THE Ministry of Transport and Aviation has reminded the public that regulations governing the operation of drones will take effect today.
The conditions regulating the use of unmanned aircraft systems are outlined in special regulation number one of the Civil Aviation Department’s Safety Regulations.
This 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, a statement from the ministry said.
“As previously stated by 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 It will remain in effect until the requirement has been incorporated into law, or until it is repealed by the Civil Aviation Department,” the statement said.
Persons who have drones that are already in the country have until February 29, 2016 to register them with the Civil Aviation Department.
Failure to do so may result in them being detained by the Flight Standards Inspectorate of the Civil Aviation Department, the statement added.
“Restrictions governing the operation of the drones include their operation near an airport, at excessive heights, in congested or populated areas, near an organised 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,” the statement added.
Further details on the special regulation may be obtained from the Civil Aviation Department at the J L Centre Building on Blake Road or by contacting the Flight Standards Inspectorate at 242-397-4700.
The special regulation was published in full in The Nassau Guardian on January 30. It will be published in The Bahama Journal on February 2 and in The Tribune on February 4.