Drone flying is regulated by the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute (Instituto Dominicano de Aviación Civil or IDAC). As of April 2018, if your drone weighs less than 4.4 pounds (two kilograms), you are not required to have a permit. However, we strongly suggest that you still request permission from IDAC (http://www.idac.gob.do) before entering the country because the customs department at the airport tends to hold this kind of item in order to charge duties taxes. Having a letter of permission ahead of arrival will make it easier for you upon entering the DR.
In addition, you must always comply with the following:
- The drone must be made of flexible materials, in case of possible impact towards any object or person, for minimum danger to the person or object struck.
- The drone must be manually operated, allowing you or the operator to maintain direct visual contact at all times and not exceeding 400 feet (122 meters) of distance from you or the operator;
- You must not fly the drone inside a five-mile radius (8 kms) of any airport.
- You must operate the drone in conditions of weather flight vision—not at night—and it must be permanently in your sight and control or that of the operator; and
- You must be sure, prior to commencing flying your drone, that the aircraft and its control system are in safe operating conditions.
- Obtain verbal permission from the resort or any private property over which you intend to fly your drone, and to operate when the area is not crowded so as not to invade anyone’s privacy, particularly over busy beaches.
- If your drone is over the above 4.4 pounds (two kilograms) weight limit, you will need a permit issued from IDAC. Contact them directly at DTAC@idac.gov.do to receive an application and start the process at least a month before your trip.
If your drone weighs over 4.4 pounds (two kilograms), you are required by law to submit a permission request to IDAC (http://www.idac.gob.do). In this request, you must specify the date, time, and place of use, and the nature of usage (commercial or personal).
Be sure to check regularly on any changes in IDAC drone regulations.