By NATARIO McKENZIE
THE Government was yesterday praised for moving “swiftly” to seek to regulate the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in The Bahamas, having now posted its draft regulations to govern their use.
The proposed regulations for Ariel Work Operations 2015 and Unmanned Aircraft 2015 by the Department of Civil Aviation outline the necessary requirements and certifications for the use UAVs as well as restrictions.
In February Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna Martin noted that the Government was proposing legislation for the use of UAVs. Commenting on the matter at the time she said: “There are a lot of stories of aviation safety issues. There are three categories of user, the commercial, the hobbyists and the military, all of whom must be governed by regulations and we have none, with the issue of safety being paramount while not inhibiting legitimate use.
“My Ministry, in reviewing this new paradigm, will propose a framework of legislation that will govern usage, locale, height restrictions, operator certification, optimal use of a visual observer, aircraft registration and marking and operational limits in the appropriate circumstances.”
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 Callenders & Co partner, has been among those calling for the Government to create legislation to regulate the emerging industry. He told Tribune Business: “I was very pleased to see that the Government has moved quite swiftly on seeking for regulate the use of UAV’s in the country. It certainly puts us at the forefront of the issue and ahead dog other countries in the region. It does appear that the guidance and collaboration of the FAA.”
The proposed regulations speak to airspace designations, certificates and licences, registration of aircraft, liability insurance, pilot licencing, flight plans, notification of launch and other restrictions.