General frameworkBasic rules and regulators
What basic rules govern the operation of remotely piloted aircraft and unmanned aircraft (drones) in your jurisdiction? Which regulatory bodies are charged with enforcing these rules?
First of all, and for a better understanding, we must clarify that for Argentina a drone is not an aircraft. This means that, in principle, the provisions and principles of the aeronautical law do not apply completely to an unmanned air vehicle. Further, a member of a remote crew is the person that holds an authorisation of the National Administration of Civil Aviation (ANAC). This member is in charge of the remote control for the operation of the air vehicle remotely piloted during the term of the flight.
The basic rules that govern the operation are as follows:
- ANAC Resolution 457/2016;
- ANAC Resolution 368/2019 (Annex I);
- Ministry of Finance Resolution 40250/2016;
- Argentine Civil and Commercial Code (Law 26,994); and
- Argentine Aeronautical Code (Law 17,285 as amended).
ANAC has jurisdiction to enforce these rules, which are currently being revised.
What are the penalties for non-compliance with the laws and regulations governing drones?
Article 66 of Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 sets forth that ANAC is competent to supervise the compliance with the laws and regulations.
Although as stated in question 1, in Argentina a drone is not an aircraft, nevertheless, the aeronautical faults regime applies (Executive Decree 326/82 Regulatory of the Argentine Aeronautical Law).Classification
Is there any distinction between public and private drones, as well as between leisure use and commercial use?
Yes, according to article 4 of ANAC Resolution 368/2019, there is a distinction between public and private drones and between leisure and commercial use:
- public drone: unmanned air vehicle designed for public service, including military and security forces;
- private drone: unmanned air vehicle that is not used for service to a public power, although the drone belongs to the state;
- leisure use: any type of activity where there is no intention of profit-making; and
- commercial use: any type of activity that includes remuneration for the service.
Also, Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 includes scientific and experimental use.
Is there a weight-based classification system for drones resulting in the application of different rules?
Yes, according to article 4 of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 there is a classification system based on a drone’s weight, and different rules apply according to the type of operation and purposes:
- Class A: up to maximum certificated take-off weight (MCTW) 500g;
- Class B: between MCTW 501g and up to 5kg;
- Class C: more than MCTW 5kg empty and up to 150kg; and
- Class D: more than 150kg MCTW.
Is there any distinction between completely autonomous drones and remotely piloted drones?
Yes, there is a distinction between autonomous drones and remotely piloted drones.
Article 18 of Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 prohibits the operation of completely autonomous drones.
Design and manufactureRegistration
Do specific rules regulate the design and manufacture of drones in your jurisdiction?
No, there is no specific rule to regulate the design and manufacture of drones.
Exceptionally, when drones are built by private individuals, they must be registered by their owners, after prior verification by ANAC that will determine, according to the information provided by the manufacturer, their MCTW categorisation.Manufacturing authorisation
Must drone manufacturers obtain any licences or other authorisation to carry out their business? Are manufacturers subject to any other specific rules?
See question 6.Product liability
Do general product liability rules (or other specific liability rules) apply to the manufacture of drones?
The Civil and Commercial Code in articles 1757 and 1758 establishes that every person is liable for damage caused by risk-prone or defective items, for activities that are risky or dangerous by their very nature or by their realisation.
The responsibility is objective and unlimited. Administrative authorisation for the use of the item or the realisation of either the activity or compliance with the prevention measures is not exempt.
Registration and identificationRegistration
Must drones be registered in a specific national registry? If so, who is entitled to register drones and what requirements and restrictions apply? Is the registry organised as an operator registry or an owner registry?
According to article 5 of Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019, drones must be registered in a special registry that will be administered by the National Aircraft Registry, except for Class A and B drones for leisure purposes. Registration must be made by the owner.Identification
Are drones identified through a marking system similar to that used for manned aircraft?
Yes, drones must be identified according to article 8 of Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019.
Nevertheless, the Registry has not yet issued a ruling in this matter.
Certification and licensingBasic requirements and procedures
What certificates or licences are required to operate drones and what procedures apply?
Article 30 of Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 sets forth that a drone operator who wants to operate commercially requires a CO-VANT certificate, which specifies the class of drone and the type of operation.
