The Bahamas Maritime Authority launched an alert informing of the regulations on using Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones) on Bahamian vessels, as the operator has to comply with relevant guidance and instructions on the area when the drone is either registered or flown.
According to Paragraph 3.19 of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Circular 328 on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)1:
Operators must have approval from the State of the Operator before conducting operations in high seas airspace. They must likewise coordinate their operations with the ATS provider responsible for the airspace concerned.
Therefore, the Authority advises that the onwer/operator of a drone being flown from a Bahamian registered ship is responsible for seeking authorisation from the State which issued the Certificate of Registration for the drone and obtaining any licence required.
Moreover, the owner/operator of the drone is also responsible for seeking authorisation from the appropriate Air Traffic Services Authority for the area where the drone is being flown.
A permit is required for any drone use in the Bahamas, regardless of whether it is for recreational or commercial use.
Concluding, Bahamas Air Traffic Services are responsible for the airspace of The Bahamas up to 6,000 feet (1828.8 metres). Above 6,000 feet of Bahamas airspace and the international airspace around The Bahamas is the responsibility of Miami Center Air Traffic Services.