Use of remote piloted aircraft (RPA)/Drones during the Heineken Regatta

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SIMPSONBAY, Sint Maarten — The Department of Civil Aviation, – Shipping and Maritime Affairs would like to reiterate to the public that persons intending to operate remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) or drones in Sint Maarten, particularly in the area near Simpson Bay are prohibited to do so without the express authorization from the Department of Civil Aviation, – Shipping and Maritime Affairs.

Remotely piloted aircraft systems or drones have to be closely monitored while operating in the area of Simpson Bay and near the airport because large numbers of drones operating in these areas can pose a danger to landing and departing aircraft at the airport and to the sailing teams taking part in the Heineken Regatta.

The general public is also hereby advised that Article 25 paragraph a, of the Aviation National Ordinance prohibits operations in the airspace over Sint Maarten in a manner that may endanger or disturbed aviation and the public order. Individuals that are found to be operating their drones in violations of this notice will be considered acting in violation of the aforementioned ordinance for which the individual can be subjected to various penalties and or fines.

With the start of  the Heineken Regatta on March 3, 2017, the Department will be issuing authorizations for the use of the drones for commercial purposes only. Any individual/company that want to conduct aerial photography for commercial purposes during the Heineken Regatta must submit a written request to the Department by no later than March 1, 2017.

With this request the individuals must provide all relevant information on the drone (type model, operations specification,)  and the details of the operation (takeoff and landing zone, proposed route).

Individuals can submit their requests at the Department Civil Aviation, – Shipping and Maritime located at Airport rd. #114 or requests can be emailed to louis.halley@sintmaartengov.org or arsenio.rombley@sintmaartengov.org   We are limiting the amount of drones that can operate during the Regatta, and as such requests will be assessed in order for which they are received.

The request to use drones for none commercial purposes will not be assessed and the use there of is strictly prohibited.