Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in Aruba
Updated February 3, 2023
UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Aruba
The Aruban agency responsible for drone safety, DCAA, has provided many internet-accessible details on flying for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the link above.
Are drones allowed in Aruba?
According to DCAA, drones are allowed in Aruba for recreational and commercial use, subject to DCAA regulations. Read on for details.
Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Aruba:
Drones cannot fly higher than 200 feet unless permission has been granted to the operator from the DCAA.
- The drone operator must maintain a visual line of sight (VLOS) when operating a drone.
- When utilizing the “First Person View (FPV) technology, a second person shall act as an observer.
- Never operate in Prohibited or Restricted Areas, especially near the airport (not within 4 kilometers).
- Never operate in the vicinity of aircraft, over groups (accumulation) of people, stadiums, or sports events.
- Never operate near emergency response efforts such as fires, accidents, etc.
- Never operate under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Never operate your drone in such a way that could endanger people or property.
- Never operate your drone in rainy or stormy weather or extremely low visibility.
- Never operate your drone at night.
- Never fly over private property and/or breaches protected by privacy laws.
- Only drones operating in the frequencies 2.4 and 5.8 GHz are permitted to operate in Aruba.
- The drone operator (or company) is legally responsible for the safe conduct of each flight and is strongly encouraged to acquire insurance.
Permission is required from the DCAA for all drone flights. To receive such permission, the following information must be submitted to the DCAA at least one working day before the date of the activity:
- The name of the person or company on which the permission will be issued;
- The type of drone that is going to be operated;
- The purpose (or intention) of the requested drone operating permit;
- The maximum height that you will operate the drone;
- The name of the drone operator;
- A local mobile telephone number (an international number will not be accepted) where the operator can be reached during the operations by the Control Tower;
- The drone operation site;
- The date, time, and duration of the drone operation
Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Aruba
Notes provided from DCAA via one of our users, “Steve” (Thank you, Steve!)
-Aruba DOES NOT …. have NFZs (at the moment)
-Permission is required for EVERY flight… A 1-second flight, 30-second flight, or 30-minute flight… permission is always required. Permission is granted through a form you fill out and sends to the DCAA. While in Aruba, before every flight, you must contact the Airport control tower and request a flight window, certain coordinates, with a certain range, under 200 feet ceiling. The radio tower will then give you permission. It could be given automatically for a window of time, or it could be bracketed; you have permission 10 minutes from now for 22 minutes.
– In addition to the approval from DCAA and the ATC tower, if you fly over private properties (this excludes beaches), you need written (email works) from the property owner for that flight.
– To get permission from DCAA, you need a LOCAL phone number. Willem (the AD-ATS inspector from DCAA, the guy who stamps your permission documentation, said that he would NOT give permission to someone who doesn’t have a local number. This is because you need a local number for the ATC tower to reach out to you /call you in an emergency if you need to land your drone due to a possible collision, etc. The DCAA partnered with local agencies to provide a discounted sim for your use
This is straight from the email that he sent me.
“A local mobile telephone is required in case the Control Tower needs to contact the drone operator urgently during the drone operation. The Control Tower cannot make international phone call as such an international number cannot be accepted. The telephone number of a landline can also not be accepted because you would be unreachable during the drone operation. A local SIM card can be purchased (the price is about $22 and it comes with about $6 of calling credit included) at one of our local telecommunication companies SETAR or DIGICEL (both have a branch in the arrival hall at the airport). You can buy the SIM card on-line and you will receive it when you arrive here.You can also check with the hotel where you are going to stay at, if they are able to help you herewith.Once you have a “local mobile number”, which the company can give you before receiving the SIM card, we can continue processing the requested permission. ”
There are certain drone operations sites that are favored by the ATC tower for drone usage. Just because there are no NFZs in Aruba doesn’t mean you have permission……. i guess you could think of it as ALL of Aruba being an NFZ. These are the preferred drone sites from his email
The drone operation site(s)
“On the East side: Baby Beach, Rogers Beach, Boca Grandi, Colorado Lighthouse.
On the West side: Eagle Beach, Palm Beach, Arashi Beach, Druif Beach, California Lighthouse.
Other locations: Casibari Rock Formation, Natural Bridge, Bushiribana Ruins, Mangel Halto.
Based on conservation purposes, no recreational drone operations are permitted in the Aruba Arikok National Park. To operate a drone in the Aruba Arikok National Park, for another purpose than recreational/personal, special permission is needed from them.
Here is some more information from the email
“The DCAA requires that the drone operator is aware of the basic international flight rules of the air, that applies when operating drones, such as (but not limited to):
– maintaining a visual line of sight (VLOS) when operating a drone. When utilizing the “First Person View (FPV) technology, a second person shall act as an observer;
– never operate in Prohibited or Restricted Areas, especially near the airport (not within 4 kilometers);
– never operate in the vicinity of aircraft, over military-, police- or emergency installations, over groups (accumulation) of people, stadiums or sports events or;
– never operate near emergency response efforts such as fires, accidents, etc.;
– never operate under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
– never operate your drone in such a way that could endanger people or property;
– never operate your drone in rainy or stormy weather or in extremely low visibility;
– never operate your drone at night;
– never fly over private property and/or breach privacy laws.
The DCAA also requires that you make sure you understand and operate the drone in accordance with the procedures and limitations mentioned in the Supplier’s User Manual. And also, a thorough “Preflight Check” is done before each flight to confirm that the drone is operating properly.
Only drones operating in the frequencies 2.4 and 5.8 GHz are permitted to operate in Aruba.
Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Aruba
See the general rule above.
Useful published information on flying drones in Aruba
Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Aruba…
NOTE: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model, toy, remote-controlled, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.
Traveling with a Drone?
Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone.
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