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(2020) The Ultimate Guide to Mexico (Mexico City) Drone Laws & Rules

Updated: Dec 3, 2019

🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all drone law links & known rules about recreational & commercial drone use in Mexico (Mexico City). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to comment your experience or any updates you might have 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.


💡 This article is also available in French


Recreational vs Commercial drone use in Mexico


Mexico differentiates commercial & recreational drone uses. Both uses are subject to tough restrictions, registrations & a strict code of conduct which is based on the drone's weight.


✅ In Mexico, the use of drone for any purpose falls under the permission of the Directorate General of Civil Aeronautics (DGCA). The DGCA is part of the federal Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico & you can contact them via:

  • email gobmx@funcionpublica.gob.mx

  • phone (+52) 5 687 7660


✅ Mexico distinguishes drones into 3 categories based on their weight

  • below 2 kg (micro)

  • between 2 kg & 25 kg (small)

  • over 25 kg (big)


Can I bring my drone to Mexico?


🚨 Importing a drone into Mexico could actually also cost you money as it is not considered/included in your 2 cameras allowance. Its been reported that some customs charge a 16% added tax on the value of your drone to allow you to bring it in, see here



🚨 Note, some online feedback comment that upon departures from Mexico City Airport, you might be exposed to the airport's 2 battery permitted on-board rule. It doesn't seem to be systematic but some members experienced it - we recommend to call the airport ahead via email at info@mexico-airport.com


🚨 Be 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.


💡 Smart! Get your drone batteries' firecase today and make sure you're complying with aviation safety rules.

NEW! Airlines & Drones' Best Practices!


Where can I fly my drone in Mexico?


🚨 There is no official map given by the Mexican Authorities but you must remain at least 9.2 km from any airport (900 m heliports). See below a map of the countries' airports. "If you have more information about this, please share it in the Forum".


Mexico drone fly map

Mexico Airport & Heliport Map

🚨 Note, according to some online comments: flying near popular touristic sites or resorts might require a local authorisation.


✅ If you notice any drone flying within 9.2 km from an airport or 900 m from a heliport, you might report it via this form by going to the closest airport authorities as soon as possible.


💡 Smart! Pack some spare drone batteries, you never know how close is the next power plug overseas. Also make sure you have a travel adaptor for Mexico.

Recreational Drone use in Mexico


Before anything, you will need to register as a drone owner &/or operator.


📰 Important: Aside for research purposes, if you do not hold a Mexican passport &/or your drone is not registered in Mexico, you cannot fly unless an agreement has been reached between Mexican authorities and your country's ones - CO AV-23/10 R4 - 7.2.v


How to register my drone for recreational use in Mexico?


You will need to complete a registration request & send it to rpas@sct.gob.mx including:

  • If you are an individual (Mexicans only), a copy of your ID card / If you are a legal person; a copy of your ID card & a power of attorney of the legal representative.

  • Attached all documentation proving the ownership of the drone (supported formats .pdf, .docx, .jpg or .png)

  • the Registro de RPAS por propietarios form signed by hand, & adding your Federal Taxpayer Number if you one.

  • any further questions or information within your email.

🕔 Mexican authorities claim responding within 5 business days to the email registered on the registration form.


✅ Once registered, in Mexico, when flying a drone for recreational use, you must fly

  • at a maximum altitude of 120 m above the ground.

  • at a maximum of 161 km/h if your drone weights 2 kg+ (see table for drones' max speed for drones weighting less than 2 kg).

  • 30 m away from people + do not fly if a group of 12+ people gathers around.

  • 9.2 km away from airports (any airport, sea or land base) &/or 900 m away from heliports & give way to all other type of aircraft - Mexican airports & heliports

  • only during day time (no night flight tolerance) & within your sight at all times (the law specifies at a maximum of 457 m from the drone operator).

  • it is advised to subscribe to an insurance covering all risks.

  • without dropping any objects that may cause damage to people or property.

  • avoiding sensitive areas including military facilities, palaces & religious sites.

  • from a fix point, do not fly from a moving vehicle.

  • non under the influence of any drugs or alcohol types.

  • only one drone at the time.

  • you must be over 18 years old.

  • maintain a safe distance from any cloud (150 m below & 600 m distance).


✅ You can notify any injury or damage to property done by a unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV) here. Bring the completed form to the closest airport authorities within 10 days.


NEW! Travel Guides from our experiences around the world!


Commercial Drone use in Mexico


Mexico differentiates commercial use into 2 categories; photography & all the rest. Photography is allowed and falls under the rules of the recreational use stated above whilst all other commercial drone activities are forbidden.


The ministry officials are however looking in evolving the law to open these activities which represent a formidable growth potential for the country's economy. The DGCA has already identified 23 sites to experiment agricultural and delivery tests.


How to register my drone for commercial use in Mexico?


You will need to complete a registration request & send it to rpas@sct.gob.mx including:

  • If you are an individual (Mexicans only), a copy of your ID card / If you are a legal person; a copy of your ID card & a power of attorney of the legal representative.

  • Attached all documentation proving the ownership of the drone (supported formats .pdf, .docx, .jpg or .png)

  • the Registro de RPAS comercializados en Mexico form signed by hand, adding your Federal Taxpayer Number if you one.

  • any further questions or information within your email.

✅ Mexican authorities claim responding within 5 business days to the email registered on the registration form.


💡 Smart! Water glare is a killer when flying above Mexican coastal waters, make sure you have a lens filter before heading to there!

In Mexico, when flying a drone for commercial use


For drones less than 2 kg, ✅ no additional rules than from the recreational use.


For drones over 2 kg:

  • 🚨 You will need a private insurance.

  • You will need an authorisation from the Ministry of Defense for any aerial photography activity. Additionally, if you have a metric camera on-board, you will need an authorisation of the National Institute of Geography & Statistics (INEGI).

  • You need to operate within the class 'G' airspace.

  • Be ready to show upon request: a copy of the unmanned aircraft vehicle's manual, a copy of your authorisation(s), a log book & your insurance.

  • further authorisations are required if you wish to fly within a restricted airspace.


✅ For both categories, you can enquire for a night flight operation as long as you have lights installed.

NEW! Drone Gear Reviews!


What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Mexico?


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. However, it has been reported that for not having a license or being registered, you can be fined up to 19,000€



✅ The excellent news is that once you've passed all this admin work, you can start flying above Mexico's awesome landscapes & create videos like this one:


🎬 INSPIRING! Follow our aerial videos around the world on Youtube!


🌍 Travelling further? Check out our Drone Rules World Map; country by country!

✅ Please leave a comment or tell us when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in Mexico via the Forum! Have fun and safe flight!

#mexico #mexican #cancun #regulation #rule #rules #law #laws #legislation

Other resources

"Registro de RPAS por propietarios"

"Registro de RPAS comercializados en Mexico"


Sources

Requerimientos para operar un sistema de aeronave pilotada a distancia

Gob.mx Website


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.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links meaning we will get a commission if you decide to purchase via them. This has no costs for you but helps Dronemade stay free for all. If you need to buy anything on Amazon or DJI stores, think of us.

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