Ecuador - 2.2 Aviation


In Ecuador there are twenty-one (21) airports. Four international certified airports (Quito, Guayaquil, Manta and Latacunga). Only 2 are receiving a significant number of international flights (more than 10 airlines): 1) “Mariscal Sucre” (SEQM) in Quito, operated by Corporación Quiport S.A. and 2) “José Joaquín de Olmedo” (SEGU) in Guayaquil operated by Terminal Aeroportuaria de Guayaquil S.A.


Note: The Manta Airport is in transition of management from the DGAC to the Decentralized Autonomous Government GAD Manta or some other operating institution while the Latacunga Airport is operated by the DGAC


Currently, Cuenca Airport “Mariscal La Mar” (SECU) is in the adaptation process, which dates back to several years of efforts and significant technical investments, to obtain certification as an international airport. However, statements and inscriptions of the International Airport or “Internationalization of the Airport” are constantly verified. The technical evaluation is scheduled for the end of 2023.

Cargo flight movements in Ecuador are operated through both regular and ad-hoc flights. The number of cargo flights entering Ecuador is increasing at a rate of 1% annually while the number of cargo flights leaving the country is increasing at a rate of 3% annually.


Challenges and Progress

Ecuador has positioned itself as an important air market after the 2020 pandemic. Currently, the country has recovered its connectivity strongly: close to 10% above the levels of March 2019 for domestic traffic and 83% of the same period for international traffic.1

Peter Cerdá, Regional Vice President for the Americas of IATA2, highlighted three fronts that must be addressed by the authorities, in order to enhance air connectivity for passengers and cargo, which in turn boost tourism, trade, logistics and foreign investment in the country*:

1) Dialogue with municipal authorities to explore growth opportunities and with air operators to evaluate an airport cost structure,

2) Review overflight and traffic control service rates since they are currently some of the highest in Latin America and this can negatively influence market competitiveness.

3) Grow the domestic and international connectivity of other cities in Ecuador and thus provide many more opportunities to the country.


(*) Ecuador Aviation Day, extract, Opening speech – Peter Cerdá June 21, 2023

Note: References verbatim


Supervising Authority

General Directorate of Civil Aviation (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) is the civil aviation authority of Ecuador located in Quito. It oversees the regulation and safety of civil aviation, including airplanes, airports and pilots. This directorate as a government entity is in charge of the management and development of the country's civil aviation industry. Ecuador DGAC implements technical directives as well as quality assurance protocols in compliance with national and international standards.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Ecuador also investigates aviation accidents and incidents and has the following functions:

Provide safe and efficient air navigation services to all aircraft flying within the airspace of Ecuador.

Develop and maintain operational safety oversight capacity, in accordance with the standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); and work with/advise the Government of Ecuador on technical issues affecting the aviation industry.

Implement government policies on civil aviation and coordinate and advise stakeholders on general development issues affecting civil aviation.

Civil Aviation Law of Ecuador Aviación Civil 

Civil Aeronautical Code of Ecuador  Código-Aeronáutico


ICAO Convention on International Civil Aviation - Doc 7300

Ecuador acceded to the ICAO Convention on International Civil Aviation - Doc 7300, with the date of deposit of the instrument of ratification or notification of accession, August 20, 1954


SAR Rescue and Fire Fighting in Ecuador

The Search and Rescue (SAR) and fire extinguishing service in accidents or other aeronautical emergencies is coordinated with the ECU 911 Integrated System  

[How to report an emergency:]

The Search and Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) and Meteorological Instrument Management are recently located at the Technical School of Civil Aviation  (ETAC). The relocation will allow the services provided by RCC Quito to be enhanced 24/7 throughout the year:

Coordination of search procedures for lost or accident aircraft.

• Coordination of rescue procedures for flight crews and passengers.

• Coordination of alerts from the COSPAS SAR-SAT system regarding emergency activations of aircraft.

• Coordination of aircraft emergency location transmitter (ELT) checks.

With the new facilities, the RCC will be able to establish working groups with public and private SAR organizations in Quito and the rest of the country, and thus improve the immediate coordination required to address aircraft cases in emergency situations.

