Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

22nd May 2018 Update: The temporary 'ban' on drone importation has now been extended by the authorities until May 2019. BUAVA are actively engaging the authorities to have this removed and legislation in place as soon as possible. However, with an election due this week it is expected that the ban will remain in place for the forthcoming months.

20th April 2018 Update: While no official word has been released of the expiry of the drone ban, measures seem to be have been put in place to allow the importation of drones. Your drone will still likely be held at customs on entry, you then take the drone specification to the Telecoms Unit, apply for a license at which point they give you a letter for the CAA and the Ministry of Defense & Security. You can then go and collect your drone from customs, with your license and pass the letters to the CAA/Minisitry of Defense. We will update these details as and when an official statement is made.

No. At present, there is a ban on the importation of drones to Barbados. It is due to end on the 1st of April 2018.

The importation ban is in place while the government debates legislation for drones. The Barbados UAV Assocation is actively involved in helping shape this legislation and it is our current #1 goal to have the ban lifted with fair, sensible, safe legislation in place.

The importation ban has in the past been extended so there is a chance it may be extended once more when this date arrives.

If you are found to be importing a drone, customs will confiscate it and either require you to post it back to it's source, or, hold it until you leave the country to re-export it with your departure. As a visitor, you can try applying for a temporary exemption to this ban, the forms and procedure are on the Telecomms Unit website.

You must purchase a radio license from the Telecoms Unit for your drone. 

Take your drone (or the drone specification document if your drone is held at Customs) to the Telecomms Unit at Trinity Business Centre in Bridgetown. You will need to pay the $30BDS annual fee for your license.

The Telecomms Unit has currently suspended the issue of new licenses while the drone importation ban is in effect. It is expected that you will be able to apply for new licenses from April 2nd, 2018.

20th April 2018 Update: While no official word has been released of the expiry of the drone ban, measures seem to be have been put in place to allow the importation of drones. Your drone will still likely be held at customs on entry, you then take the drone specification to the Telecoms Unit, apply for a license at which point they give you a letter for the CAA and the Ministry of Defense & Security. You can then go and collect your drone from customs, with your license and pass the letters to the CAA/Minisitry of Defense. We will update these details as and when an official statement is made.

You must also inform the Ministry of Defense & Security and Civil Aviation Authority of your drone. 

Permanent Secretary Defence & Security Division
Government Headquarters,
Bay Street,
St. Michael,
BARBADOS.

Barbados Civil Aviation Department
Suite 110 - 111,
1st Floor,
Terminal 1
Grantley Adams International Airport
Christ Church
BB16000
BARBADOS

Illegal areas to fly :-

  • You must not fly within 5km of the airport
  • You must not fly within a 0.5km radius of military installations, government buildings, hospitals and prisons
  • You must not fly over highways

In addition to these, while the drone legislation is being finalised by the government, we would strongly recommend adhering to the additional fly-safe guidlines to avoid getting into trouble with the law :-

  • Your are legally responsible for each flight
  • You must stay below 400ft at all times
  • You must not fly within 150ft of people or property
  • You must not fly within 300ft of crowds and developed areas
  • You must maintain visual line of sight to your drone
  • You must not fly before sunrise or after sunset

Prior permission is required from the Ministry of Defense of Civil Aviation Authority for exceptions to any of the above.

Please take the short time to view the Fly Safe Guidelines and ensure you fly safely and responsibly.

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