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Oct 15, 2021

Civil Aviation Issues Warning About Drones

Earlier this week we brought you the story of Vistro, a company in Orange Walk that is set to launch a drone delivery service. Well, the Department of Civil Aviation says not so fast. They have issued a warning about the use of drones without the written consent of the Director of Civil Aviation. The Department says while it supports new industry development and growth, drones can be used to carry out dangerous activities, damage to low-flying aircraft, or even injure people. Director of Civil Aviation, Nigel Carter, told News Five today that there is a permit process and guidelines drone owners must follow.


Nigel Carter

Nigel Carter, Director, Civil Aviation

What we’re facing whereby being unaware specifically of the capabilities of the persons operating the drones – we have to put in place certain regulations to ensure the safety of the aircrafts that are operating in our airspace. So for some time now we have been issuing permits to individuals who wish to operate a drone and those permits come with guidelines that the operators need to adhere to. Recently we were made aware, through the media, of an organization’s intent on operating drones for the delivery of packages. There are certain guidelines that are published on advisory circulars that can be found on our website and also you reach out to us and usually once we provide you with an approval, you get the limitations that come along with that and that limitation usually mimic what is included in the advisory circular, so you’ll get first-hand, the information and what we normally ask is that you sign that you understand the conditions under which you will operates these drones, no? Insofar as the commercial drone, that is a whole other ball game, we go through a certification process whereby the operator would develop different procedures that they would utilize for the operation of those drones. Procedures like how do I go about training my drone operators or the drone pilots? How do we go about ensuring the maintenance of the drones? How do we keep our records of all the operations? And so forth. So in that certification process you would develop your procedures, we would then vet those procedures both on table and then in person so we would actually go through a demonstration phase and once we’re satisfied with that then we can finalize the certification and issue you your authorization to operate.”

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