March Press Release - Kirk Watkins

As many of you know Kirk Watkins Photography and Above Barbados joined forces to provide full photographic and videographic coverage of your property or land. Recently, however, the Barbados Defense & Security released the following statement regarding drones in Barbados:

Public Notice

Defence & Security, Prime Minister's Office

Notice hereby given that effective April 1, 2016 there shall be no importation and licensing of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)/Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in the island of Barbados for a period of six months ending September 30, 2016 in the first instance and until further notice.

Timonthy O. Maynard

Permanent Secretary (Ag.)

A meeting was held by the Barbados Film and Video Association on the 17th of March, 2016 with acting director of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Kingsley Nelson present. At this meeting clarification on the statement and on the direction of the regulations and laws for the industry was sought and given.

Various press, including local television, had been stating that there is a total ban on drone usage - this is incorrect. There is a six month ban on the importation and licensing of new drones. This is with regards to drones for both personal/recreational (visitors to the island included) and commercial usage.

The ban does not affect existing licensed, registered, insured drone operator's drones already on the island. Above Barbados is a licensed, registered, insured drone operator and will be continuing with business on the island as usual.

At the meeting on the 17th of March, note was given to the overwhelming amount of positive usage of drones on the island for photography, video, tourism, film work, event coverage, surveying, emergency services and more. The CAA are in the process of finalising regulations to ensure the safe use of the technology, for both commercial and recreational purposes, and will be consulting with existing operators in this matter. In the meantime, a national organisation will be formed to encompass all existing and future operators so that a standard of competency and a code of conduct can be implemented to ensure the continued safe operation and owner education within this exciting field of media.

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