New Drone Laws in Venezuela (2023 Updated)
In Venezuela, drones have become a valuable part of society. They assist with many different tasks - from mapping and surveillance of remote areas to delivering goods such as food and medical supplies to areas in need.
The ability of drones to travel long distances without occupants has made them increasingly popular among Venezuelans, particularly the military, due to their ability to overcome terrain which would otherwise be too dangerous or impossible for a human operator.
Drone technology is becoming more accessible every day; with that, more people are looking for ways to make the most of these powerful devices.
However, before taking off and soaring above Venezuela's vast landscapes and stunning scenery, it's important to consider the drone laws in Venezuela.
This blog post will take a closer look at the drone laws in Venezuela and what those regulations entail to help ensure an enjoyable flying experience for all involved.
Table of Contents
- Classifications of Drones in Venezuela
- General Drone Laws in Venezuela (2023)
- Registration and Airworthiness Certificate in Venezuela
- Safety Regulations and Prohibitions in Venezuela
- Regulations For Drone Operations in Venezuela
- Rules For Commercial Use of Drones in Venezuela
- Rules For The Recreational Use of Drones in Venezuela
- The National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC)
- No Drone Zones in Venezuela
Classifications of Drones in Venezuela
Venezuela has a distinct classification for remotely piloted aircraft based on their weight.
- Class 1 Mini RPA applies to vehicles weighing less than 3 kilograms,
- While Class 2 RPA Ligeros are those between 3 and 25 kilograms.
- For larger RPAs, the classifications of either Class 3 RPA Livianos (25-150 kg) or Class 4 RPA Pesado (> 150kg) apply regardless of whether they’re used privately or commercially.
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General Drone Laws in Venezuela (2023)
To operate a drone in Venezuela, one must receive the proper authorization and obtain a license. Here are some of the stipulations you need to meet in order to be eligible for obtaining such licensure:
- To be eligible, applicants must possess Venezuelan nationality or come from countries that grant Venezuelans reciprocal rights.
- To be authorized to pilot a drone in Venezuela, proficiency in Spanish is indispensable - the language must be articulated orally and written as well.
- To be eligible for the license, holders must possess a valid Aeronautical Medical Certificate that corresponds with their license type.
- An individual must be at least 13 years of age and in possess a valid license and medical certificate in order to fly class 1 drones.
- Owning a drone in Venezuela is not an option without registering it through the available online platform. To ensure that all requirements are met, prospective owners must submit additional documents via the registration form.
Registration and Airworthiness Certificate in Venezuela
Before taking off in the nation's airspace, it is an absolute requirement that all Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) be registered with the National Aviation Registry (RAN).
The only persons permitted to receive a Registration Mark are those classified as Class 3 or 4. All other classes will acquire their credentials through the issuance of a Registration Proof Certificate.
Suppose you are looking to fly an RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) classified as Class 4 within the national airspace. In that case, you must obtain a Certificate of Airworthiness from the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).
However, if your aircraft is categorized as either Class 2 or 3, instead of earning a Certificate of Airworthiness, you will need to receive a Certificate of Conformity with Airworthy Condition.
This document confirms that your RPA is safe to take off and operate in flight. For Class 1 RPAs, no proof of airworthiness is required. Still, the operator must submit a Declaration of Safe Operation and Conformity with Original Design to the CAA if the RPA is used in commercial operations.
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Safety Regulations and Prohibitions in Venezuela
It is compulsory to keep drones 9 kilometers away from airports at all times. Class 1 and Class 2 Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAs) are allowed to ascend up to 400 feet in height.
For optimal safety, drones must only be flown during the day when light is present, and the pilot should remain within a visual line of sight. If it falls into class 1, meaning that its maximum takeoff weight does not exceed 3 kilograms, then it can rise up to 500 meters in altitude.
To ensure safety, a minimum distance of 1.8 kilometers must be kept between the president's abode, departments and administrations (domestic and overseas), core industrial plants/companies (iron, steel, electricity, petrochemicals) as well as defense forces facilities such as military bases/camps; police stations; correctional institutions or detention centers.
Regulations For Drone Operations in Venezuela
To ensure safety, all operations must be conducted under daylight and in accordance with Visual Flight Rules (VFR). If you wish to take photos or film from the sky, it is essential that you steer clear of densely populated areas and private property without obtaining consent from the proprietor first.
Depending on the class of RPA, there are different restrictions. Class 1 and 2 RPAs cannot ascend to more than 400 feet (122 meters) from their take-off location and must remain within 500 meters (700 meters) in a Visual Line of Sight (VLOS).
