Contributor: Ken Basch and Nicole René Gomes e Cunha
1. Are UAS considered as “aircraft” in your country?
Yes. However, Brazil does not authorize the use of autonomous UAS but only remoted UAS. Brazil also ratified the Chicago Convention, which in its article 8 prohibits self-operated aircraft or autonomous UAS; consequently, they are not authorized by ANAC.
2. Which bodies regulate the remotely-piloted and/or unmanned aircraft operations in your country, under what basic laws?
The Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) is the authorized federal aviation body which rules the registration and operation of any type of aircraft in Brazil including unmanned aircraft and remoted pilots. In 2007 ANAC published the RBAC-E 94 which rules the operation of UAS for civil use. General rules from the Brazilian Aeronautical Code (Brazilian Law 7.565 from 1986) and general criminal, civil and administrative laws in Brazil (principally regulating personal inviolability, private life, dignity and personal image) should also be observed for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. ANATEL (the ‘Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency’) and DECEA (the ‘Air Space Control Department’) have also issued regulations which must be observed for the operation of UAS.
3. Is there a distinction between “State UAS” and “Private UAS”?
There is a distinction for remote piloted aircraft for State use (considered for military use) and private use. The specific legislation in Brazil issued by ANAC (RBAC-E n. 94) does not apply to military unmanned aerial vehicles (VANTs) but only to private VANTs. The rules for the use of VANTs for military purpose are not controlled by ANAC but by DECEA who is the military body liable for private and military use of VANTs. In case of a conversion of an unmanned aerial vehicle originally authorized for military use to civil use then specific ANAC legislation (RBAC-E n. 21) would apply.
4. Is there any distinction between public, leisure and commercial UAS? What regulations are provided for UAS operations in each group?
Leisure and commercial use of UAS are considered “civil use”. UAS for military use are considered for public. The ANAC legislation RBAC-E 94 applies for civil UAS’s only. DECEA is a military body in charge of the control of the Brazilian airspace and its regulation for the use of the airspace is applicable for any type of UAS.
5. Is there a distinction, in terms of regulation, between completely autonomous UAS and remotely-piloted UAS?
Brazil ratified the Chicago Convention, which in its article 8 prohibits self-operated aircraft or autonomous UAS; consequently, they are not authorized in Brazil by ANAC or DECEA.
Regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”) Operations - Safety
6. How are UAS operations regulated in terms of safety?
Remoted Pilot Aircraft and Remoted Pilot Aircraft System (RPA and RPAS) were divided in three categories in accordance with its ‘maximum take-off weight’ (PMD):
- Class 1: RPA with PMD above 150kg;
- Class 2: RPA with PMD above 25kg and equal or below 150kg;
- Class 3: RPA with PMD below or equal of 25kg.
No matter which class a RPA must have a third party insurance policy. Flights in urban areas are prohibited unless if a flight plan is previously approved by ANAC. Please see reference to DECEA guidance in section 26 of this questionnaire.
UAS used for civil defense or military use does not require previous approval from ANAC as they are subject only to DECEA’s control. Although ANAC is in charge of providing authorizations for the use of civil UAS only the airspace is always under the control of DECEA. Until now ANAC has not stablished a limit for insurance liability and the market has been defining its own rules for such insurance market.
7. Is the applicable regulation considering the rule of 1 UAS = 1 pilot?
A VANT should have a registered remote pilot who is direct liable for its operation. All pilots must have more than 18 years old. Pilots from Classes 1 and 2 must have a valid aeronautical medical certificate (CMA) and be licensed by ANAC. All remote pilots operating over 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or who operates RPAS in classes 1 or 2 should have license issued by ANAC. ANAC will establishes the appropriate license for each type of operation. There is no specific pilot requirement to UAS operating below 400 feet.
Regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems ("UAS") Operations - Licensing
8. What procedures are there to obtain licenses or the rights to operate UAS?
For RPA’s of class 3 operating below 400 feet AGL ANAC stablished a simple form of certification where the owner of a RPA will himself provide the necessary information in relation to its RPA through the ANAC’s website. There is no need for a specific pilot certification. It differs from a formal registration procedure and it has a more constitutive nature as the owner himself will provide the necessary information of the RPA instead of ANAC’s specific issuance of a certificate of registration.
For classes 1, 2 and 3 (the later only if above 400 feet) in addition to pilots registration as described in section 7 herein all remoted pilot aircraft (RPA) should be registered with the Brazilian Aeronautical Registry. Each RPA will have an experimental registration certificate or a certificate of registration, as applicable.
