If you are thinking of traveling to the Dominican Republic and want to take your drone, you have come to the right place.
However, before you travel, there are specific steps you must follow, and there are documents you will need to get in order and present.
I will help you learn the restrictions and who to contact to take your drone to the Dominican Republic.
Drone flight in the Dominican Republic is regulated by the Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation (IDAC). They are the ones who must give you the necessary permission and authorization to fly your drone in any location within the Dominican Republic.
Can I take my drone to the Dominican Republic?
The answer is yes, you can take your drone to the Dominican Republic. You have to fill out government paperwork beforehand, even though the paperwork may not be checked upon arrival.
The government does not differentiate the use of recreational and commercial drones. However, there are strict codes of conduct and restrictions for both of these drones.
In addition, the rules apply according to the weight of the drone.
“If your drone weighs less than 4.4 pounds, you are not required to have a permit. However, it is strongly suggested that you request permission from the IDAC before entering the country, since the airport customs department tends to retain these types of items to collect taxes. Having a letter of permission before you arrive will make it easier for you.”
Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation (IDAC)
The restricted areas
You cannot fly your drone over military bases or government infrastructures. Neither should you fly close to aerodromes or airports anywhere in the country.
You may need permission to fly in national parks and reserves. It is best to check to make sure you can fly in a local park as well.
You should not fly your drone in an area where it will affect law enforcement or first responders.
General rules for drone flight in the Dominican Republic
- You should fly during daylight hours and at an altitude of no more than 121 meters above the ground and no more than 500 meters from you.
- You should be at least 50 meters from moving vehicles, private property, and large crowds.
- You should respect other people’s privacy while flying your drone.
If your drone weighs more than 2kg, it must be registered. This includes accessories.
What to do before taking your drone to the Dominican Republic
You should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org asking about all the requirements needed to travel to the Dominican Republic with a DJI Mini 2 drone weighing 249 grams. Usually, they will respond quickly.
These are the steps:
1. First, you will be asked to send them a copy or photo of your identity document or passport.
2. Then you will be sent 2 forms: the first with the requirements that are needed, and the second is a file where you have to fill in all the data of the drone, as well as the places and coordinates where you plan to fly the drone.
3. After sending all the documents, you should receive an email with a certification number and a link where you can track the process.
Documents needed to travel to the Dominican Republic with a drone
These are the documents you have to send:
- Complete the Small RPAS Permits-Authorizations Data Sheet, IDAC-1500-9 (Physical and/or Digital).
- Color copy of RPAS operator license.
- Color copy of RPAS Registration.
- Color copy of insurance policy (if applicable).
- Map/satellite photo, indicating the coordinates and places of the requested operation.
The certificate of authorization
How is the certificate issued by IDAC to fly a drone in the Dominican Republic?
After about 5 days, you should be sent the RPAS/DRONE authorization certificate.
Recommendations when requesting authorization to fly a drone in the Dominican Republic:
- This authorization must be requested at least (5) business days in advance.
- To date, this service is free of charge.
- All drones need a permit regardless of their weight.
- Attach a copy of the drone license.
- Attach a copy of the drone registration.
Take into account that this could take more than 5 days. Take the appropriate timely precautions and do it in advance.
Carrying a drone in airplane luggage? What you should know.
There are several questions when you are in this situation, both before traveling and once at the destination. And the truth is that there is still no specific global regulation for transporting drones on a plane.
If you’ve read this article, you are already aware of the things you have to take into account if you want to carry a drone in your airplane luggage.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Check with the airline you are flying with to learn about their specific prohibited objects.
- Check the baggage allowance on the airline you are flying with.
- Research specific regulations for flying drones in the country you are traveling to.
- Yes, you can carry a drone in your hand luggage without any problem on the vast majority of airlines since it is considered an electronic device, just like a laptop.
Of course, always keep in mind the conditions indicated by the airline with which you travel in terms of weight, measurements of the backpack where you carry the drone, and the number of pieces allowed.
If, for example, you carry your drone along with all the accessories in a carry-on backpack and you travel with an airline that only allows one piece of carry-on luggage, you will have to check in the rest of the luggage.
Additional things to consider
Each airline has its own regulations. For example, one airline may recommend that when traveling by plane, the batteries have a charge of 30% or less so that the risk of explosion due to overheating is minimal and that it does not cause an accident.
1. Don’t say it’s a drone. In an airline, the term “drone” is not synonymous with security, and they may even see the face of a terrorist. If they ask you, say that it is your “photography equipment.”
2. Do not document batteries. As mentioned before, the batteries should go to 30% of their capacity to reduce risks.
3. Carry it in a carry-on bag. Remember not to leave the battery on. If your equipment is large and the backpack exceeds the allowed size, document the drone and the batteries and take them in your hand luggage.
4. You can use special bags. There are special bags for transporting Li-Po batteries. It’s a good idea to use them.
5. Do not attract attention. Security checkpoints can be very rigorous. So, try to make your hand luggage as normal as possible and don’t get nervous.