Ministry of Aviation places restrictions on use of drones

The Ministry of Public Utilities, Civil Aviation, Energy and Transport on Friday released a notice advising operators of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (Drones and Model Airplanes) in Antigua and Barbuda of restricted areas for operating their devices.

A few of the guidelines stated in the report were that a drone or model airplane operator should not operate in populous areas including highways, beaches, stadiums, sporting events and festivities without permission.

They must also refrain from operating at night or in low visibility conditions without permission.

The safety and security guidelines listed many restricted areas which include Pigotts, Fitches Creek, Cassada Gardens, Hodges Bay, Clare Hall, Potters, Skeritts Pasture, St. Johnston’s Village, the Antigua Recreation Grounds, Her Majesty’s Prison, Upper Gambles, North Sound (including Sir Vivian Richards stadium), Fort James, St. John’s Harbor and Codrington, Barbuda.

These restrictions have come just as controversial aerial photos surfaced revealing the complete destruction of mangroves in Barbuda. However, no official details were given regarding the reason for these restrictions. Official regulations and corresponding penalties can be expected shortly.

Persons seeking information on operation of Drones and for authorization to operate Drones and Model Aircrafts within restricted areas are asked to contact the Air Traffic Control Department at 268-562-0301 and 268-562-5235.