9. Are there any kind of taxes or fees regarding the licensing procedure?
Local nominal fees apply for the issuance of the certificates required to license RPAS (UAS) and to remote pilots certification.
10. Is a Certificate of Airworthiness mandatory to operate a UAS?
A certificate of airworthiness is required for UAS from classes 1 and 2 and for class 3 if flying above 400 feet. In class 3 a certificate of airworthiness for a UAS flying in visual line of sight (VLOS) below 400 feet is not applicable however even if in class 3 and below 400 feet AGL a certificate of airworthiness is required if the UAS operates beyond visual line of sight.
11. Is access to the market for the provision of UAS operation services regulated and, if so, how?
Market sale of drones is not regulated in Brazil. Local manufacturers should follow specific rules listed in Part E of RBAC-E 94 (please see section 16).
12. What requirements apply in the areas of financial strength and nationality of ownership regarding control of UAS?
There is no specific requirements for areas of financial strength and related to nationality ownership. The owner of a UAS must follow registration requirements stablished in RBAC-E 94, ANATEL and DECEA (ICA 100-4).
13. Is drone transport permitted / regulated in your country?
Drone transport is not allowed in Brazil.
Regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems ("UAS") - Operations - Others
14. Is there a specific Data & Privacy Protection regulation applicable to UAS operations?
Data & Privacy Protection of UAS follows general rules for data and privacy protection in Brazil applicable to all types of data and privacy information. ANAC has not issued any specific rule. It will be from manufacturer’s own criteria to protect such information.
15. Is there a specific control-link interference regulation applicable to UAS operations?
Brazilian airspace is controlled by DECEA. Military interference is always authorized to safeguard airspace. ANAC’s website has a channel of communication for any reports by third parties.
16. Do specific rules regulate UAS manufacturers?
Yes. Subpart E of the Brazilian regulation RBAC-E 94 lists all necessary regulations manufacturers should follow to obtain ANAC’s approval. ANATEL is in charge of radiofrequency regulations in Brazil and also rules the specific characteristics which manufacturer’s should follow for UAS operation in Brazil.
17. What requirements must a foreign UAS operator satisfy in order to operate to or from your country?
A foreign UAS is subject to the same procedures of local UASs and must be registered with ANAC and follow ANATEL’s and DECEA’s rules. A UAS which is only registered in a foreign country is not authorized to be operated in Brazil. ANAC forbids international flights with UAS.
18. Are fares or pricing of UAS operations regulated and, if so, how?
The Aircraft (“UAS”)
19. Must UAS be registered in any particular register?
Yes with ANAC.
20. Who is entitled to be mentioned in the UAS register?
21. Do requirements or limitations apply to the ownership of a UAS listed on your country’s register?
If owner is an individual it should register the UAS in its name and send necessary identities required by ANAC for registration. If owner is a company it should send its corporate documents to ANAC.
22. Do specific rules regulate the maintenance of UAS?
Yes. The same Brazilian regulation RBAC-E 94 stablishes all requirements for maintenance registration of a UAS. Maintenance should follow the specifications and instructions of UAS manufacturer.
23. Which are the operational and distance limitations for an aerial work with a UAS? Is there any kind of certificate or permission to operate beyond those limitations?
As previously mentioned in section 6 there are three classes of UAS in accordance with their PMD (as defined below) as follow:
(1) Class 1: RPA with PMD above 150 kg;
(2) Class 2: RPA with PMD above 25 kg and below or equal to 150 kg; and
(3) Class 3: RPA with PMD below or equal 25 kg.
* PMD = Maximum takeoff weight.
* RPAS = Remotely-Piloted Aircraft System
* RPS = Remote Pilot Station.
* BVLOS = Beyond Visual Line of Sight
* VLOS = Visual Line of Sight
* EVLOS = Extended Visual Line of Sight
* AGL = Above Ground Level
- In accordance with the RBAC-E 94 a UAS included in class 3 with PMD above 250g should be operated far from third parties, should include an evaluation of operational risk updated for the last 12 months, should have a valid third parties insurance certificate and subject to any additional documentation or authorization from ANATEL or DECEA should also comply with the following rules:
- the following documentation should be available in the RPS (Section 94.19 of RBAC-E 94):
(a) Register Certificate, Certificate of Registration or Experimental Registration Flight, as applicable;
(b) Special Certificate of Airworthiness valid or an Authorization Certificate for Experimental Flight (CAVE) valid, if applicable;
(c) flight plan;
(d) insurance policy or insurance certificate including proof of payment, valid, if applicable;
(e) document including risk analysis more specifically described in the E94 regulation; and
(f) license and extract of valid Medical Aeronautic Certificate (CMA) as more particularly described in the RBAC-E94.
