Regulations in Place to Manage Drone Usage
There are general rules that apply for all drone operations. The aerial vehicle can only be flown to a maximum height of four hundred feet and closer to aerodromes, that altitude is reduced. Among a long list of guidelines, it is prohibited for drones to be flown over persons and only to be operated during daylight events. Many operators are unaware of these limitations, so what are the penalties for breaking these regulations? Chief Operations Officer of the Department of Civil Aviation, Nigel Carter, explains.
Nigel Carter, Chief Operations Officer, Department of Civil Aviation
“There are general penalties prescribed in the Civil Aviation Act for the endangering safety and so those will be applied where necessary. The department is also working on more specific legislation that will give guidance on the use of drones. It will serve to better protect prohibited areas, it will reinforce or make the punitive actions more efficient and it will also give force to certain regulations that we have developed already and we feel that these regulations will assist us in giving guidance on how the media, commercial operators and recreational users can operate drones in Belize.”
“Part of the release speaks to getting permission from Civil Aviation to operate, to film the Ruta Maya in these areas. Could you talk to us about how people can do that? Is it only limited to media houses?”
“First of all we are not issuing a permit to film the La Ruta Maya race; we are issuing a permit to operate a drone in that area. We do not have rights to the race so that has to be sought from the organizers of the race. I want to be very clear with that because if there is any concern after that we don’t want to be the ones that have been issuing approval from the race itself.”