Airlines currently operating (2023)

This is a non-exhaustive and statistical list of active airlines3

Domestic flights

Latam Airlines, Avianca. Aeroregional, EquAir

With regular services from/to: Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Loja, Manta, Galapagos, etc.

Movement: More than 5 million passengers served nationwide (2022)

International flights

Aerolineas Argentinas, Across, Aeroméxico, Aeroregional, Air Europa, American Airlines, Arajet, Avianca, Conviasa, Copa Airlines, Delta, Eastern, EquAir, Estelar, GOL Linhas, Grupo Aéreo Monterrey, Iberia, Jet Blue, KLM, Latam, Spirit, TACA, United Airlines, Viva Aerobus, World Atlantic, Wingo.

Movement: More than 3.8 million passengers were mobilized in international air connectivity (2022)

Source: Ministry of Transport and Public Works  Movimiento Aéreo Pasajeros 2022


Procedures for Foreign Registered Aircraft


A.- Permanence of private foreign aircraft in Ecuador for less than 48 hours

B.- Authorization for private aircraft to remain in Ecuador for more than 48 hours and a single entry.

C.- Authorization for private aircraft to remain in Ecuador for more than 48 hours and multiple entries

Standard Entry, transit and exit of aircraft: Aeronaves Reglamento


Special authorization for long-term stay


Without prejudice to the provisions of the previous section, the DGAC may authorize the permanence of aircraft with foreign registration, used in corporate or executive aviation for up to periods of 12 months, as long as their operator is a national or foreign legal entity that accredits business. permanent in Ecuador and abroad, which require frequent entries and exits of the aircraft to and from Ecuadorian territory or its permanence for prolonged periods.

The request for the corresponding authorization must contain, in addition to the requirements provided for in Form 100VP, those pertinent to the development of the following corporate or executive activities:


Description of the company's permanent businesses in Ecuador and abroad.

Type of operations to be carried out in Ecuador (transportation of company personnel or equipment, etc.)

Ecuadorian airports where the aircraft is expected to mainly operate.

Certificate of existence and legal representation of the company, if it is Ecuadorian, or of the establishment of a branch in Ecuador, if it is foreign.


Authorization conditions

The corresponding authorization for entry and exit flights to and from the country, and for test or demonstration flights, will be issued by the Operations Division. The aircraft must not begin their arrival flight until they have expressly received such authorization. Without prejudice to this authorization, the owners of the aircraft must comply with the requirements of Customs, Immigration, and other Ecuadorian state agencies.


In accordance with the provisions of Article 16 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the DGAC reserves the right to inspect foreign-registered aircraft that are in Ecuador, and to examine their certificates and other documents, prescribed in said article. Agreement, without prejudice to the jurisdiction of other authorities.


In application of Article 11 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, once the entry and/or stay of any foreign aircraft in Ecuador is authorized, the aspects related to its entry, or exit, or its operation and navigation, will be subject to the Laws. and Aeronautical Regulations of Ecuador.

This authorization can only be used by private aircraft with foreign registration, and that operate in their countries of origin under this modality, not for commercial purposes in air transport. These aircraft must only transport their crew members, the owner, their relatives and guests on pleasure trips, and in the case of companies, the flights must only transport the owner, executives and company personnel.

The values ​​generated by the operation of the aircraft in Ecuadorian territory will be paid before leaving the country.


General requirements for authorization


The authorization to obtain a multiple entry permit will be valid until the last day of the year in which the authorization was requested.


The legal stay in Ecuador for foreign crew and passengers must be subject to the Immigration Law and this authorization does not exempt compliance with other government requirements.


Comply with the requirements and formalities of Customs, Immigration and Health at the international airports of arrival and departure of the Republic of Ecuador.


Comply with the standards contained in the Civil Aviation Law and its regulations, as well as the stipulations issued by the authorities of their countries, regarding brands, registration, certificate of airworthiness, insurance policy, flight personnel license, aircraft manuals. aircraft and any other appropriate documentation required for safe operation within Ecuadorian airspace.