Also, article 46 of the aforementioned Resolution sets forth that anyone who wants to be a drone pilot needs a competence certificate, whose requirements are being of Argentine legal age, passing theoretical and practical training, and having medical certification.Taxes and fees
Are certification and licensing procedures subject to any taxes or fees?
Articles 1 and 4 of ANAC Resolution 457/2019 set forth fees of 480 Argentine pesos for authorisation as a member of the remote tripulation and of 1,200 pesos for the authorisation of drone operation.Eligibility
Who may apply for certifications and licences? Do any restrictions apply?
According to article 46 of Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019, to obtain the certifications and licences the following requirements apply. One must:
- be of Argentine legal age;
- be able to read, speak and understand Spanish;
- possess a Class 4 aeronautical medical certification;
- have completed the instruction in a certified civil aeronautical instruction centre; and
- have passed a theoretical exam of basic aeronautical knowledge.
Must remote pilots obtain any certifications or licences to operate drones? If so, do the relevant procedures differ based on the type of drone or operation?
Yes, remote pilots must obtain a certificate of competence under the same requirements that are listed in question 13.
Article 48 of Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 sets forth that the certificate of competence will allow the operation of B, C or D drone classes (fixed wing, rotating wing or aerostats).Foreign operators
Are foreign operators authorised to fly drones in your jurisdiction? If so, what requirements and restrictions apply?
Yes, according to article 53 of Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019, foreign operators are authorised to fly drones in Argentina.
If the foreign operator has a certificate of competence from its country, it must be filed with ANAC. The aforementioned authority will validate the certificate as long as it has been duly apostilled and translated into Spanish by an Argentine authorised translator. A foreign operator may also request an Argentine certificate following the requirements listed in question 13.Certificate of airworthiness
Is a certificate of airworthiness required to operate drones? If so, what procedures apply?
According to article 9 of Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019, the accreditation of an airworthiness certificate will not be required for the user of drones for their registration, but ANAC is empowered to follow the necessary verifications and request documentation that proves the airworthiness of Class C drones, all prior to its registration.
For the registration of Class D drones, ANAC will additionally require the existence of an official certification issued by the manufacturer that certifies the airworthiness status.
Class D drones manufactured in Argentina must have a certification issued by ANAC according to the rules of Part 21 of the Argentine Civil Aviation Regulations.
Operations and maintenanceOne drone, one pilot
Does the ‘one drone, one pilot’ rule apply in your jurisdiction?
Yes. Article 19 of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 establishes that simultaneous operation of more than one air vehicle by the same remote pilot station is prohibited.
Nevertheless, the aforementioned Resolution includes the figure of the observer, whose principal function is to assist the pilot in the operation.Maintenance
Do specific rules regulate the maintenance of drones?
Every drone operator must ensure that the equipment involved in the operation is able to provide a safe flight. All drone operators must ensure that they comply with the preventive maintenance recommended by the manufacturer’s manual.
Any user or drone operator of Classes B, C and D must perform preventive and corrective maintenance as well as all types of repairs in a maintenance organisation authorised by the manufacturer and confirmed by ANAC.Basic operational rules and restrictions
What rules and restrictions apply to flights performed in ‘visual line of sight’ (VLOS) and ‘beyond visual line of sight’ (BVLOS)? Is there a distinction in this regard?
Following article 10 of Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019, the general rule is that a drone must operate under VLOS standards and, exceptionally, with an authorisation from ANAC, will be allowed BVLOS operations for commercial and scientific or experimental use.
What rules and restrictions apply to critical and non-critical operations? Is there a distinction in this regard?
ANAC Resolution 368/2019 limits the operations of drones. One restriction refers to the prohibition of operating at night or with visual meteorological conditions that do not allow safe operation. In addition, several restrictions are established (eg, specified areas, heights, public safety). All restrictions may be waived by ANAC if there are reasonable arguments and the operator proves that certain risks will be mitigated by the adoption of relevant measures.Transport operations
Is air transport via drone (eg, cargo and mail) regulated in your jurisdiction? If so, what requirements, limitations and restrictions apply?
