As we approach the festive period and in the likelihood that a drone (also known as a Quadcopter or Small Unmanned Aircraft) may be given as a gift at Christmas, it is important to remember that these remotely-controlled objects need to be used safely in order to avoid injury to persons and damage to property.
With this in mind, all drone users on-Island are reminded to observe the D.R.O.N.E. Code at all times. The Code requires drone users to:
Don’t fly in the ‘No Fly Zone’
Remember to fly no higher than 120 metres (400ft) above ground level
Observe your drone at all times – it must always be in unaided visual range
Never fly without adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions
Ensure you understand your legal responsibilities.
Unaided visual range means you must be able to see your drone without the use of binoculars or similar visual aids. Using the live images from the camera mounted on the drone to fly and navigate is not permitted. Also, you must not over-fly populated areas such as Jamestown, at any time.
The D.R.O.N.E. Code is in place to protect persons and property from injury or damage, and to protect the privacy of people on-Island. Public liability insurance is strongly recommended where drone users will be flying outside of their private property. Remember that damage to buildings, vehicles or national infrastructure can be costly to repair.
St Helena’s airspace is split into three sectors – an area where flying is not permitted under any circumstances, an area where flying is permitted once approval has been given by the Airport, and an area where flying can be conducted without prior permission.
Remember though, regardless of whether permission to fly is required or not, all users must adhere to the D.R.O.N.E. Code at all times.
Additionally, prior permission from St Helena Airport’s regulator Air Safety Support International (ASSI) is required when users wish to use images taken with a drone for commercial or business activities.
For more information about where you can fly or if you have any other queries, please see the ‘Using a drone’ page on the St Helena Airport website: http://sthelenaairport.com/pilots/drone.
Alternatively, contact the Airport Operator on tel: +290 25180, the Airport Directorate on +290 22721, or ASSI on +44 1293 214040.
Happy festive flying!