Follow the procedures and air routes as previously established by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation in the AIP Manual (Aeronautical Information Publication of Ecuador), or in any publication legally recognized by the aeronautical industry.


Promptly notify the Ecuadorian aeronautical authority or the Area Control Centre of the point at which the GUAYAQUIL FIR/UIR will be crossed and your intention to enter Ecuadorian airspace.

If you have a valid permit, its number must be placed as Other Data in the IFR/ICAO flight plan presented at the point of origin.


Once the above instructions are fulfilled at the first international airport of arrival, the foreign aircraft can operate within Ecuadorian territory, always observing the stipulations contained in the Civil Aviation Law and its Regulations.


When the aircraft leaves the Equator, it may do so without some or all of the people who entered with that aircraft. These people can leave Ecuador on another date, and by any other means of transportation, but these people must comply with immigration regulations.


Authorizations for multiple entries must be requested from:

Dirección General de Aviación Civil  (General Directorate of Civil Aviation)

Buenos Aires Oe1-53 y 10 de Agosto

Quito, D.M.

Fax: 593 2 2506592 / 593 2 2221590 / 593 2 2238364



Teléfono: 593 2 2562997 / 593 2 2221590.


Operator, Aircraft and Crew Documentation

  • Air operator certificate
  • Registration certificate
  • Insurance certificate

Airworthiness certificate

  • Crew licenses
  • Engineer certificates
  • Maintenance authorization certificate
  • Aircraft registration
  • Type and brands
  • Aircraft serial number
  • Scheduled dates from and to Ecuador
  • Desired flights within the country
  • Expected passenger numbers and cargo load
  • Insurance policies for each aircraft that will be operated.

For Aeronautical Personnel Licenses see: SIPA Aviacioncivil


The Application must include

• Identification of the aircraft by its nationality and registration marks.

• Make, model and serial number of the aircraft and its engines and propellers.

• Name of the requesting operator, including its telephone number and AFS address, email or postal code, where the response is sent.

• Names of the crew in charge, along with their number of licenses issued or validated by the State of registration of the aircraft.

• Number of non-crew occupants entering and leaving the country on the aircraft.

• Airport(s) of entry and exit to and from Ecuador (being international airports) and deadlines for this purpose.

• Approximate dates and times planned for entry and exit.

• Place or places (city and airport) where the aircraft will remain or operate.

• Place (address and telephone) where the crew can be found in Ecuador.

• Reason for stay. If the reason is to carry out demonstration flights, they must know the names or be interested in the demonstration. In the case of repair or maintenance, indicate the name of the workshop, the type of work and its approximate duration.


How and Where to Get It

Online . Select the online form button  and proceed to fill out the required data and print the receipt to receive authorization.


In person

Request authorization to enter and exit the country, attaching the documents accrediting the team and crew to receive authorization.

Service channels: Online (Site/Web Portal/Web Application), In-person.

In person: Directorate of Aeronautical Inspection and Certification

Quito: Buenos Aires OE1-53 and Av. 10 de August (+593) 2 2947400 Ext. 4000/4001

Guayaquil: Av. de las Américas and José Alavedra Tama (+593) 2 2947400 Ext. 2030/2031

Opening hours: MON – FRI 08:00 - 16:30


Contact: Directorate of Aeronautical Inspection and Certification Email:

Telephone: 22947400 extensions 4900/4940



Procedure for the Issuance of Overflight Permit

Procedure aimed at providing authorization that allows international airlines to carry out overflights over the airspace, in accordance with regulations, publication and documentation of aeronautical technical information of the General Directorate of Civil Aviation.


Addressed to:

Legal Person - Private, Legal Person - Public, Natural Person - Ecuadorian, Natural Person - Foreign.

Aircraft pilots, flight operations technicians, citizens

National and international air operators

Armed Forces of Ecuador, National Police, INAMHI, National Secretariat for Management of

Risks, Military Geographic Institute, Embassies


Mandatory Requirements:


2. Aircraft registration certificate

3. Certificate of Airworthiness

4. Aircraft insurance policy

5. Proof of payment for international funds transfer

6. Maximum takeoff weight


1. Request the General Directorate of Civil Aviation for overflight permission using the "FORMATO-200/DGAC ECUADOR", attaching copies of: aircraft registration, airworthiness certificate, current insurance policy, maximum takeoff weight certificate.

