The Caribbean, in general, is aerial photography heaven. Nowhere else than in the islands around the U.S. Virgins are so many beautiful beaches, palm-covered islands and lonely coves. Besides being a beautiful country to fly your drone in, the US Virgin Islands also have the advantage of being part of the U.S. legal system, which makes operating a drone pretty much equal to flying the drone within the U.S.
Drone Laws in the US Virgin Islands
For drone flights in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the U.S. drone laws apply. These regulations are defined by the FAA and are basically split into two parts, namely commercial use and non-commercial use of drones. I am focusing here on the legal aspects of the non-commercial or recreational use of drones within the US Virgin Islands.
FAA Part 107 regulates the use of “small drones” in the U.S. and therefore also in the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Small drones” as per Part 107 means all Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) between 0.55 and 55 lbs of weight.
The following FAA drone rules apply:
- You must register your drone with the FAA and visibly mark your drone with the registration number. The registration costs $5.00 and is valid for 3 years.
- Flight altitude permitted up to 400 feet above ground level (AGL)
- Operate drones only within visual line of sight (VLOS)
- Obey all FAA Airspace restrictions, and avoid flying your drone near airports and helicopter landing pads
- No flying over people, crowds, and public events. Never obstruct emergency service responders and stay away from emergencies.
- Respect the privacy of other people
Adhering to these simple rules will ensure a safe and fun flight experience with your drone in the US Virgin Islands. If you have doubts whether a place is safe to fly or not, use common sense and lean towards the side of safety – which means don’t fly.
Adhering to these simple rules is easy – you will have a fun time flying your drone in the US Virgin Islands. Don’t forget to let us know how it went in the comment section below!
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