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



SIMPSON BAY, Sint Maarten — The prestigious Heineken Regatta is taking place from February 28, 2019 until March 03, 2019, and as with previous Heineken Regattas most of the events will take place in the Simpson Bay and Cole Bay areas.

In this respect, the public is hereby informed that it is expressly prohibited to operate remotely piloted aircraft systems/ unmanned aircraft systems or drones in these areas or within a 3 km radius from the Princess Juliana International Airport. Furthermore, it is further prohibited to operate drones in close vicinity to large crowds and at public events.

Remotely piloted aircraft systems/ unmanned 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. In addition, these aircraft systems can also pose a hindrance to the sailing teams taking part in the Heineken Regatta.

The 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 disturb 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 February 28, 2019, 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 or filming for commercial purposes during the Heineken Regatta must submit a written request to the Department by no later than February 25, 2019.

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

Individuals can submit their written request via email to, or

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.

Hobbyist/ recreational drone users are strictly prohibited from operating their drone in the areas where the Heineken Regatta and associated activities will be held.