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Thursday, 10 March 2016 07:56

Drone Ban! Featured

The Barbados Government has announced a 12-month ban on the importation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or drones.

The ban is to take effect from Friday, April 1.

According to a press release from the Barbados Goverment Information Service (BGIS) this evening, an official in the Customs & Excise Department said the ban would allow the authorities to complete a legal framework to govern the use of these devices and determine the number in operation in Barbados.

The spokesperson said that during the last two years in particular, there had been a significant increase in the number of drones for commercial and recreational use being allowed entry into the country. She continued: “This has contributed to the unregulated growth of drones and the inability of the regulatory authorities to ascertain the numbers in operation.”

Despite the positive use of drones, the official stated, concerns had been raised here and internationally about the potential for their misuse and the risks posed to safety, security and privacy by their unregulated use.

In further making their point, the authorities cited a Trinidadian media report that the Government there was moving to strictly regulate the use of drones by introducing regulations to make the devices illegal without having registration certificates from the aviation authorities.

It has been previously reported that the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) has used such a device to carry out geotechnical investigations around the island, while Cabinet Minister Michael Lashley recently revealed that drone equipment was one of several upgrades planned for the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF).

Last modified on Thursday, 10 March 2016 08:46

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