🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all drone law links & known regulation around recreational & commercial drone use in Belize (Belize City). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in The Forum. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.
Recreational vs Commercial drone use in Belize
Belize does not differentiate much commercial & recreational drone use - see our post to differentiate recreational vs commercial drone usage. Both uses strictly forbidden for non residents, however for commercial purposes, you may ask for a permission by seeking the help of a local established company.
✅ For the moment, drone use is under the responsibility of the Belize Department of Civil Aviation (BDCA) , they can be contacted via:
Can I travel to Belize with my drone?
🚨 Belize City Airport is infamous for their bag checks and it seems hard to go through without being asked to open them. A couple of bloggers mentioned they were able to pass, despite having their bag under x-ray & fly but be aware that upon return there is a very little chance that your drone passes again the on boarding x-rays. In both scenarios your drone gets found:
upon arrival, it will be confiscated and stored in Belize City Airport, if you want to retrieve it you can do such by departing from the same airport.
upon departure (from Belize City Airport), it will be ceased & you might face heavier sanctions as you imported illegally a drone in the county.
✅ If you come to Belize to undertake a professional job with your drone or that you are a Belizean resident/citizen you can fly a drone but will need to provide a little information by following these steps:
Send your request to the Director of Civil Aviation (including the name of the Belizean company commissioning you, your travel dates, the location of filming/photos to be taken) via emails email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org. You should include an ID copy, A letter of approval for works by the Belize Film Commission & a completed copy of the Drone Application Form
If your request is granted, upon arrival, head to the Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) office on the 1st floor of Philip Goldson International Airport to pay a about 13€ in fees & you will get a receipt.
You will need to take this receipt to the Department of Civil Aviation located close the Belize City Airport where you will receive the Authorization Letter and Permit for entrance & operations in Belize 👌
🚨 Be also aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.
How to retrieve my drone at Belize city airport customs?
First things first, you should declare it upon arrival to avoid your arrest if found upon your departure time. Airport customs will give you a receipt to not loose.
You will need to return from the same airport as they've essentially stored your drone upon your return.
Once your holiday over & you return to the same airport, & give your receipt to customs to retrieve your drone in their storage room.
You will need to cross security gates & a security agent will escort you to give you drone back once you've passed them.
What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Belize?
The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such.
✅ The excellent news is that once you're there and got the authorisations, you can start flying above Belize's awesome landscapes & create videos like this one:
✅ Please leave a comment or update the Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in Belize!
Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone regulations.