BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday March 10, 2016 – Government has announced a 12-month ban on the importation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), popularly known as unmanned aerial vehicles or drones.
It takes effect from April 1.
A government statement quoted an unnamed official in the Customs and Excise Department as saying that the ban would allow the authorities to complete a legal framework to govern the use of these devices and determine the number in operation in Barbados.
The spokesperson said that during the last two years in particular, there has been a significant increase in the number of RPAS for commercial and recreational use being allowed entry into the country.
“This has contributed to the unregulated growth of drones and the inability of the regulatory authorities to ascertain the numbers in operation,” the Customs official said.
Despite the positive use of drones, the official said, concerns have been raised locally and internationally about the potential for their misuse and the risks posed to safety, security and privacy by their unregulated use.
Late last year, it was announced that the Trinidad and Tobago government was moving to strictly regulate the use of drones by introducing legal regulations that would make the devices illegal in the absence of registration certificates obtained from aviation authorities.