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Use of UAS/RPAS or Drones prohibited from No Fly Zones

The Department of Civil Aviation informs the public that with the implementation of the Ministerial Regulation limiting the use of RPAS/UAS or drones, there are established zones where drone flights are prohibited (NO Fly Zones).

Drones flights in these zones can only occur after exemptions/authorizations have been granted to do so by the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication. One such zone is the area of four (4) kilometers from the boundary of the Princess Juliana International Airport, which includes the areas of Simpson Bay and sections of the Cole Bay area where Regatta activities will take place. In addition to the No Fly Zones, the regulation also prescribe guidelines for safe drone operations. In this regard, individuals are not allowed to operate drones in close vicinity to large crowds and at public events.  

The Regatta is taking place from March 05, 2020 until March 08, 2020, thus drone operators are urged to take urgent heed.

In addition to the aforementioned Ministerial Regulation, 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. Violations of this Ordinance can result in penalties or fines. 
 
With the start of the Regatta on March 05, 2020, the Department will be issuing exemptions/authorizations for the use of drones within the Princess Juliana International Airport NO-FLY Zone ONLY for the purpose of taking aerial photographs or video of the Regatta. Any individual/company that want to conduct aerial photography or filming of the Regatta must submit a written request to the Department by no later than February 28, 2020.  

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 louis.halley@sintmaartengov.org, arsenio.rombley@sintmaartengov.org or Richard.vanDinter@sintmaartengov.org. 

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 as 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 Regatta. As such, we are limiting the amount of drones that can operate during the Regatta. Requests will be assessed in the order of which they are received and requests received after the deadline may not be processed.