Strict rules emplaced for operating drones on BES islands

Drone owners on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba are reminded to adhere to the rules when operating drones on these islands. Violating these rules, a drone pilot risk being fined, confiscation of the drone or jail time.

This reminder comes after a recent verdict on Bonaire, where a drone pilot received a conditional sentence with 1-year probation for illegally flying the drone over the prison on Bonaire.

Operating drones as a hobby is increasing in popularity, therefore the Public Prosecutor’s Office would like to outline the rules for this practice.

• The drone should not be heavier than 25 kilos.
• The drone is prohibited from being flown more than 120 meters above the ground or sea.
• The drone is prohibited from being flown above a crowd of people and over ongoing construction.
• The drone should not be flown in the dark.
• While in flight the drone must remain visible at all times.
• The drone is prohibited from being flown in the vicinity of the air traffic control tower of a public or military airport.
• When operating the drone always give priority to planes and helicopters.
• It is allowed to take photos and video recordings with the drone, provided the privacy law is respected.

In the event that a bystander is injured by a drone in flight, the victim can hold the drone operator liable. The payments in damages can be very high and not every third-party insurance covers damage caused by the drone. Therefore drone operators are advised to be vigilant.

Furthermore a permit is required when drones are being used for business purposes and different rules apply.

RCN – Public Prosecutor’s Office

 

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