Recreational users of small unmanned aircraft, sometimes called UAVs or drones, are advised by The Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) to pay more attention to safety issues. Now readily available from retailers, small unmanned aircraft, particularly the multi-rotar’ quadcopter’ types, are expected to be popular gifts this year.
People flying these unmanned aircraft should understand that they are subject to aviation rules and should not treat the devices as harmless gadgets or toys. Drones should not be flown over congested areas, or within 50m of people or buildings. The rules are in place to protect members of the public from injury, and protect property from damage. Although only relatively small in size, they also pose a significant collision risk to other aircraft if they are not flown sensibly. Anyone breaching the rules can be penalized.
BCAA stresses that users must take personal responsibility when flying unmanned aircraft and abide by the rules. Anyone buying or importing a small unmanned aircraft should visit the BCAA website and Facebook page for more information.
Remember, when you fly a drone (small unmanned aircraft), you have legal responsibilities. More information at www.bcaa.bm
Know Before you Fly:
- You are legally responsible for the safe conduct of each flight. Take time to understand the rules - failure to comply could lead to a criminal prosecution.
- Before each flight check that your unmanned aircraft is not damaged, and all components are working in accordance with the Supplier’s User Manual.
- You must keep the unmanned aircraft within your sight at all times and never fly above 400 feet.
- You are responsible for avoiding collisions with other people or objects - including aircraft.
- You may only fly your unmanned aircraft over your own property or property for which you have been given permission by the owner.
- It is illegal to fly your unmanned aircraft over a congested area (streets towns and cities). Also, stay well clear of airports and airfields.
- Don’t fly your unmanned aircraft within 50m of a person, vehicle, building or structure, or overhead groups of people at any height.
- Think about what you do with any images you obtain as you may breach privacy laws.
- If you intend to use an unmanned aircraft for any kind of commercial activity, you must get an Aerial Work Permission from BDCA, or you could face prosecution. For more details visit www.dca.gov.bm.
- It is illegal to fly your unmanned aircraft over any Government land without permission from the Department of Parks. Contact Department of Parks for further information. (441) 236 5902
BDCA has also published a poster in order to raise awareness of the rules surrounding the use of these types of aircraft:
Who to Contact?
If you have a query with regard to operating a small unmanned aircraft, please contact the appropriate authority listed below:
Department of Civil Aviation
PO Box GE 218
St. George's, GE BX
Telephone: (441) 293 1640