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If you have a drone and are headed to a beautiful vacation spot like Aruba, you probably want to use your drone to get awesome pictures and videos. Before packing up your drone, it’s a good idea to find out if you can bring a drone to Aruba. Well, we’ve got some good news for you.
**According to Aruba’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCAA), it is legal for tourists to bring and fly a drone in Aruba, but all drone flights must be given permission by the DCAA via email at least one day before the planned flying activity. The drone pilot must abide by certain rules in order to fly. **
As you can see, it is a little more complicated than just showing up and flying your drone. If you’re going to Aruba with a drone, there are some things you must do before you fly, including getting permission and being sure you have a local mobile telephone.
How to get permission from DCAA to fly a drone in Aruba #
You can fly your drone as a tourist in Aruba, but you must receive permission first. In order to receive permission, you must submit a request via email at least one day before you plan to fly. Send the following information in an email to the Department of Civil Aviation to Willem Vrolijk ( email@example.com) or Anthony Kirchner ( firstname.lastname@example.org) :
- The name of the person or company to whom the permission is to be issued.
- The type of drone that is going to be operated.
- The purpose (or intention) of the requested drone operating permit.
- The maximum height at which the drone will be operated. Usually, the DCAA doesn’t give permission to fly higher than 200 feet. Exceptions can be made only after consultation with the DCAA.
- The name of the drone operator (this can be the same as the first requirement)
- A** local (from Aruba) mobile **telephone number (see next heading).
- The drone operation site (where you will be flying).
- The date, time, and duration of the drone operation for Air Traffic planning purposes. See examples below:Examples: Eagle Beach: August 23, 2021, 9:00-11:00 OR Baby Beach: August 23, 2021, 15:00-17:00 OR Arashi Beach: August 24, 2021, 09:00-12:00 You can also request a date and time as follows: Dates: August 23-28, 2021 Locations: Eagle Beach, Baby Beach, Arashi Beach Time: 09:00-12:00
How can I get a local (from Aruba) mobile telephone number? #
In order to get permission to fly a drone in Aruba, you need a local mobile telephone number (see above). An international phone number or a landline will not work. It must be a local mobile telephone number where the Control Tower could contact you in case of emergency during your flight. The control tower cannot make international phone calls, so your own international cell phone will not be good enough.
The good news is that you can rent a mobile phone or buy a local SIM card (the price is about $20 with about $6 of calling included) at one of the local telephone companies SETAR or DIGICEL. These have branches at the airport, or you could email SETAR at email@example.com or call them at +297-525-1000 to find out more from them. Your hotel might also be able to help you obtain a local mobile phone.
What are the rules for flying drones in Aruba? #
Aruba flight rules are similar to others around the world. Here are some basic international rules that Aruba abides by:
- Maintain a visual line of sight (VLOS) when operating a drone. When utilizing the “First Person View (FPV) technology, a second person shall act as an observer.
- Never operate in Prohibited or Restricted Areas, especially near the airport (not within 4 kilometers/2.4 miles).
- Never operate in the vicinity of aircraft, over military, police or emergency installations, over groups (accumulation) of people, stadiums, or sports events.
- Never operate near emergency response efforts such as fires, accidents, etc.
- Never operate under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Never operate your drone in such a way, that could endanger people or property.
- Never operate your drone in rainy or stormy weather or in extreme low visibility.
- Never operate your drone at night.
- Never fly over private property and/or breach privacy laws.
- Always perform a “Preflight Check” before each flight to confirm that the drone is operating properly.
- Only drones operating in the frequencies 2.4 and 5.8 GHz are permitted to operate in Aruba.
What are some popular sites to fly a drone on the island of Aruba? #
Aruba is incredibly beautiful, so of course, you want to get great aerial shots of this island paradise. Here are some great places to fly a drone in Aruba:
- On the east side: Baby Beach, Rogers Beach, Boca Grandi, Colorado Lighthouse.
- On the west side: Eagle Beach, Palm Beach, Arashi Beach, Druif Beach, California Lighthouse.
- Other locations: Casibari Rock Formation, Natural Bridge, Bushiribana Ruins, Mangel Halto.
Where is it prohibited to fly a drone in Aruba? #
Just like with any other location, there are some places that you should not fly your drone. In Aruba, no recreational drone operations are permitted in the Aruba Arikok National Park. To operate a drone in the Aruba Arikok National Park for purposes other than recreational or personal purposes, special permission is needed. Without permission from the park service, the DCAA is unable to grant permission to operate in that area.
If you need to get permission to fly in the Arikok National Park, you can reach Mr. Tyson Lopez via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +297-585-1234. If the National Park gives permission, you would then need to get permission from the DCAA as well.
If you want to fly your drone at one of the hotels, you must get written (e-mail) permission from the hotel. You should contact the hotel to receive that permission before contacting the DCAA.
Can I fly FPV in Aruba? #
If you want to fly First Person View in Aruba, you must get permission (as with all drone flights) from the DCAA, as well as being sure that you have a second person available to serve as a spotter. The spotter must maintain visual line of sight of the drone at all times and be within close proximity of the pilot who is operating the drone to be able to communicate with him or her.
Are there regulations for small drones versus large drones in Aruba? #
The Department of Civil Aviation in Aruba does not make a distinction between the weight or size of the drone. This means that even if your drone weighs under 250 grams, you still need to apply for approval by the DCAA in order to fly it legally.
Do I need to register my drone in Aruba? #
At the time of writing this article, Aruba does not require the registration of drones in order to operate in the country. The DCAA has stated that they will begin to require the registration of drones in the future, so keep an eye on the DCAA website in order to know for sure if this regulation has changed.
Can I take photos and videos from a drone in Aruba? #
Taking pictures and videos of Aruba from a drone is allowed, but the drone operator must be aware of privacy laws and be sure to operate in a manner that is compliant with those laws.
Do I need insurance to fly a drone in Aruba? #
It is strongly advisable that the drone operator (or company) is covered by an insurance policy because the drone operator is responsible for safe conduct during each flight and must avoid collisions with people, buildings, or objects. The operator is also responsible to not breach privacy laws in Aruba.
Who do I contact in Aruba if I have more questions? #
You can contact the DCAA via the following emails:
- Mrs. Linsey Geerman-Dijkhoff, e-mail: email@example.com;
- Mr. Willem Vrolijk, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Mr. Anthony Kirchner, email: email@example.com
- Or via telephone number +297-523-2665