Today, the Council of Ministers has given the green light to the amendment of the Aviation Act that will open the Iuchtruim of the Caribbean Netherlands to unmanned Iucht vessels or drones.
The current law, which has been in force since Bonaire, St Eustatius, and Saba became special municipalities, only allows manned flights. In the meantime, the added value of drones has been discovered by the police and fire brigade, for example. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management says that the legislative amendment creates a “robust regulatory framework within which flights with unmanned aircraft can be carried out safely on the public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba.”
Minister Harbers will now first submit the bill to the Council of State for advice. Before the House of Representatives considers it, consultations will also be held with the island governments about the interpretation of the regulations. Due to the ban on drones, Bonaire missed out on a unique opportunity for international promotion in 2021: the organization of the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam wanted to show images of the special municipality during the broadcast of the final, but the film crew already present on the island did not receive an exemption to use a camera drone.