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Are Drones Allowed In Jamaica?

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Are drones allowed in Jamaica?Are drones allowed in Jamaica?

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

Are Drones Allowed in Jamaica? I’m not surprised about this question. Remotely piloted aircraft or drones have become increasingly popular, especially for recreational purposes. It is certainly a great way to capture beautiful vacation footage. But, is it even legal to fly your drone on vacation? Let’s find out.


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Can you bring a drone to Jamaica?

The simple answer is yes. Drones are allowed in Jamaica for both recreational and professional purposes but there are some rules you must follow while operating your drone.

What is the maximum speed limit by law?

While I was unable to find anything giving a specific speed limit for drones, they can be anywhere between 20 mph to 100 mph. Just like any other motorized vehicle, you are expected to operate it at a speed you are comfortable with.

Do You Need A Drone License or Permit In Jamaica?

A Drone License is not a requirement for recreational flyers. 

Can I Bring My Drone By Plane to Jamaica

Yes, drones can be brought into the country by plane.

Rules For Flying Drones In Jamaica

Drones should not be flown:

  • above 400ft  (122m) above ground level or beyond the maximum range of 1640 ft (500).
  • from a distance beyond the visual line of sight of the person flying the aircraft ( computer-aided visuals or first-person view technology is not allowed)
  • over private or public property without prior permission given by the dwellers of said property. 
  • within 16,500 ft (5,000 metres) of any aerodrome or rotorcraft designated landing 
  • at night or during low visibility conditions such as rainy or cloudy days
  • with the intent to drop anything to the ground
  • within or over restricted airspace
  • without proper fail-safe mechanisms which will allow the drone to land in the event that communication between the aircraft and the pilot is lost.
  • within or above  500 ft an assembled open-air gathering 
  • within or above 165 ft of any person except the pilot of the aircraft except when taking off or landing when the limit is no less than 100 ft. 
  • if it has not been verified to be able to complete the intended flight

Permits For Professional Operators

Professional operators must request a permit from the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority before every flight, whether or not it is commercial or non-commercial. For approval to be given, the written request must include the purpose of the flight.

The flight must not be done until permission is granted, listing all the possible restrictions to the specific flight. The penalties for breaking these rules could be either imprisonment or fines.

So how do you know the difference between flying for recreational or professional purposes? Well, recreational flyers are flying drones or unmanned aircraft strictly for recreation.

Professional purposes both commercial and non-commercial, include all business-related activities

  • Aerial photography
  • Surveillance 
  • Geometric surveys
  • Power line inspections
  • Crop observations
  • Research and development

General Rules To Remember When Operating A Drone

Drones should be:

  • flown within the operator’s visual line of sight
  • flown at a safe distance clear of all visible obstacles, including but not limited to clouds, buildings, hills etc.
  • flown safely and without recklessness

So there you have it! You are free to bring your drone with you on vacation in Jamaica, so take it and get the beautiful holiday pictures you deserve.

For more information on drone permits and regulations, contact the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority by:

  • Phone: +1 (876) 960-3948, 960-3965
  • Email: jcivav@jcaa.gov.jm

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References & Sources For Are Drones Allowed In Jamaica

  1. Operations of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, https://www.jcaa.gov.jm/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/FSN-GN-2015-01.pdf
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