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Memorandum | The Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency enacts rules for the use of drones

Infrastructure and Energy; Intellectual Property; Telecommunications


On May 2, 2017, the Brazilian C
ivil Aviation Agency ("ANAC"), enacted "Brazilian Special Civil Aviation Rule No. 94" ("Special Rule"), regulating the use of unmanned aerial vehicles ("UAVs"), commonly known as drones.  

Due to ANAC's concerns with safety and privacy issues, the Special Rule establishes that drones must be operated with a horizontal distance of at least 30 meters from third parties, if operated without their consent. In addition, UAVs weighting more than 250 grams must be registered with ANAC. 

The Special Rule stipulates certain requirements, which will mainly affect the use of UAVs for non-recreational purpose, such as the use by the media and entertainment services, monitoring of constructions, agriculture and surveillance.

ANAC classified two categories of drones:

  • "Aeromodels": UAVs for recreational use;
  • "Remotely Piloted Aircrafts" ("RPAs"): UAVs for non-recreational use.

RPA operators must also contract insurance, covering damages to third parties and, depending on the weight of the aircraft, may be required to observe other regulatory obligations, such as providing an operational risk analysis, application for a special airworthiness certificate, registration with relevant authorities and periodic maintenance of the UAV.   

For ease of reference, we have prepared a short summary of the requirements established by the Special Rule, according to each category of UAV:



>150 kg



>25 kg e ≤150 kg


>250 g e ≤25 kg


>250 g

Aircraft RegistrationYesYesYesYes
Insurance PolicyYesYesYesNo
Certificate of AirworthinessYesYesMandatory for flights above 400 feetNo
Risk analysisYesYesYesNo
Approval and authorization of the aircraft project by ANACYesYesMandatory for flights above 400 feetNo
Aeronautical Medical CertificationYesYesNoNo
Pilot licenseYesYesMandatory for flights above 400 feetMandatory for flights above 400 feet

The Special Rule prohibits fully autonomous UAVs (where the operator cannot intervene in the control of the aircraft). The Special Rule also prohibits the transportation of people, animals and dangerous goods or other prohibited loads, as defined by the Brazilian authorities.

In order to use the Brazilian airspace, RPA operators must also request authorization from the Brazilian Airspace Control Authority - DECEA, using a system created for this purpose. Due to RPA's radiofrequency transmissions, the Brazilian Telecommunications Authority - ANATEL must certify the equipment.

In addition to the rules enacted by ANAC, ANATEL and DECEA regarding drones, the laws establishing civil, administrative and criminal liabilities are also enforceable in relation to the operation of any UAV, particularly rules relating to the protection of intimacy, private life, honor and use of images of any individual who may have been filmed by drones.

Please click here to have access to the Special Rule (in Portuguese only).

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