Drones, Kites, and Aerial Photography in Bermuda

For some incredible images of Bermuda from the air, as well as whale images, Andrew Stevenson’s Bermuda Aerialography website is really worth a visit: http://www.bermudaaerialography.com/

Many of his photos are taken from a drone, but to appease the legally-minded, Andrew Stevenson explains on his website that he has “a license issued by the Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation to do ‘aerial work’. Any operator of a Small Unmanned Aircraft (drone) who wishes to be paid for any aerial work must have a license/permit issued by the DCA. Along with the registration fees payable to the Government of Bermuda, a licensed drone operator must also have over a million dollars in liability insurance“.

As illustrated by these comments, legal interest in the regulation of drones, and potential drone liability, has increased exponentially in recent years, even in Bermuda.

Bermuda’s Department of Civil Aviation has a helpful website providing information about the current regulatory framework for drone use in Bermuda: http://www.dca.gov.bm/Operations/SitePages/Drones.aspx

The documents include a FAQs fact-sheet entitled “THE USE OF UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS, DRONES, SMALL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT, QUADROCOPTERS, PILOTLESS AIRCRAFT etc. IN BERMUDA AIRSPACE”.

http://www.dca.gov.bm/Operations/Drones%20Documents/SUA%20FAQs%20for%20Bermuda.pdf

The definition of ‘unmanned aerial systems’ and ‘drones’ does not include kites or balloons, which is probably sensible, given the popularity of Bermuda Kite-flying in Bermuda.

That is not to say that kite-flying is not without its own legal risks.

In particular, section 18 of Bermuda’s Summary Offences Act 1926 (a piece of legislation which is now 90 years old), provides that “any person who, in any public place, (a) flies any kite over the public place to the annoyance or danger of any passenger or frequenter … commits an offence against this Act“.

Perhaps section 18(a) should now be amended include the words “or drone” after “kite“?

For more information about Bermuda Kites, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bermuda_kite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s