Yes, air transport via drone is regulated. To operate a drone for commercial purposes operators must obtain certification as a drone operator, which specifies the type of operation for which it is authorised and what kind of drone will be used. Cargo transportation can be operated with prior and express authorisation from ANAC. The transportation of people, animals and hazardous substances is prohibited.
Do any specific provisions governing consumer protection and tracking systems apply with respect to cargo and delivery operations via drone?
No, there are no any specific provisions governing consumer protection that apply with respect to cargo and delivery operations via drones. In accordance with Law 24,240 as amended, if damage is committed by a drone, parties may use this legal framework to claim for damages. See question 8.Insurance requirements
What insurance requirements apply to the operation of drones?
Article 35 of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 establishes a mandatory insurance for drones operated for commercial activities.
Article 40 of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 sets forth that for drone operation for scientific and experimental proposes, mandatory insurance is required.
Article 27 of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 sets forth that drone Classes C and D that operate for leisure are also subject to mandatory insurance.
In the three cases mentioned above the amount of the premium must not be below 2,000 Argentine gold pesos. The Argentine gold peso is the currency used for the limitations of liability established by the Argentine Aeronautical Code. This currency, which is not currently used in Argentina, is quoted by the Argentine Central Bank.Safety requirements
What safety requirements apply to the operation of drones?
The main objective of ANAC is to achieve and maintain the highest uniform level of possible safety in the case of drones. This means ensuring the safety of airspace users as well as the safety of persons and goods on the ground.
According to article 13 of ANAC Resolution 368/2019, drones may not be operated above 43 metres from the ground within a controlled airspace. No drones can be operated within a radius of 5km of the geometric centre of the runway of an aerodrome. Exceptionally and whenever the nature of the operation so requires and appropriate safety measures are established, the Argentine Air Navigation Company (EANA) may grant special authorisation for operation in areas mentioned above.
For operation of drones in non-controlled airspace, see question 26.
AirspaceAir traffic control
How is air traffic control regulated in your jurisdiction? Which authority provides air traffic control services for drones?
In Argentina, air traffic control is regulated by EANA and state-owned entities are dependent on the Ministry of Transport.
There is no regulation that stipulates which authority provides air traffic control services for drones. Nevertheless, operation of drones that could interfere with aircraft falls under the control of EANA.Restrictions
Are there any airspace restrictions on the operation of drones?
Drones cannot be operated over densely populated areas or agglomerations of people. Exceptionally, ANAC may authorise such an operation for sport events, events of public interest and mass demonstrations or meetings of people in public spaces. However, any operator that intends to perform operations according to the conditions raised above should establish procedures to prevent the operation from endangering the safety of third parties on the ground and to coordinate these with EANA.
Also, above uncontrolled airspace, drones are limited to operate up to a maximum height of 122 metres above ground level, unless special authorisation has been obtained by ANAC.
In the case of non-controlled airspace, the chief of the aerodrome may authorise drone services.
Article 14 of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 sets forth a non-drone zone.
Article 15 of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 lists the specific requirements for the operation of drones as follows:
- in the approximation or climb on take-off from an aerodrome or heliport; except with specific approval of EANA or the aerodrome chief.
- at a distance less than 1km from the lateral limit of a corridor intended for operations according to Visual Flight Rules, except when a specific authorisation has been granted by EANA;
- at a distance less than 500 metres from the heliport reference point; except when authorisation by EANA has been granted;
- in controlled airspace, visual corridors and helicopters, established in the aeronautical information publications, provided prior special authorisation has been obtained from EANA;
- in areas that are prohibited, restricted or dangerous, as established in the aeronautical information publications. In this airspace an authorisation may be granted by EANA for the following reasons: public safety, humanitarian, natural disasters;
- on security facilities, distilleries, flammable tanks, atomic and hydroelectric power plants and facilities for the processing or handling of explosives or radioactive materials;
- on military installations, or at a lateral distance of less than 5km of such facilities;
- when the Air Defence Identification Zone is activated; and
- from a moving vehicle and during acrobatics manoeuvres.
ANAC has the power to exceptionally authorise the operation of drones over restricted areas, and to include more restrictions in the future.Take-off and landing
Must take-off and landing of drones take place in specific areas or facilities?
See question 26.
