However, usage for recreational purposes is allowed as long as the drone is less than 750 grams. Usage will also be permitted in some cases, such as under the auspices of clubs or the supervision of a pilot.
The Authority on Monday published a notice announcing the start of consultations on the proposed rules. Two consultation meetings are to be held this month: one on Thursday and another next week Tuesday at the Authority’s offices at the Caroni North Bank Road, Piarco, commencing at 5 pm.
According to the notice, the Authority is seeking to consult interested members of the public before submitting the regulations to Cabinet and Parliament.
The draft regulations propose to introduce a system of certification for drones. Additionally, the Authority will be given enforcement powers.
Under draft clause 45, “The Authority may take such actions as to ensure that persons operating unmanned aircraft systems comply with the requirements of these Regulations.” Where the Authority has determined that an operator has conducted an unsafe flight operation, the Authority may suspend or revoke any or all approvals, authorizations or certificates issued to him.
Further, under draft clause 47, “The use of an unmanned aircraft system with the intent to disrupt or endanger civil aviation or any public or private property shall attract a fine of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars and imprisonment for five years.” The draft regulations propose that the Authority be made to keep a Register of unmanned aircraft systems which shall contain record of each system.
Also, operators of systems will be banned from doing so if they have a medical condition which may interfere with their ability to operate an unmanned aircraft system or if they are under the influence of alcohol.