However, the manufacturer's manual specifies performance parameters for RPAs as 3 or 4, so no altitude limits apply.
Any unmanned aerial vehicle must be kept at least 5 nautical miles or 9 kilometers away from any airport, as well as 1.8-kilometers from the residence of the President of State and establishments such as military bases, law enforcement stations, prisons, and strategic industrial companies that process oil or minerals.
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Rules For Commercial Use of Drones in Venezuela
For those looking to operate drones commercially in Venezuela, a "ROC" - Remote Aircraft Operator Certificate (the equivalent to the AOC used for traditional commercial aviation) - is required before commencing operations. Without this certificate, these operators will not be authorized to conduct any drone-related activities in the country.
The law does not differentiate between worldwide and local drone operators. Hence, if the Civil Aviation Authority does not state otherwise, both are eligible for the verification process.
Although the regulation sets a 30-day timeframe for Class 1 & 2 RPAs and 90 days for Class 3 & 4 RPAs to be certified, it usually takes much longer than that in practice.
Rules For The Recreational Use of Drones in Venezuela
There is no need to seek permission from any authoritative body to use a Class 1 or Class 2 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) for recreational purposes. In order to legally enjoy the recreational use of Class 3 and 4 drones, you must obtain CAA authorization.
For recreational drone pilots, eligibility begins at the ripe age of 13 years old; they must also obtain a Certificate of Successful Completion from an approved training institution to demonstrate their competence.
Before you operate a Class 3 or 4 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) must confirm that you possess an insurance policy to cover third-party damages caused by your operation. This is a mandatory requirement for all RPA operators.
No license is necessary if you wish to operate a Class 1 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) recreationally. However, all other classes of RPAs do require an official permit or license to be legally operated.
The National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC)
The National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC) is a government-sponsored research center focusing on the sustainable development of civil aeronautical technology. This institute strives to create, test, and promote applications related to civil aircraft, such as drones.
Drones are small, unmanned aircraft capable of acting autonomously or being piloted remotely by a human operator.
INAC researches and develops new ways to ensure that these aerial vehicles remain functioning safely and securely while in use for mission-critical applications such as emergency response operations or in commercial sectors like distribution and delivery services.
By investing its resources in drone sciences, INAC continues to press forward the boundaries of state-of-the-art aeronautic solutions for civilian use worldwide.
No Drone Zones in Venezuela
A no-drone zone is an area designated by a country or entity to restrict unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) use. These zones are meant to maintain safety and security, as drones can be used for illegal activities such as espionage.
Venezuela has recently implemented several no-drone zones, particularly around its airports and other sensitive locations in order to provide security against potential attacks by hostile forces.
The Venezuelan government is taking active measures to ensure that its borders are well-defended from any incursions, reinforcing its strict stance on not allowing unauthorized drones within its airspace.
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Is it legal to fly a drone in Venezuela?
Yes, you can legally fly a drone in Venezuela if you follow the laws and regulations outlined by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Do I need permission from the CAA to fly my drone recreationally?
No, you do not need permission from the CAA to use a Class 1 or Class 2 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) for recreational purposes. However, if you want to use a Class 3 or 4 RPA, then you must obtain CAA authorization first.
Are there any no-drone zones in Venezuela?
Yes, Venezuela has implemented several no-drone zones, particularly around its airports and other sensitive locations.
Is there an age requirement for recreational drone pilots?
Yes, you must be at least 13 years old in order to be eligible for recreational drone piloting. You will also need to obtain a Certificate of Successful Completion from an approved training institution in order to demonstrate your competence.
Do I need insurance when flying my drone recreationally?
Yes, you must possess an insurance policy to cover third-party damages caused by your operation if you wish to operate a Class 3 or 4 RPA recreationally. Insurance is not required if you are using a Class 1 or 2 RPA for recreational purposes.
How to know about no drone zones?
No-drone zones can be identified through the INAC's website. The site also contains detailed information about where, when, and why restricted areas exist. Additionally, you can contact the CAA or your local law enforcement agency for up-to-date information on any no-drone zone in Venezuela.
Overall, in order to operate a drone in Venezuela, one must meet the proper authorization requirements and obtain a valid license.
Additionally, they must adhere to certain safety regulations, such as maintaining a distance of 9 kilometers from airports, staying below 400 feet of altitude, and keeping 1.8 kilometers away from government facilities.
It is vital that operators comply with all applicable laws and regulations to ensure smooth operations and safety for everyone involved.
By educating yourself on the local and national regulations for UAVs, you can help keep the skies safe for future drone operations. We hope that you found this article valuable. Please don't hesitate to comment and share.