de Guatemala. 

The drone is assigned an identification number similar to UAV-TG-XXX following a successful inspection. These final three digits must be visible in the lower portion of the left wing or on both visible sides if the device lacks a fixed-wing. In both cases, a metal badge containing the following information must be attached to the inside or outside of the drone: model, series, owner, and identification.

Further information for drone pilots in Guatemala

  • Guatemalan law requires you to insure your drone. 
  • Maintain a 5-kilometer (3-mile) buffer zone around airports. 
  • Drone flights at night are not permitted in Guatemala unless the drone is visible due to adequate lighting. 

Commercial pilots operating drones in Guatemala must obtain a Certificado Operativo (CO).


Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Guatemala

Despite the preceding, the RAC – 101 Regulation permits the operation of a UAV for sport or recreational purposes if it is conducted outside populated areas, below 400 feet above ground level, and per the Regulation’s standards.


Notes for Commercial Drone Services operations in Guatemala

See General Notes above.


Useful published information on flying drones in Guatemala

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

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.


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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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