Licensing Requirements for Flying a Drone in Brazil
First off, if your drone is a sub 250g drone and you’re flying under a 400ft altitude then the ANAC considers you licensed, and you don’t need any additional documentation.
On the other hand, a license is required before flying a drone in the following cases:
- Your drone weighs more than 330 lbs and you want to fly above 400 feet.
- Your drone weighs between 55 lbs and 330 lbs and you want to fly above 400 feet.
- Your drone weighs 55 lbs or less and you want to fly above 400 feet.
In addition to obtaining a license, drone pilots operating drones between 55lbs and 330lbs and flying over 400ft must hold an Aeronautical Medical Certificate (CMA) issued by ANAC or a third class CMA issued by the DECEA.
Learn more about licensing requirements on ANAC’s website.
Now with that out of the way, let’s get into the actual rules to follow:
- You must be at least 18 years old to fly a drone. No exceptions.
- You can’t operate more than one drone at a time.
- Always maintain a visual line of sight when flying your drone.
- If your drone weighs more than 250 grams you need to have insurance for damage coverage.
- Any drone that weighs over 250 g must be registered in ANAC’s Unmanned Aircraft System (SISANT), and the registration ID must be accessible on the UAV. You can register your drone here.
- If you’re dorne weighs over 250 grams, you can only fly in areas 98 feet (30m) or more away from people not involved in the flight, under the full responsibility of the pilot operator and according to rules of use of the Department of Airspace Control (DECEA) airspace.
- You can’t fly over prisons, military bases and critical infrastructures.
- Flying is not allowed 98 feet (30m) or less from a building.
- Flying is not allowed over people
- If you’re flying close to an airport (3 to 5miles), the maximum altitude allowed is 100 meters.
- To fly a drone that weighs over 250g closer than 98 feet (30m) to people it is necessary that the people agree in advance to the operation.
- Autonomous drone operations (operations when your drone is running on auto and you’re not intervening) are strictly prohibited.
For more information on Brazil’s drone laws, see this page on the ANAC website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some specific questions and their answers regarding drone use in Brazil, in case you don’t have the time to read all of the above.
Can I fly a drone in Brazil without having it registered?
As a foreigner who intends to fly their drone higher than the 122 m limit, or exceed the 250 g weight category, it would be prudent if you fill this form before you arrive in Brazil. In about 15 days or so your application will have been processed.
How to get a drone airworthiness certificate in Brazil (CAER)?
A commercial drone user using a UAV exceeding 25 Kg needs the authorization from ANAC to operate their aircraft. The CAER certificate is issued before you purchase the drone to ensure you are capable of handling yourself with the drone.
Can I bring my drone to Brazil?
Going by published ANAC rules on drone use, there are no restrictions on bringing drones to Brazil. However, it must be only one. Check with your airline and confirm its drone storage policy prior to takeoff.
Can I be penalized for flying a drone illegally in Brazil?
If you happen to breach the laws, probably. The penalties are either a fine or imprisonment. Brazil is a large country offering isolated flying sites on some of the coastal beaches or the country’s interior. Keep off the cities as they often land people into trouble one way or the other.
Brazil is home to many beautiful historical sites that make for some of the best shots and films out there. I think any drone enthusiast visiting Brazil should take their time and take as much footage as they can, but only after familiarizing themselves with the legal landscape regarding drone use.
Otherwise you might find yourself with your drone confiscated, a hefty fine or worse, even jail time in some rare cases.