My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why JCAA Special Aerial Work Permit needs to be adjusted to promote Professional Drone Racing

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Why JCAA Special Aerial Work Permit needs to be adjusted to promote Professional Drone Racing

The Drone Industry in Jamaica is dying a slow death in Jamaica.

It's been a year since the JCAA (Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority) issued guidelines on the use of drones in Jamaica as described in my blog article entitled “JCAA Drones Regulations - Why GOJ Double-Standard suggest Commercial Drone Pilot Licenses are coming”. 

Now a year later, these regulations are still in effect and compliance is high as reported in the article “Drone Operators Abiding By Guidelines, Says JCAA”, published Thursday April 21, 2016 by Sherine Williams, The Jamaica Gleaner.

According to JCAA's Deputy Director General for Regulatory Affairs, Rohan Campbell, professional drone operators can apply for JCAA's Special Aerial Work Permit which is free of cost. The process to get a permit takes two (2) days whether sent by letter or email but it isn't as straightforward as it might sound.

JCAA's Restrictive Special Aerial Work Permit - Why Drone Industry is inevitable as Ministry of Agriculture

First, the JCAA has to check the location where the drones are to be flown. If on checking the area they discover there is a potential for a breach in guidelines, they permit will not be granted.

Even more annoying is that you have to have a permit for every event. This means that if you applied late, you won’t get your permit in time, something that is a thorny issue for many professional Drone Operators as noted in the article “Drone Operator Says JCAA Guidelines Are Restrictive”, published Thursday April 21, 2016 by Sherine Williams, The Jamaica Gleaner.

So guess my Jamaica Drone Developer Competition will not ever become reality, as the skies are not open for FPV (First Person Viewing) Racing as described in my blog article entitled “How Luke Bannister won the UAE's inaugural World Drone Prix as World Future Sports Games in December 2017”. 

however, the Jamaican Police are interested in using drones for fighting crime as evidenced form their use in St. James in their eyes in the Sky Project as noted in my blog article entitled “Eye in the Sky Project in Montego Bay – How Drones reduce Crime in St James in 6 months as NAITS Initiative gets Rebooted”. 

Still, with the Ministry of Agriculture seeking to use Drones for surveillance for Honduran fishermen in the Pedro Banks as noted in my blog article entitled “@agriministryja Poacher Spotting Drones – Ministry of National Security to Determine How Drones can Fly Farther” a Drone Industry is inevitable.




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