Jan 31, 2016 – 10:12:05 PM
The Ministry of Transport & Aviation advises the public that the Civil Aviation Department has outlined conditions governing the use of unmanned aircraft systems, commonly referred to as drones, in The Bahamas. These conditions become effective on February 1st, 2016, and are outlined in Special Regulation, No. 1 of 2016 of the Civil Aviation Department’s Safety Regulations.
The Special Regulation regulates both commercial and recreational drones, and requires all persons wishing to import them into The Bahamas to first obtain a Certificate of Registration from the Civil Aviation Department, in order for the Customs Department to release the unmanned aircraft system to the owner. As previously stated by the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin Minister of Transport and Aviation, the Special Regulation became necessary due to the proliferation of drones in The Bahamas. It will remain in effect until the requirement has been incorporated into law, or until it is repealed by the Civil Aviation Department.
The public is advised that owners of unmanned aircraft systems already in The Bahamas have until 29th February, 2016 to register them with the Civil Aviation Department, and the failure to do so may result in them being detained by the Flight Standards Inspectorate of the Civil Aviation Department. Restrictions governing the operation of the drones include their operation near an airport, at excessive heights, in congested or populated areas, near an organized open-air assembly, near a vessel, vehicle or structure, or within close proximity to any person.
Owners or operators of drones will be required to accept full responsibility for any accidents, mishaps, injuries or damage which may result from their operation. Further details on the Special Regulation may be obtained from the Civil Aviation Department, J.L. Centre Building Blake Rd., and by contacting the Flight Standards Inspectorate of the Department at telephone number 397-4700.
The Special Regulation was published in full in The Nassau Guardian on 30th January, 2016, and will be published in The Bahama Journal on 2nd February, in The Tribune on 4th February, and in The Punch on 8th February.