By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
Legislation to regulate the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the Bahamas has been completed and will be brought to Parliament shortly, the transport and aviation minister said yesterday.
“The regulations have been completed and will be laid shortly,” said Glenys Hanna Martin, when asked about the progress of regulations to govern UAV usage, which had been put out for consultation by the Department of Civil Aviation in April.
“We have had dialogue with industry stakeholders, hobbyists, the real estate industry, because they use it also to survey land. We have met with Civil Aviation and the FAA. We have had extensive dialogue and consultation. We are getting ready to lay the Bill in Parliament,” said Mrs Hanna Martin.
The proposed regulations for Aerial Work Operations 2015 and Unmanned Aircraft 2015 by the Department of Civil Aviation outline the necessary requirements and certifications for the use of UAVs, as well as restrictions.
The use of UAVs or drones has sparked serious debate in the US, and local experts have called on the Government to ensure that the emerging industry is regulated in the Bahamas.
Bahamian aviation attorney, Llewellyn Boyer-Cartwright, a former commercial pilot and now a Callenders & Co partner, and Sky High Media co-founder, Lance Knowles, have been among those calling for the Government to create legislation to regulate the emerging industry.
The proposed regulations speak to airspace designations, certificates and licenses, registration of aircraft, liability insurance, pilot licensing, flight plans, notification of launch and other restrictions.