- A UAS with PMD below 250g is authorized by ANAC under total liability of it’s owner, with due observance of RBAC-E 94 and observance of DECEA’s rules for the use of the airspace. Such UASs do not require registration or identification together with ANAC.
- A UAS from class 3 with PMD above 250g and below 25kg operating in VLOS or EVLOS below 400 feet AGL should be registered by its owner through the ANAC’s website in substitution of formal certificates issued by ANAC for general aircraft. Its registration will be linked to its owner. The UAS should contain its registration number with easy visualization in case of inspection outside the fuselage. Such registration is valid for 24 months and should be properly renewed. It is also subject to items (c), (d) and (e) of item 1 of this section 23.
- In case of a UAS with PMD above 250g and below 25kg PMD, in BVLOS below 400 feet AGL:
(i) third parties insurance policy certificate, except public security and/or civil defense departments;
(ii) experimental registration certificate or certificate of registration;
(iii) authorization certificate for experimental flights or special airworthiness certificate;
(iv) document including risk analysis referred in paragraphs E94.103(f)(2) and E94.103(g)(2); and
(v) flight manual.
- In case of other types of UAS not previously described with PMD above 250g and below 25kg in addition to the items listed in item 4 of this section 23 a license issued by ANAC.
- In case of RPA with PMD above 25kg in addition to the items listed in 5 of this section 23 a CMA of 1st, 2nd or 5th class issued in accordance with RBAC 67 or a CMA of 3rd class valid issued by the Aeronautics Command in accordance with ICA 63-15.
24. Are UAS obliged to take off from and/or land in specific facilities?
With due observance of section 23 and any DECEA rules there is no specific facilities unless the RPA is included in classes 1 and 2.
25. Which kind of airspaces are UAS permitted to operate with?
Generally UAS are prohibited in urban areas unless if previously authorized by local aviation authority.
26. Which airspaces are restricted for UAS?
DECEA guidance stipulates that flights considered in UAS under Class 3 should fly below 100 feet (30m AGL) and always keeping at least 30m distance vertical from third parties and 30m horizontal from buildings in urban areas unless third people or owners of such buildings have authorized closer flights. Still in Class 3 and following DECEA’s guidance flights above 200 feet may interfere in helicopter flights so a flight plan should be obtained. Finally, flights over 400 feet may risk aircraft navigation so a ‘Notice to Airmen’ (NOTAM) should be obtained together with the local aviation authority including a segregated airspace for operation. UASs included in classes 1 or 2 should obtain specific authorization flights as other commercial and civil aircraft.
27. Which zones are UAS operations banned?
In addition to the DECEA guidance described in section 26 airspaces over safety areas including but not limited to penitentiaries, state buildings, military installation, critical infrastructures such as thermal power plants, energy stations, airports and heliports are considered banned.
28. Who provides air traffic control services for UAS in your country?
DECEA (‘Air Space Control Department’).
Liability and Accidents
29. Are there any special rules in respect of loss or damage to cargo?
Third party insurance certificate should be hired in accordance with section 23 herein. There is no specific rules for loss or damage to cargo.
30. Are there any special rules about the liability of UAS operators for surface damage?
Third party insurance certificate should be hired in accordance with section 23 herein.
31. Is there a mandatory accident and incident reporting system and, if so, how does it operate?
ANAC has a channel in its website to report accidents and incidents. Authorities in Brazil have been discussing strategies to hire or develop a system to try to control the operation of UAS principally around banned areas.
32. What system and procedures are in place for the investigation of UAS accidents?
Please refer to section 31.
33. Are UAS operators obliged to have insurance for their operations? If so, which are their main features?
Yes depending on the class of UAS as more particularly described in section 23.
34. What is insured? The operator, the business or the aircraft?
It is mandatory to insure third parties liabilities. All other insurances are optional.
Financial Support and State Aid
35. Are there sector-specific rules regulating direct or indirect financial support to companies by the government or government-controlled agencies or companies (state aid) in the UAS sector? If not, do general state aid rules apply?
The BNDES (Brazilian National Bank of Economic and Social Development) has been authorizing the use of the BNDES card for purchase of specific licensed drones in Brazil. The FINEP (Finance of Research and Innovation) has invested in the sector since 2009.
36. What are the main principles of the stated aid rules applicable to the UAS sector?
37. Are there exemptions from the state aid rules or situations in which they do not apply?
38. Must clearance from the competition authorities be obtained before state aid may be granted?