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Costa Rica Rules and Regulations

folk_me

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I'm not getting too many hits over at the sUAV R&Rs thread so I thought I'd drop this here in case anyone wanted to share their experiences...

I'm traveling to Costa Rica at the end of the month and I've done some research into the rules and regulations I may encounter during my trip. I've already gotten some lipo bags for my batteries (for the flight) but my bigger concern is the recreational sUAV laws of the country.

I've read around and I am getting some confusing reports regarding recreational users being required to have a $94 drone license from the DGAC (FAA equivalent). While none are arguing the law, some are saying it's not yet in place.

So my question is, has anyone traveled to Costa Rica in the past 6 months and if so, what has been your experience? Any stories about your airline travel, in-country issues, etc. will be appreciated!
 
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I was there not too long ago. I cant imagine anyone enforcing anything in Costa Rica. Maybe stay away from wild life . Lots of good Volcanoes you can get pretty close to and plenty of jungle beaches. Rent a Jeep and go where you wish. Great place, but its more like going to California than another country. They did a random search on me at the airport. Made me almost empty my suitcase. They asked me " what was in the backpack". I told them a drone. They didn't even open it.

 
I am waiting on this as well not many people seem to know i will be watching this thread. Good luck!
 
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I'm here in Costa Rica. There's no regulation(government or DGAC still working on making a law) at this moment but you may have to follow pretty much international rules or FAA rules that's it.
 
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I'm here in Costa Rica. There's no regulation(government or DGAC still working on making a law) at this moment but you may have to follow pretty much international rules or FAA rules that's it.

Maybe I wrote down incorrectly... we do have regulations but no law at this moment!! Just follow FAA regulations and you'll have no issues at all.
 
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Thank you everyone for the answers! This was great! I already planned on using common sense, i.e., don't fly over people's heads, follow general FAA rules, and use LiPo bags for battery transport, but this just lets me feel a little more reassured about the trip.
 
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I'm here in Costa Rica. There's no regulation(government or DGAC still working on making a law) at this moment but you may have to follow pretty much international rules or FAA rules that's it.
Do you live there or are you visiting? Our trip is short, so we're very limited with our venues. However, we are going to hit Bajos del Toro, Poas Volcano, the free hot spring in La Fortuna, Arenal and the Baldi hot spring, Tenorio and Rio Celeste and finally Manuel Antonio.

Do you have any tips, suggestions related to those areas in regards to getting the most of our drone shots. I've been asking friends and watching videos about best times, routes, etc.
 
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I was there not too long ago. I cant imagine anyone enforcing anything in Costa Rica. Maybe stay away from wild life . Lots of good Volcanoes you can get pretty close to and plenty of jungle beaches. Rent a Jeep and go where you wish. Great place, but its more like going to California than another country. They did a random search on me at the airport. Made me almost empty my suitcase. They asked me " what was in the backpack". I told them a drone. They didn't even open it.


We just got back and coincidentally, my wife was randomly selected to be searched at the airport as well. I had the drone with me, so no issues to speak of there. Another instance where I thought we'd have some potential issues was entry into the Manuel Antonio National Park where they were performing bag searches. They opened my bag, took at a look at my CD case (converted to a drone case) and didn't say anything. So enforcement, though inevitable, seems pretty lax these days.

Now the weather was a different story! It rained every day we were there!
 
We were this weekend in Manuel Antonio and we had a great weekend. Weather was amazingly good for flying! Almost no wind at all and no clouds.. great. We stayed at Parador Hotel. Amazing place. But one of the guys mentioned that previous days it rained a lot. I was even able to take off next to the pool. Everybody was calmed and relaxed. There was another guy with a Mavic as well.
 
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We were this weekend in Manuel Antonio and we had a great weekend. Weather was amazingly good for flying! Almost no wind at all and no clouds.. great. We stayed at Parador Hotel. Amazing place. But one of the guys mentioned that previous days it rained a lot. I was even able to take off next to the pool. Everybody was calmed and relaxed. There was another guy with a Mavic as well.

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Currently in costa rica just made it to flora blanca from Alajuela got some AMAZING footage i will share when back in the states
 
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No issues in airports so far and we moved once while here so we were clear from
US - San Jose
San -Jose to Tabor

Security in San Jose failed to pick up my full water bottle in security. In other words flying is not an issue with the Mavic no questions asked...
 
Great, keep us updated! I leave April 5th. Flying into Liberia airport.

We were just there for 2 weeks, flew from Los Angeles into Liberia. Brought the Mavic without a hitch, put the back pack with Mavic thru the X-Ray machine in CR, no one ever questioned it.
When flying in Liberia did not have any issues. The weather was high 80s - low 90s, one day I was flying close to a fishing boat about a mile and half off the coast of Liberia, took nice video and pictures. When I brought the Mavic back to swap to a fresh battery the motors were so hot to the touch that I decided to let her sit for a few minutes before the next flight, all in all she is such a trooper.
 
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Currently in costa rica just made it to flora blanca from Alajuela got some AMAZING footage i will share when back in the states
Would love to see what you have. I'm a perfectionist and haven't quiiiiiiite gotten my footage edited to my satisfaction. But I'll post a link on YouTube when it's complete.

While we were there, rain prevented us from flying most days. Most of my footage came from Manuel Antonio National Park.
 
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