Local authorities are warning operators of drones that they could face prosecution if they are caught flying the popular technological devices outside of designated zones.
The warning came in a statement issued today by the Director of Civil Aviation Kingsley Nelson in which he also disclosed that Government was currently reviewing the rules and processes governing the importation and use of drone technology.
He noted that the increasing use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RMAs) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as they are referred to, present some security, privacy and safety concerns.
“The Division of Defense and Security, Prime Minister’s Office, The Barbados Civil Aviation Department, Barbados Defense Force, Royal Barbados Police Force, Telecommunications Division and Customs and Excise Department are among several government agencies examining the issues posed by the use of these vehicles,” Nelson said.
The Civil Aviation Director also sought to remind operators that there were several no-fly areas, especially around Easter with the flying of kites.
He pointed out that currently, the Civil Aviation Department restricts recreational flying of RPAs and UAVs to four designated areas, namely Dash Valley, St George; College Savannah, St John; Sterling and Marley Vale, St Philip.
“All persons/entities, whether recreational or commercial, operating in breach of the above may be subjected to criminal prosecution,” Nelson added.
In the meantime, he said persons wishing to operate UAVs outside of the designated areas or on a commercial basis were required to make an application to the Permanent Secretary, Defense and Security, Prime Minister’s Office.
Operators of all RPAS are also required to be in possession of a valid telecommunications radio-controlled licence; maintain visual contact (visual line of sight) with the RPAS at all times; maintain a safe distance from all obstacles, including buildings; operate at a height less than 400ft above ground level; and comply with any provisions and conditions issued by the appropriate authorities. (BGIS)