Liability and accidentsCargo liability
Are there any specific rules governing the liability of drones for losses or damage to cargo?
No, there are no specific rules that govern the liability of drones for losses or damage to cargo.
Nevertheless, the general rules of liability of the Civil and Commercial Code will apply to any loss or damage (see question 8).Third-party liability
Are there any specific rules governing the liability of drones for damage to third parties on the surface or in the air?
Since there are no specific rules that provide a mandatory provision for insurance for third parties on the ground, the liability rules of the Civil and Commercial Code will be applicable in case of damage by drones to third parties on the ground. As an example in 2015 in Buenos Aires, a drone fell on the head of a passer-by and the operator was detained by the police, in violation of article 94 of the Argentine Criminal Code, which imposes a penalty of one month to three years in prison or fines of 1,000 to 15,000 pesos and disqualification between one and four years for those who cause injuries due to recklessness or negligence, for lack of skill in their art or profession, or for non-observance of regulations or duties in their position.Accident investigations
How are investigations of air accidents involving drones regulated in your jurisdiction?
Investigations of air accidents involving drones are not regulated in this jurisdiction.
Nevertheless, following the ICAO Convention, the Accidents Investigation Board that answers to the Ministry of Transport is in charge of determining the cause of accidents and incidents to or produced by aircraft.Accident reporting
Is there a mandatory accident and incident reporting system for drone operators in your jurisdiction?
Article 65 of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 sets forth that drone operators or pilots are responsible for notifying the nearest authority of any accident or incident.Safety management and risk assessment
Are drone operators required to implement safety management systems and risk assessment procedures within their organisation?
Pursuant to article 33 of ANAC Resolution 368/2019, drone operators should have a manual of operations and an adequate risk management system to operate, which includes the information and instructions necessary for safe operation and must include at least the following procedures:
- take-off and landing;
- to abort a critical system in the case of failure;
- in case of loss with data link;
- to evaluate the area of operation; and
- for the identification of potential risks and hazards and for their mitigation.
Ancillary considerationsImport and export control
Do specific import and export control rules apply to drones in your jurisdiction?
Regarding the import and export of drones, for the purposes of determining the taxes and fees that have to be paid, the technical specifications of the drone must be taken into account to determine the tariff position.
Argentine Customs can determine the tariff classification of a drone for example, as being a mobile camera, a toy or an unmanned vehicle.
It is necessary to specify if it is a temporary or definitive import. In the first case, those who want to import a drone have to explain the temporary nature of the work and the lack of similar tools in Argentina.
For definitive imports, there is no clear provision so drones will fall under consideration of the Argentine Customs tariff classification, and consequently the applicable tax.Data privacy and IP protection
How are personal data privacy and IP protection regulated in your country with specific reference to drone operations?
Drones with the capacity to carry out surveys with image sensors, magnetic prospecting or of any other type are subject to compliance with the regulations established in Law 25,326 on Data Protection.
In principle, this Law indicates that the collection of data will be legal if it is done with the consent of the data owner as provided for in articles 5 (consent) and 6 (prior information). Also, Law 25,326 determines the exceptions to the requirement of consent, and these are:
- those collected in a public act for public dissemination;
- in a private act, by its organiser and according to customary use;
- operations performed exercising the functions of the state;
- in the case of disasters or emergencies; and
- when collected in a property for own use, without invading the privacy of third parties.
Update and trendsSector trends and regulatory developments
Which industry sectors have seen the most development in the use of drones in your jurisdiction and which sectors are expected to see further development in future? Have there been any notable recent regulatory developments relating to drones?Sector trends and regulatory developments35 Which industry sectors have seen the most development in the use of drones in your jurisdiction and which sectors are expected to see further development in future? Have there been any notable recent regulatory developments relating to drones?
The sector of industry that has seen the most development in the use of drones in Argentina is agriculture.
In 2015, the National Institute of Agricultural Technology, which reports to the Secretary of Agribusiness, began a round of conferences and training throughout the country for the implementation of drones in agricultural activities.
They are also being increasingly used for eisure and activities related to sports and media. The Argentine government has expressed the desire to implement delivery of food and medicines in marginalised areas with difficult access and far from the big cities.