In the Bahamas, drone flying is legal. Therefore, an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) may be brought into the country and used for either commercial or recreational purposes.
However, before choosing to bring your drone on your trip to the Bahamas, you should be aware that you need to register your drone before entering the country, and you need a permit for all drone operations while there.
In this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about using a drone in the Bahamas.
What do I need to be able to fly a drone in the Bahamas?
The steps to flying a drone in the Bahamas are as follows:
- The drone must be registered, and third-party liability insurance is required for both commercial and private drones.
- The Civil Aviation Authority Bahamas (CAAB) must first receive a request for the pilot’s RPAS operator certificate (permit) in the Bahamas.
More information about these steps follows below.
What qualifies as a drone in the Bahamas?
Drones are classed as remotely controlled aerial vehicles.
Drones are utilized for both business and recreational purposes and can be used for a variety of tasks, including monitoring climate change, taking pictures, delivering packages, and filming.
The agency controlling drones in the Bahamas
Flying a drone is permitted in the Bahamas, according to the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority (CAAB), but it is advised to be informed of and in compliance with drone laws before doing so.
Here is their contact information if you want to get in touch with the CAAB directly before your trip with any queries you might have: +242 397 4700
Requirements for customs – the Bahamas drone deposit
The drone’s financial worth will be determined by customs, who will then ask for a deposit equal to 50% of that amount.
You’ll receive a receipt that you can use as documentation so that you can fly your drone in the Bahamas. When you leave the country, your deposit will be returned.
Bringing your drone through customs in the Bahamas
No one is allowed to fly an unmanned or remotely piloted aircraft in the Bahamas unless the ownership of the UAS has been registered with the Authority beforehand.
The Bahamas Customs Department will keep any unregistered UAS brought into the country until registration is obtained.
To be granted permission to fly a UAS, a Bahamian must complete the following procedures:
- Complete an online application, which is then accepted for a certificate of registration.
- The applicant can sign the certificate that was prepared online, which is then delivered to the Bahamas Customs Department.
- Once customs charges and other import-related expenses have been paid, the Bahamas Customs Department will release the UAS.
Drone registration in the Bahamas
Drone flying in the Bahamas requires registration. If your drone isn’t already registered with the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States, you can get a Certificate of Registration from the Civil Aviation Department.
Documentation needed for registration:
- Certificate of Registration
- Photo ID
- Liability Insurance
- When a UAS is intended for commercial use, the applicant is required to complete the required application form and submit it together with any necessary supporting materials to Air Transport Licensing. With Safety Oversight, Air Transport Licensing will manage all pertinent issues. A letter of authority or a certificate of license will be issued by Air Transport Licensing once a successful application receives an Aerial Works Certificate from Safety Oversight.
Both commercial and recreational drones must be insured before you can fly them in the Bahamas.
Unmanned and/or remotely piloted aircraft may not be operated or flown without the operator and/or pilot having current proof of third-party liability insurance with claim limits approved by the Authority for the level of risk at the time of flight.
How do you get a permit to fly a drone in the Bahamas?
In the Bahamas, a permit is necessary to fly either commercial or recreational drones. Visit the CAAB website and provide the necessary information to get in touch with CAAB to obtain a permit.
- The dates you will be visiting the Bahamas.
- Areas where you intend to use the drone.
- Model, serial number, and make of the drone.
- Copies of your drone registration certificate from your home country.
- Proof of third-party insurance.
You’ll get an email with an authorization letter once you’ve given the essential details. The letter must be kept since customs require it. The letter is valid for thirty days.
For all the necessary documents for your drone permit, get in touch with the Aviation Safety Inspector here.
General rules for flying drones in the Bahamas
To fly your drone in the Bahamas, you must abide by the following restrictions and guidelines:
- In the Bahamas, every drone used must have a permit.
- For drone flights in the Bahamas, your drone must be registered. You can access the registration portal here.
- Avoid flying within 50 feet of any person, building, or anything that isn’t connected to the operation of the drone.
- Check the airspace class before flying your drone to the different islands of the Bahamas (Classes A, B, C, D, E, and F).
- Avoid flying over or close to crowded or busy areas within 150 meters.
- Never operate your drone above 400 feet.
- Flying is prohibited 5 nautical miles from any airport.
- Unless you have the owner’s permission, never fly over private property.
- Do not fly over any “no drone zone” signs, military sites, wildlife preserves, or other designated places.
- Avoid flying at night or in poor weather with little visibility.
- Do not fly your drone in danger zones (apart from one set aside for the use of unmanned aircraft).
- Avoid flying your drone in forbidden zones, constrained zones, and animal protection zones.
What is the highest altitude for flying your drone in the Bahamas?
In the Bahamas, drones are only permitted to fly up to 400 feet in the air. Unless the person, vehicle, or structure at issue is directly connected to the functioning of the drone, you are not permitted to fly within a 50-foot radius of any person, vehicle, or structure.
Additionally, you are not permitted to fly within 5 nautical miles of any airport or 150 meters of any crowded or densely inhabited area.
Where are the best places to fly your drone in the Bahamas?
The Bahamas is a tourist destination world-renowned for its beautiful beaches, turquoise waters, and laid-back atmosphere.
But it’s also an incredible place to fly your drone. With its stunning landscapes and endless coastline, the Bahamas offer endless opportunities for amazing aerial photography.
Let’s explore some of the best places to fly your drone in the Bahamas, as well as some tips to help you make the most of your experience.
So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started with drones, read on for the best places to fly your drone in this paradise.
The Abaco Islands are one of the best places to fly your drone in the Bahamas. The island chain is made up of several small islands, which makes it perfect for exploring by drone. There are also plenty of beaches and clear blue waters to enjoy.
Co-ordinates: 26.3555° N, 77.1485° W
Harbour Island is also a great place to fly your drone in the Bahamas. This island offers stunning scenery, with beautiful beaches and clear turquoise waters. They are also relatively quiet, so you can take your time to explore without worrying about disturbing anyone.
Co-ordinates: 25.5001° N, 76.6341° W
Andros Island is another excellent spot for flying your drone in the Bahamas. This large island has many different landscapes, from forests to mountains to coasts, so there’s plenty to explore.
Andros is also home to some wildlife sanctuaries, so you can be sure to get some great shots of Bahamian wildlife while you’re there.
Co-ordinates: 24.7064° N, 78.0195° W
The Exumas are a group of small islands located just south of Nassau, and they offer some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of the Bahamas.
From deserted beaches to lush rainforests, there’s something for everyone here. The Exumas are also home to a variety of wildlife, so keep your camera handy!
Co-ordinates: 23.6193° N, 75.9695° W
Long Island is one of the longest islands in the Bahamas, and it offers a variety of landscapes for you to explore by drone.
There are pristine white sand beaches, rocky cliffs, caves, and even an underwater blue hole that you can fly over. You’ll also find several quaint villages and towns where you can stop for a bite or do some shopping.
Co-ordinates: 23.1764° N, 75.0962° W
The best time of year to visit the Bahamas for drone flying
Winter is the best time to visit the Bahamas if you want to fly your drone. The weather is dry and sunny, with little chance of rain or storms. The temperatures are also cooler, which makes it more comfortable to fly your drone for long periods.
There are also fewer crowds during winter, so you’ll have more space for yourself to explore and take photos or videos.