2. Pay the overflight fee

3. Receive overflight permission

Note: For more information about the procedure, contact the email:


The cost is defined by the National Civil Aviation Council and depends on the maximum takeoff weight of the aircraft (MTOW) versus the distance in miles that the aircraft flies over Ecuadorian territory.

The procedure is in person.


General Directorate of Civil Aviation

Quito: Buenos Aires OE1-53 and Av. 10 de Agosto

(+593) 2 2947400 Ext. 4900 / 4950

Guayaquil: Av. de las Américas and José Alavedra Tama

(+593) 2 2947400 Ext. 2030 / 2031

Attention schedule:


08:00 - 16:30


Operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) “Drone”


Abstract: The term “drone” is defined as unmanned aircraft. The word “drone” is of English origin and its translation into Spanish is “bumblebee”, a name that was given thanks to the similar sound that its propellers emit when they are operating.

Drones in Ecuador are regulated by the Regulations for the Operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs), Resolution No. DGAC - DGAC-2020-0110-R, issued by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation on November 4, 2020. , which establishes that drones may not be operated in the vicinity of airfields, heliports, intangible zones, State security zones, among others. In addition, these devices must be registered with the General Directorate of Civil Aviation and have damage insurance to operate, which can be purchased from $3,000 to $12,000 depending on the weight of the drone. Its maximum operating height is 122 meters above ground level. terrain and the hours allowed for its operation are between sunrise and sunset, making use of appropriate meteorological conditions.



Includes: Special RPA flight request format, see page 12


Modification Effective since April 14, 2023 includes latest modifications -RPAs-1.pdfimage-20240513094209-1

Regular use of drones currently in Ecuador

•           National Police

In order to regulate conflictive and dangerous sectors, the National Police has implemented highly qualified intelligence squads that use drones in its ranks.

•           Fire brigade

Trained in the handling of drones with thermal imaging cameras for fire detection and operations, night vision cameras to be used in search and rescue missions, sensors for terrain coordinates, drones with objective technology up to 200x.

• ECU911

Since August 23, 2021, the ECU911 Integrated Security System has a fleet of twenty-three drones that add to the two that it had previously acquired, with the purpose of more effectively articulating and managing possible emergencies that may occur. raise in Ecuador

• Risk and disaster management.

Used by the National Risk and Emergency Management Service for the collection of photographs and videos, topographic information, field data acquisition, and infrastructure inspections.

•           Agriculture

Dedicated and adapted drones with high-definition cameras, infrared, red and RGB sensors capable of detecting the electromagnetic spectrum present in the vegetation, thermal sensors and radio trackers to obtain information on crops.

• Ministry of Environment

• Mining

• Collection of heritage information, National Institute of Cultural Heritage

• Fauna study

• Ecuadorian Air Force

Used for exploration, surveillance and reconnaissance purposes in areas involved in the illegal transportation of fuel and merchandise, they have state-of-the-art equipment. In addition, the Air Force Research and Development Center works together with the Ministry of Defense in the research development and production of drones such as the Gavilán, an unmanned aircraft produced by the CIDFAE that has an autonomy of four hours and reaches the speed of 110km (about 68.35 mi)/h with a range of 85km.


Important: The use of drones in airports is prohibited and sanctioned in Ecuador.






Covid-19 Protocol, (effective from August 1, 2022)


Restriction of entry into the country2

Citizens who have the following African countries as points of origin or transit will not be able to enter Ecuador: South Africa, Botswana, Egypt, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and Namibia.


  1. Ref : Presentación Oportunidades del Transporte Aéreo en Ecuador, 2023 Power Point    
  2. Ref: IATA Ecuador Comunicado de Prensa , Día de la Aviación
  3.  Statistics provided by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation of Ecuador
  4.,despu%C3%A9s%20de%20completar%20el%20esquema.  Read last paragraph.


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