Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Kingdom of Bahrain
UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Bahrain
The Bahrain agency responsible for drone safety, BCAA, has provided several internet-accessible details on flying for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the link above to check for recent updates.
Are drones allowed in Bahrain?
According to BCAA, drone operations are allowed in Bahrain subject to regulations. Read on for more details.
Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Bahrain:
All UAVs, regardless of size or weight, shall be registered at the BCAA.
Bahrain classifies drones into three categories with compliance varying by category.
UAVs shall be registered as either Type A, B, or C, according to weight:
- Type A UAV; is a UAV weighing under 5kg
- Type B UAV; is a UAV weighing from 5kg to 25kg inclusive
- Type C UAV; is a UAV weighing in excess of 25kg.
An application for registration of any Type B or Type C UAV shall be submitted by the owner or intended owner of the UAV to the BCAA before importing that UAV into the Kingdom of Bahrain.
An applicant for a UAV registration shall have reached the age of at least 18 years by the date of submission and shall submit to the Authority an application in the form prescribed in Appendix A. The application shall include any fee levied by the Authority for the processing of the application.
The application shall specify the names, addresses, CPR or CR numbers, and contact details of any persons or entities that will be permitted by the owner to operate the UAV. The registered owner of the UAV shall bear ultimate responsibility for the operation of the UAV.
Before granting a UAV registration, the Authority shall, having given due consideration for the Type of UAV and its intended use, be satisfied that;
- the applicant’s facilities, services, and equipment (if applicable)are per these regulations, and
- the UAV’s operating procedures make satisfactory provision for the safety of both aircraft and the public, and
- the UAV’s operating manual has been submitted with the application and contains all the relevant information, and
- the applicant, and any intended operator, has the necessary competence, experience, and resources to operate and maintain the UAV to the satisfaction of the Authority, and
- the applicant holds a certificate of insurance against liability or risk arising from the operation of the UAV, to the satisfaction of the Authority (if required), and
- any fees levied by the Authority in respect of the application have been paid, and
- the UAV is airworthy to a standard acceptable to the Authority, and
- permission to own and/or operate the UAV has been obtained from both the Ministry of Interior and the Bahrain Defense Force.
After successful completion of the processing of the application, the Authority may endorse the UAV registration with conditions pertaining to the use of the UAV.
Validity of the UAV registration
UAV registration shall be valid for 3 years if no shorter period is endorsed, or until it is suspended or canceled, whichever is earlier.
UAV operation and maintenance
- An operator shall not operate a UAV in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, another person, or property.
- Subject to any directions that the Authority may issue, the UAV operator shall operate and maintain the UAV per the procedures set out in the UAV manual.
- To ensure aircraft safety, the Authority may give written directions to a UAV operator to alter the procedures set out in the UAV manual.
- The UAV operator shall coordinate with the relevant ATS provider to be satisfied that appropriate air traffic services are available to ensure the safety of all aircraft in any airspace utilized by the UAV. In addition, the coordination shall cover other areas related to safety such as aeronautical information service, aerodrome or other control services, designated meteorological authorities, communications, and security.
- A UAV shall only be operated at an altitude above 400 feet AGL within 5 nautical miles of an aerodrome or Helicopter Landing Area if the Authority expressly permits that operation.
- A UAV shall not be operated above a populous area unless;
- permission has been obtained from the Authority, and
- at a height greater than the height from which, if any of its components fail, it would be able to clear the area.
- A UAV shall not be operated:
- in or into the cloud; or
- at night; or
- in conditions other than VMC; or
- in other than visual line-of-sight operations; or
- in a manner that causes or allows anything to be dropped or discharged from the UAV; or
- in a manner that causes or allows the recording or transmission of images from or by the UAV, unless permitted by the Authority, or per an air traffic control instruction.
- A UAV shall not be operated within 30 meters of a person who is not directly associated with the operation of the UAV.
- A UAV shall not be operated in controlled airspace unless the operator:
- holds an aeronautical radio operator certificate acceptable to the Authority, and
- maintains a listening watch on a specified frequency or frequencies, and
- makes broadcasts on a specified frequency or frequencies at the specified interval giving the specified information; and
- is specifically permitted by the Authority to do so.
- All UAVs shall be operated in a manner that gives way to crewed aircraft and avoids other UAVs.
Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Bahrain
See general rules above.
Notes for Commercial Drone Services operations in Bahrain
See general rules above.
Useful published information on flying drones in Bahrain
Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Bahrain…
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 aircraft, toy aircraft, Remote controlled aircraft, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.
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