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"DRONES" above Bonaire


  • "DRONES" above Bonaire

    Hi all... This is my first post on this forum...

    Yep!!! "DRONES" above Bonaire! I actually don't like this name calling for the purpose of these Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS's). It gives a negative feeling (spying, bombing etc.).
    Some time ago I bought myself one too and made some test flights around my house, soccer fields and other open spaces. Afterwards I shot a small movie above and around "1000 Steps".

    A little did I know that it was actually completely forbidden to fly these UAS's on Bonaire. That was a big bummer for me to hear that!!! So I contacted the safety department of BIA and asked them what I could do to continue my new hobby. They replied by saying to contact the "Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu". After 3 months of correspondence (explaining and confirming that right now it's still indeed completely forbidden to fly above Bonaire with UAS's) they asked me to contact the local authorities to ask them to make it negotiable in the Bonaire Island Counsel. So I wrote our new Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Rijna, and deputy Mr. Kroon in the hope that there will be some action in setting up some regulations using UAS's on Bonaire. This morning I received a confirmation from Mr. Rijna that my letter has been received and will be processed. I hope that the Island Counsel will discuss this in a very near future meeting. For now my "bird" is safely in her "cage" waiting patiently to spread her wings again.

    I brought up in the letter that using UAS's could not only be used safely for fun but it could also be used for other purposes like: Police and Fire department, education (future innovations in use for UAS's), realtors, developers, surveyors, journalists (press), tourism (see the beauty of Bonaire from the air), etc. So there is a social importance here using UAS's.

    I also like to ask those (residents, non-residents and tourists) who are flying UAS's on Bonaire; please do NOT fly your UAS on Bonaire, and if you will, do not something stupid like flying near the airport and the other 2 prohibited zones (Washington park area, and to the south of the Salt Company (Cargill) where the flamingos have their habitat. Neither above populated areas and a lot of people (concerts, parties, markets etc.). If the police will track you and your UAS down they are authorized to confiscate the UAS and give you a big fine. According to Stinapa it's also forbidden to fly above and around Klein Bonaire with UAS's. I kindly ask this to ensure that there will be no more negative "drone" reports the Island Counsel may bring up to ban UAS's forever. Don't get me wrong here. I like to fly my "bird" too and make nice aerial pictures and films and share them but in the meantime we also have to take the safety (and privacy issues) seriously in consideration.

    Finally I'd like to propose (local) UAS pilots to bond. Maybe in the future we can start a "Drone Club Bonaire" or something, get together, fly around, make nice footage, exchange experiences, etc.

    Like to hear fromyou all.

    Kind regards,
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