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SLASPA Announces Prohibition On Flying Drones Near George F.L Charles Airport

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Due to safety concerns, the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) has announced a prohibition on flying drones near George F.L. Charles Airport.

“In consideration of public safety and aviation regulations, the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) hereby informs all drone operators and pilots (Saint Lucians and visitors) that the flying of drones is strictly prohibited within the vicinity of George F.L. Charles Airport during the St. Lucia Carnival period,” a SLASPA release said.

The release observed that SLASPA, the Department of Civil Aviation, and local law enforcement established restrictions to ensure aircraft operate safely and avoid potential hazards from unauthorized drone flights.

In addition, the release provided the following guidelines:

  1. No Drone Operations: Drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) are prohibited from flying within a radius of 5 kilometres (approximately 3 miles) from the George F.L. Charles Airport during the St. Lucia Carnival festivities. 
  2. Restricted Dates: This restriction will remain in effect during the entire duration of the St. Lucia Carnival, today, July 18, 2023.
  3. Penalties: Violation of this restriction may lead to legal consequences and may be subject to fines and confiscation of the unauthorized drone.

SLASPA noted that public, aircraft and airport safety are paramount to the Authority.

And it requested cooperation in maintaining a secure and enjoyable Saint Lucia Carnival celebration.

 

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Why this information is coming out so late? Yesterday the Airport had to shut down its operations for more than 3 hours, flights had to be delayed. Are you all not having pre carnival meetings to inform,Drone owners and revelers of the seriousness or like impact of their actions. Let’s not wait for accidents and seeks to address it after.

  2. Flying a drone near an airport is moronic. Does an adult need to hear a message over the airwaves to know it’s an unsafe act. Just maybe, it’s carnival and we should allow drunken people to drop their IQ scores even lower. Do we need messages over the airwaves to tell us don’t light a cigarette next to a fuel truck?

  3. We are always reactive here in Saint Lucia. Drones should be banned within a three mile radius from an airport as a matter of law not only during carnival. Next year, we will have the same problem.

  4. A few years ago I remember I had to get special authorization from Civil aviation…air traffic control etc…to fly within Castries city..as a matter of fact the drone would not elevate due to restrictions embedded within the drone app. What happened? It’s that easy these days?

  5. Everyone have drones to recording and stream carnival. Why don’t all these drones owners come together with the police department to help combat crime in St.Lucia. Running drones all over and locking of the airport. Use these drones for good and bad most to hell in decreasing the crimes situation in St Lucia.

  6. @ nooks i was saying the same thing, cause i know the drones would automatically detect a no fly zone once they are within its radius and would just not go up unless you go to another area that isnt restricted.

  7. This shows how much it costs airlines:
    Yesterday the airport was shut for 3 hours. A flight from Georgetown had landed, but couldn’t take off again because of the airport being shut for 3 hours. The pilot would be out of flying hours before getting back to London Gatwick, so everyone had to get off the plane and be put into hotels for the night (say 280 passengers (three-quarters full) and 20 crew at $100 = 30,000 USD), then off they went again 13 hours late, getting back to London at 01h00 local time. Due to European legislation, each passenger is entitled to 600 EUR (approx 650 USD) in compensation if the flight is over 3 hours late (280 passengers at $650 = 182,000 USD). The plane was then due to fly from Gatwick to Trinidad, but due to the lateness of the arrival it couldn’t leave until 09h00 local time (some 23 hours late). Again each passenger is entitled to compensation, and also hotel overnight (another 212,000 USD), and the return flight will also be 23 hours late (another 212,000 USD). Because of this nearly a day late by now, the plane can’t go to Tampa Bay and back as it was due, so the flight is cancelled. Some passengers will be moved to another operator, some told to wait until the next day, but it would still cost the airline around 200,000 USD in compensation and rebooking.

    So, for flying a drone around the airport, it has cost the airline somewhere in the region of 836,000 USD, and that is before any crew overtime and other incidental costs. Perhaps the airline should take someone to court if it is ever found who did it!

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