BAHAMAS - customs restrictions

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UAVs are now restricted in the Bahamas. Prior permission is required in order to bring them into the country. This applies to tourists as well as professional film makers.

I know of at least one person who had their P3 taken from them by Bahamian Customs when clearing in after arrival at Marsh Harbor, Abaco in early March 2016. P3 was returned prior to their boarding a departing flight.

Official Notice from www.bahamasfilm.com

Notice on Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems​

New Conditions governing the use of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) in The Bahamas as outlined in Special Regulation No. 1 of the 2016 Civil Aviation Department’s Safety Regulations. These regulations apply to commercial and recreational drones and are in immediate effect:

• A Certificate of Registration must first be secured from the Civil Aviation Department in order to import a drone. The Customs Department will detain drones at the border if a Certificate of Registration has not been obtained.
• Drones already in The Bahamas must be registered by February 29, 2016. Failure to do so may result in drones being detained by the Flight Standards Inspectorate of the Civil Aviation Department.
• Drones may not be operated near airports, at excessive heights, near congested or populated areas, near an organized open-air assembly, near a vessel, vehicle or structure or within close proximity to any person.

Further details on the Special Regulations may be obtained from the Civil Aviation Department, JL Center Building, Blake Road and by contacting the Flight Standards Inspectorate of the Department at 397-4700.

More info here:

http://www.bcaa.gov.bs/
 
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My friend had no issue getting his approved.

Nice. Do you know how he got his approval? Do you know the steps he/she went through? Or a contact/ email that he used to reach out to someone? I'm trying to hopefully get an approval to fly my drone.
 
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Here is what he sent me..

Advance authorization for operation of your drone is required. See attached Regulation Schedule 27 - Unmanned Aircraft. In your request include the area of operation, type of equipment, dates, a copy of the registration certificate from your country and serial number of your drone. Send your request to Inspector Greg Edwards ([email protected]) also copy Hubert Adderley ([email protected]) and Anthony Dean ([email protected])
 

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I'm the friend, hello. Yes, the info from Rjeffw is what I sent to him. Here's some more info form the approval letterhead:

Flight Standards Inspectorate
Bahamas Department of Civil Aviation
Telephone: 242-397-4700
Fax Phone: 242-356-3203
Second Floor, JL Center
Blake Road
P.O. Box AP59244
Nassau, Bahamas

It took a lot of digging and emailing to finally get to the right person but in the end it all worked out. Greg will send you and email after approval with a two page letter stating the info you supplied him with. The validation will be good for 30 days from the date the letter is issued. He will also post date the letter of issuance to the time of your travel (for example mine is post dated to Dec 15, 2016). The letter will also contain the rules and regulation you must adhere to while flying in the Bahamas. Once issued it is good for any of the Bahamanian island during the allotted time. Here is what the rules and regs. say:

Dear Sir:
Re: Authorization to fly in Bahamas Airspace
This letter is authorization to fly UAV Registration ***********, DJI Phantom 3, Serial Number
**************, in Bahamas airspace under the following conditions:
(1) The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly the aircraft in any of the circumstance described in paragraph (2), except in accordance with a permission issued by the Bahamas Department of Civil Aviation.
(2) The circumstance referred to in paragraph (1) are-
(a) Within 5 nautical miles of any airport;
(b) At a height less than 200 ft;
(c) Over or within 150 meters of any congested or populated area;
(d) Over or within 150 meters of an organized open-air assembly of more than 100 persons
(e) Within 50 meters of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aerial vehicle, without special permission of the Owner;
(f) Within 50 meters of any person;
(g) Subject to (c) and (d), during takeoff or landing, a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not be flown within 30 meters of any person;
(h) Paragraphs (d) and (f) does not apply to the person in charge of the small unmanned
surveillance aircraft, or a person under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft;
(i) A small unmanned aircraft means a small unmanned aircraft less than 15kg in weight used for personal recreation and for which any images or data collected (if so equipped) are not
commercial gain.
(3) This validation shall remain valid for a period not to exceed Thirty [30] days from the date of issuance unless sooner removed, revoked or surrendered.
N. B. The Department of Civil Aviation will not be responsible for any accidents, incidents,
mishaps, damages or injuries that may occurs as a result of the operation of Unmanned &
Remotely Controlled Aircraft, and will require that the operator/owner assume all such
liability.
 
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Hey man, thank you very much for all of the information that you provided. I'm going to work on it A.S.A.P. and hope that everything works out. I'm sure you got some nice footage. Thanks again!
 
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Thanks for reaching out to your friend for me. I read all of the details that he provided on this post.



Here is what he sent me..

Advance authorization for operation of your drone is required. See attached Regulation Schedule 27 - Unmanned Aircraft. In your request include the area of operation, type of equipment, dates, a copy of the registration certificate from your country and serial number of your drone. Send your request to Inspector Greg Edwards ([email protected]) also copy Hubert Adderley ([email protected]) and Anthony Dean ([email protected])
 
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Thank you for all this info! I'm heading there this summer and am wondering if this process has been streamlined? I went to http://www.bcaa.gov.bs/ and at the far right is a button for Drones. Clicked that and filled out the form and had a registration in minutes... Did I do something wrong? Is this the new way? It felt odd it was so easy, especially after reading all Dragons Flight went through to get his.
Thanks for your help in advance!
 
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Thank you for all this info! I'm heading there this summer and am wondering if this process has been streamlined? I went to http://www.bcaa.gov.bs/ and at the far right is a button for Drones. Clicked that and filled out the form and had a registration in minutes... Did I do something wrong? Is this the new way? It felt odd it was so easy, especially after reading all Dragons Flight went through to get his.
Thanks for your help in advance!
@archer11 how did you managed the problem with the phone number, since it seems like you can only use a bahamian number? I'm from europe and don't have yet any contacts there..
 
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I'm heading there this summer and am wondering if this process has been streamlined? I went to http://www.bcaa.gov.bs/ and at the far right is a button for Drones. Clicked that and filled out the form and had a registration in minutes... Did I do something wrong? Is this the new way?
Any update on this? Is this "registration" legal for bringing a drone into the bahamas as a foreign traveller?
 

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