Drone Laws in Barbados

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in Barbados

Barbados Civil Aviation Department of (BCAD)


UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Barbados

The Barbadian agency responsible for drone safety, BCAD, has provided a number of details on flying for fun or for work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the link above.

Are drones allowed in Barbados?

According to BCAD, drone use is allowed in Barbados, subject to BCAD regulations. However there is a temporary suspension on imports and licensing. Read on for more details.

The Government of Barbados welcomes the operations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in Barbados. You can only fly however with permission.

All efforts will be made to consider requests made by operators as required.

The temporary ban applies to all new imports of any size (including hobby/toy drones). 

A temporary permit may be requested and obtained. 

The current procedures for obtaining a temporary permit for a visitor are detailed below and should be completed six weeks before your arrival:

  1. You must provide proof of valid public liability insurance for at least USD 250,000 for Barbados. 
  2. Indicate the airports to which you intend to fly in Barbados. 
  3. Submit a flight application request via the PM Office Portal Drone Application section
  4. Apply in person or through a third party to the Telecommunications Unit (located on Floor 3 of the Boabab Tower, Warrens) for a radio license ($30.00 BDS) by filling out the Telecom license form downloaded from their website.

Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Barbados

There is an imposition of a temporary suspension on the importation and licensing of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones in Barbados, for six (6) months commencing April 1, 2020. 

There is also an imposition of a temporary suspension on the importation of parts to assemble Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones in Barbados, for six (6) months commencing April 1, 2020. 

It is possible to secure a temporary exemption on a case-by-case basis for the commercial use of UAS, which are imported and exported immediately after use. 

This request should be made via this exemption application form. In addition, it should be noted that:

  1. The UAS should be declared to Customs at the point of importation. 
  2. A deposit shall be made to cover the duty liability of the imported item. 
  3. The UAS should be presented to Customs at the time of exportation to verify that the imported item is being exported. 
  4. The deposit will be refunded at the point of exportation provided Customs is satisfied;
  5. The importer shall provide Customs with the address where the UAS is kept during the period of importation. 

In-transit passengers in possession of a UAS should package them in their checked luggage to avoid confiscation. 

It is a requirement in Barbados for persons operating a UAS System to obtain prior authorization and completes the UAS Application 

No person will be allowed to operate a UAS without carrying on their person at the time of operation, evidence of prior written approval by the Government of Barbados exercising lawful jurisdiction over the affected area or activity. 

DRONES/UAS/RPAS GUIDELINES A. SPECIAL AUTHORISATION 

The UAS operator must apply and receive approval before undertaking any of the operations. 

All information will be used to assess if the applicant is entitled to a UAS Flight Authorization. 

An incomplete, poorly prepared, or inaccurate application may: 

  • Result in rejection of the application 
  • Raise doubts about the applicant’s ability to conduct and control the operation v Result in delays 
  • Result in a refusal to issue the flight authorization. 

INTEGRATION INTO AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT (ATM) PROCEDURES 

All UAS shall be treated as crewed aircraft when operating in controlled airspace in Barbados. 

It shall be the responsibility of the UAS pilots to acquire knowledge of the appropriate ATM procedures and follow all instructions issued by the Control Tower.

Notwithstanding the above, permission shall be before operating in Barbados’ controlled airspace. 

UAS OPERATIONS 

All UAS flights are limited to a maximum height of 400 feet above ground level. 

UAS are not to be operated within a 5-kilometer radius from an airport or helipad. 

Flying above populous areas and gatherings is prohibited unless approved and with the explicit approval of the community. 

Prohibited Zones/Prohibited Areas are areas of airspace that have been prohibited from having aircraft enter them for one reason or another. These areas include military bases, ports of entry, embassies, and residences, including Government House and Ilaro Court. 

The official definition of airspace is “defined dimensions above the land areas or territorial waters of a State within which aircraft flight is prohibited.” 

The official definition of controlled airspace is “An airspace of defined dimensions within which air traffic control services are provided per the airspace classification.” 

Pilots must not fly in these areas without prior permission and coordination with the air traffic service provider controlling that airspace. 

EMERGENCY SITES 

UAS pilots are not allowed to fly within the security perimeter of a police or first responder emergency operation, such as a traffic accident. 

Operators must also avoid sites near disasters (fires or floods). A UAS flying near these areas may interfere with emergency personnel aircraft and the work of emergency personnel. 

ADVERTISED EVENTS 

UAS pilots are not allowed to fly near or over advertised events, such as outdoor concerts and sporting events unless they have obtained Special Authorization from the PMO that specifically allows them to do so. 

REPORT A DRONE INCIDENT AND UNSAFE UAS USE 

Contact the PMO and/or Law Enforcement if someone irresponsibly flies a UAS without authorization or a permit (for example, flying close to other aircraft, near aerodromes, or at a high altitude). 

Contact the PMO and /or Law Enforcement if someone is flying a UAS without authorization from the PMO.

  • No aerial footage is to be taken of any area outside of the location specified in your correspondence referred to above.
  • Aerial activity should be confined to a height of 400 feet above ground level.
  • The UAS must not take off, land, or operate within a lateral distance of 50m from a crowd or any structure.
  • At the Grantley Adams International Airport, the Air Traffic Control Tower must be notified fifteen (15) minutes before the start and after the aerial activity. The telephone numbers are 428-0956, 536-1359, and 536-1300 ext. 61510 or 61512.
  • You must comply with any instructions given by the Air Traffic Control Tower at the Grantley Adams International Airport. In this regard, a contact number must be provided to the Tower staff before the operation of the drone.
  • You are required to comply with the lawful directions of all law enforcement personnel.
  • You are required to produce to the National Security Division, Prime Minister’s Office, proof of valid public liability insurance for a minimum of $250,000.00 for the period.
  • You are required to produce to the National Security Division, Prime Minister’s Office, proof of a valid spectrum license for the period. This license may be obtained from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology.
  • All persons/spectators are to be kept safe and protected from the activity involving the aerial operation of the drone.
  • Unless specific permission is given, you are prohibited from operating the UAS as follows:
    • higher than 120 meters (400 ft) above the ground.
    • closer than 150 meters (500 ft) laterally 5km from the airport.
    • from an open-air assembly of people, buildings, or vehicles.
    • closer than 5km from the airport and related approach/takeoff paths.
    • within or over prohibited and restricted airspace, including military bases, prisons, and private properties; and
    • in populous areas, including highways, beaches, stadiums, sporting events, and festivities.

Note for Foreign Operator

You may operate a drone in Barbados by applying for an exemption. See rules above.


Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Barbados

See general rules above.


Notes for Commercial Drone Services operations in Barbados

See general rules above.


Useful published information on flying drones in Barbados

Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Barbados…

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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IMPORTANT NOTE

The content on this site is collated by volunteers from public general information. This material is not presented as legal advice of any kind, and we cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Do not substitute the information you find here for legal advice from a licensed attorney who is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction. When in doubt, contact the local aviation authority responsible for drone safety, utilize a licensed drone service operator, and/or consult a qualified attorney.

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