No Importing Drones Without Customs Permission

October 18, 2019 in National

The public has been put on notice that all drones or similar devices must be declared to, and registered with the Customs and Excise Department upon importation into the Federation.

That is according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation on Thursday.

The Civil Aviation Division said in keeping with International and local Civil Aviation Organization conventions and Regulations “all drone operators and owners must seek and obtain permission for the flying or operation of drones from the St Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) and the Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority (NASPA), as appropriate, as a result of safety and security concerns within the Federation”.

Once permission is granted, operators have to follow certain guidelines.

· The light unmanned aircraft is to be flown or operated within the line of sight of the human operator at a maximum range of 200 meters, less than 400 feet above the ground, and during daylight conditions, among other provisions.

The aircraft is also prohibited from:

· operating within five (5) kilometres from the Seaports (e.g. Port Zante cruise terminal, Long Point Port, cargo ports, marinas ,gas bulk areas) and airport approach and departure or take off paths both in St. Kitts and Nevis;

· operating closer than 500 feet laterally from vehicles or an open-air assembly of people;

· operating in populated areas including over highways, beaches, stadiums, sporting events or festivities without prior permission;

· operating within or over restricted or prohibited areas including the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Banks, Military bases, police stations (fixed or mobile) ,prisons, official residences, government buildings, residential areas etc;

· operating at night without prior permission;

· deploying or dropping unauthorized objects or articles from the aircraft /device/unit to the ground while operating in controlled airspace.

All concerned are kindly asked to govern themselves accordingly.