The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The Depart­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Trans­port and Civil Avi­a­tion has re­ceived dis­turb­ing re­ports re­gard­ing two sep­a­rate sight­ings this week of an un­manned air­craft (UA), more com­monly known as a “drone”, be­ing flown within the fi­nal ap­proach path of the Ge­orge F. L. Charles Air­port in Vigie.

The Gen­eral Pub­lic is be­ing asked to observe the fol­low­ing guide­lines:

1. Drones should not be flown:

a. within a ra­dius of 2.5 miles of any air­port or he­li­copter land­ing site;

b. at a height greater than 400 feet above ground level;

c. closer than 100 feet to ve­hi­cles, boats, build­ings that are not on the op­er­a­tor’s pri­vate prop­erty un­less with ex­plicit per­mis­sion from the pri­vate prop­erty owner;

d. near moving ve­hi­cles, high­ways, bridges, busy streets or any­where that could en­dan­ger or dis­tract driv­ers;

e. in pop­u­lated ar­eas or large groups of peo­ple, in­clud­ing other peo­ple’s back­yards, sports events, con­certs, sta­di­ums, beaches and fes­ti­vals;

f. near re­stricted or pro­tected ar­eas, in­clud­ing prisons and or sim­i­lar in­sti­tu­tions and for­est; 2. In ad­di­tion:

a. drones should only be op­er­ated dur­ing the day and in good weather; and

b. drone users should keep their drone within visual-line-of-sight (VLOS) at all times.

Per­sons us­ing drones for recre­ational pur­poses are fur­ther cau­tioned to, as far as prac­ti­ca­ble, con­fine use of the drone to their back­yards. They should also fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions and safety guide in or­der to avoid ac­ci­dents and in­jury.

The pub­lic is be­ing urged to re­port any sus­pected mis­use of drones to the near­est po­lice sta­tion, air­port con­trol tower or Civil Avi­a­tion Di­vi­sion.

Those wish­ing to use drones for com­mer­cial pur­poses, in­clud­ing ae­rial photography, should ap­ply to the Depart­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Trans­port and Civil Avi­a­tion.

More in­for­ma­tion on this topic can be ob­tained by con­tact­ing the Civil Avi­a­tion Di­vi­sion at 468-2180 (Ext. 4585).

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