With all of the gorgeous scenery found in the Bahamas, you’d think a drone with a camera would be one of the first things a tourist would throw in their suitcase. But in future, they’ll have to fill out some paperwork first: the Ministry of Transport and Aviation in the Bahamas has announced that the Civil Aviation Department has instituted drone regulations and a registration requirement, effective February 1.
The “Special Regulation” of the Civil Aviation’s Safety Regulation covers both commercial and hobby drones. The regulations state that anyone wishing to import a drone – of any type – must first get a Certificate of Registration from the Civil Aviation Department in order to get the drone through customs.
Residents of the Bahamas who already own drones will have until the end of the month to register them with the Civil Aviation department; otherwise the drones may be confiscated by the Flight Standards Inspectorate.
In addition to the paper registration system, regulations have been passed to ensure common sense flight safety: including restrictions around the airport; at excessive altitude; in crowds or assemblies; and in close proximity to a structure or person.
The Eleuthera News reports that drone owners are also “required to accept full responsibility for
any accidents, mishaps, injuries or damage which may result from their operation,” which seems to cover the issue of liability thoroughly.
The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Transport and Aviation, said that the Special Regulation became necessary due to the large increase of drones in The Bahamas. The regulation will remain in effect until the requirement has been incorporated into law, or until it is repealed by the Civil Aviation Department.
More details on the Special Regulation can be obtained from the
Civil Aviation Department, J.L. Centre Building Blake Rd., or by contacting the
Flight Standards Inspectorate of the Department.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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