Aviation authority issues warning to SUA users

| 06/06/2014

(CNS): People using small unmanned aircraft (SUA) either for recreational use or for commercial aerial work are being warned that the unauthorised use of these air vessels poses a danger to air transport and is against the law. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) said recent reports suggest that there has been a significant increase in the operation of SUA on Grand Cayman for recreational and commercial use, particularly in the George Town and Seven-Mile Beach areas and in the vicinity of the airport. “Such operations pose a high risk of an incident or accident that may be caused by the impact of an SUA with a conventional aircraft,” CAACI officials said.

In addition to aircraft taking off and landing at the airports, the authority said that there are also low altitude aircraft operations involving the MRCU spray plane as well as the RCIPS and CIH helicopters that the SUAs can threaten.

Legislation covering the operation of SUA in Cayman Islands airspace is covered in Article 73 of the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order 2013. Anyone who contravenes this provision of the Order may be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding CI$3,400.00.

“SUA operations for commercial purposes (Aerial Work) requires a permission issued by the CAACI,” an authority spokesperson said in a release Friday. “Permission may be granted after the operator has been assessed as being competent to provide such a service in a safe manner and has adequate third-party liability insurance in the event of an accident or incident occasioning damage to property or injury to persons.”

The CAACI confirmed that it has not yet granted permission to any SUA operator to conduct Aerial Work operations.

Enquiries should be made, in the first instance, to the Director of Air Navigation Services Regulation, telephone 1-345-949-7811 ext 242 or email alastair.robertson@caacayman.com

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  1. Anonymous says:

    To 08/0610:15 – There is regulation on the display of fireworks. The same CAACI regulates fireworks displays and issues permits. That is, commercial firework displays.

    To 09/06 – 14:22 – Cayman's airspace is actually approximately 40 miles out in three directions and eastwards to include Brac – up to approximately 20,000 feet. Cayman airspace finishes in Frank Sound??!! Ha! What are you smoking? 

  2. noname says:

    A bit off topic but I was wondering if there is a law against using lasers against planes like there is in the States? Now common sense would say "sure there is" since there has been a federal law in the US for I would guess about 5 years, or since they have become an issue, but Cayman laws aren't guided by common sense. Also, it is a pretty big felony if you get caught shining lasers at planes in the US, 10 years in jail I think.

    • Anonymous says:

      FBI is offering up to $10,000 reward for info leading to arrest of any individual intentionally aiming a laser at an aircraft (helicopter, plane, blimp, etc).  There were 3960 reported laser incidents last year.  Those found guilty face 5yrs in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yet, still no regulation of fireworks. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Ther is one already too.  Please inform yourself before you write and look dumb.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no such Fireworks Regulation or governing authority.  It is possible to get a Fireworks Display "Permit" from Civil Aviation and CI Fire Service for Commercial Shows, but as we all know, this is not always sought, nor enforced esp. for private shows.  The CI Fire Service suggest that show operators have event insurance and follow the USA's NFPA 1123 Code for Fireworks Displays.  There are no Cayman laws per se apart from the antiquated Towns and Community Law 1995 which is supposed to pertain to noctural noise levels in residential areas – again, not enforced.  There is no requirement to seek permission from RCIPS or from neighbourhood residents.  There have never been any fines or prosecution under T&C Law.  Unlike the USA and UK, there are no size or audible db restrictions on the types of ordinance that can be imported to the islands.  Technically Cayman merchants could import fireworks that far exceed all NFPA 1123 Codes and ignite them with virtual impunity, and they could do that because there is no regulation.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know that these little nusiance planes are used to transport drugs.  Which hole that we have our head in anyway.

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      really.  Transport drugs – and your evidence is?  Why the hell woud they use them to transport drugs when they can drive a canoe filled with hundreds of pounds of the stuff from jamaica with impunity? And the payload of the drone would be a pound or two.  To say nothing of the fact that the would have to follow the drone with the canoe to guide it!  SMH    

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yhe government need to put a serious face at this kind of behavior.  Fine them 10,000. for every time one is seen in the sky.  Are they crazy or what.

  6. Caymanian Donkey says:

    Civil avaition cant do anythng to you if you are not using the UAV for commercial use if you are flying under 500f, However the problem is with air traffic control, Cayman air space is from WB to frank sound, after there you can do what you want. Now for the best news, the RCIPS are the ones who will be called to deal with you. I canimagin the 911 centre making this a priority, with all the shooting, choppings, stabbings and burglaries going on. FYI if you see the RCIPS choppers flying under 500ft when not dealing with an emergency, they also are in breach of the law. Which in fact they do all the time, so i am not sure how the RCIPS can prosicute UAV opperators

    I beleive if you are responsible, you should be allowed to fly under 200ft all the time..


    • Anonymous says:

      No they cant but there is a designated area for flying and its not along SMB! And by flying where its not permitted, puts others that fly for recreation in jeapordy of losing their flying site, its just common sense. Why try to fight for airspace with full scale aircraft and put others in danger, full scale aircraft have the right of way.

      • Anonymous says:

        All you have to do is call up traffic Control and if they say it is OK with them, then civil aviation can’t do Didley squat about it… Oh and I never said you could fly on SMB, I said Cayman air space finishes in frank sound, after that point you can do whatever you want.
        In using the uavs I believe if not used for commercial purpose, personally so should be allowed to fly as long as they go go above 200ft..

        You are probably the person who is applying for commercial use right now, and are being fronted by Caymanian to run this business, just like the IT company you work for..

        • Anonymous says:

          Please please try it so we can all see what happens.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually I am Caymanian, born and raised and yes, I might have an application submitted but that’s besides the point. The reason why the CAACI is cracking down on thisis because of the IT guy. If people want to fly, there is a club they can do so at. Instead he has been soliciting business even without approval and is now causing an issue for the recreational group.

  7. noname says:

    I have been flying and building these aircraft for years as a hobby. While some people class them as toys which they certainly are, can cause serious damage in the wrong hands. Never should someone operate them over people or in high traffic areas, its mechanical and just like a vehicle if not cared for and maintained properly can fail, it has no safety net to stop it from falling. 10lbs falling from 50ft can kill someone and these machines can get as heavy as 40lbs. CAACI is just looking out for the general public. 

    If you want to fly, join the club. (CIMFA) 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Are kites SUA's?

  9. FlyDronesEverywhereInGCM says:

    So basically you can't fly a drone with a GoPro on it over Seven Mile Beach to get sweet beach selfies is what they are saying.

    • Anonymous says:

      The US has just began to address issue around UAV, SUA, Drones etc. 

      Cayman should be getting round to it in……I dunno…..a decade or so.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why the hell would you take selfies when there is far better scenery to concern yourself with?