Minister Crockwell’s Advisory To Drone Pilots

December 18, 2015

The Minister of Tourism Development and Transport Shawn Crockwell has issued a warning to the “increasing number of people in Bermuda operating small unmanned aircraft to observe the laws governing their operations.”

Minister Crockwell said, “There is no doubt that the amount of drone traffic has increased significantly since the first one was licenced in Bermuda in the summer of 2013. Of course, no one could have foreseen how prevalent they would become, as the retail cost has dropped sharply and quickly.

“And with the holiday period, the Department of Civil Aviation [DCA] is anticipating a rise in their numbers and use. But operators must obtain the appropriate permissions before taking to the skies and must observe privacy laws.

“Many of these increasingly inexpensive, small unmanned aircraft that have become available on the local market are fitted with cameras.

“So we are appealing to members of the public to exercise common sense and respect the privacy of their fellow Bermudians.”

The Minister noted that people intending to fly drones should acquaint themselves with all of the rules and regulations involved in owning and operating their aircraft because the consequences for running afoul of the law are significant.

“Many assume that because these drones can fly high and far that there is no consequence to doing so. But there are strict limits on where you can fly them, how high and how close you can have them in relation to other people and buildings.”

Because of the possibility of personal injuries, damage to property and collision with manned aircraft, those reckless or negligent users are liable for prosecution, with operators responsible for each flight.

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Comments (16)

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  1. Triangle Drifter says:

    No worrys. Give them a few years. With the exception of those flying them commercially, this fad will pass like others before it such as CB radio.

    • Jonathan Dradford says:

      I don’t think the same. This is going to be a hobby.

      • Pete says:

        Having been a hobbyist / built / flown radio controlled model airplane for a couple of decades. I`ve seen the progress of model rotary flight. All our activities were in a controlled environment, and not a possible hazard to property / persons.
        We do have to recognize the Island consists of a very compact landmass, therefore pose some possible hazard to persons, structures on the surface.
        With the advent of advance Drone technology, some real possible safety issues arise.
        The BDCA have in place the regulations, but it is the responsibility of the operator to Use common sense, and safety during operations.
        What is worrisome is the
        don`t give a damm or an untrained person/s that will spoil it for the serious hobbyist, and commercial operator.
        There have been several violations in the U.S. e.g. one a commercial operator violated new York Class B airspace is facing a $2M fine. another a News operator facing endangerment charges to a Medevac helicopter attending a highway accident, causing a delay extracting injured persons. ( both were commercial).
        What we face here as I mentioned limited area. is an untrained operator losing control crashing into someone’s roof, let alone injuring person/s, sadly this could be a minor doing the flying.
        Big problem who`s responsible to compensate for damage / injury caused ? Guaranteed they won’t have any type of liability insurance. I may sound like a pessimist , But when your roof has a hole in that nature didn’t do :( who`s gonna pay. ??
        We All will Suffer.

  2. Jack says:

    People with drones aren’t pilots by any means. Just dreamers playing with toys.

    • Malachi says:

      There are several qualified pilots in Bermuda. So you know for sure that none of them fly drones?
      It boggles the mind the statements that people make!

  3. Jr Smith says:

    so if I catch one fitted with a camera hovering about 40-50 ft above my property without my permission that is considered as trespassing and I am within my rights to disable the unit?

  4. There is indeed a great demand for drones for whatever purposes from surveillance to explorations and even to exploit purposes.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      The problem will not be with those few flying commercially. They will know the regulations & have insurance if one of their vehicles does damage to somebodys property.

      The recreational flyer is another matter. This is the person most likely to be responsible for damage, injury & flying in restricted space. Think airbourne jetski operator. Same reckless mentality.

  5. PoPo says:

    Maybe the Minister doesn’t want the drone catching him doing something wrong.

  6. Y-gurl says:

    Drones are a hobby for a lot of people, instead of blanket covering all who have them should our focus not be on the fools who fly them endangering others?…one bad apple…….

  7. I and I says:

    Maybe some unsuspecting drone operator found out who really grows the most Cannabis IN Bermuda !!!

  8. Will says:

    If I could own a gun in bermuda you bet your bottom dollar I would shoot anyone’s drone flying over my house. Those things are only going to become more of a nuisance..let’s hope the police don’t employ them.