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Can You Fly a Drone in The Bahamas? EXACTLY What You Need to Know (Personal Experience Included)

It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever flown. So if you’re wondering “can you fly a drone in The Bahamas?” Well the answer is yes – with a permit.

This guide walks you through exactly what steps to take before you travel and when you get there.

can you fly a drone in the Bahamas view of pier with boat and teal water looking down
Flying a drone in The Bahamas

This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, see my disclosures.

Capturing the breathtaking landscapes from an aerial perspective on these islands is an incredible experience! The archipelago’s clear turquoise waters and lush islands offer a stunning canvas, and one you’ll want to photograph.

So let’s dive into the details of exactly how to fly a drone in The Bahamas legally.

Aerial view of white sand beach with blue water and trees along the shoreline
Aerial view of Little Exuma, Bahamas

Understanding The Bahamas drone laws

Whether you’re a recreational drone enthusiast looking to record your adventures or a commercial drone operator aiming to capture the unmatched beauty of this tropical paradise for your next project, understanding the drone laws in The Bahamas is crucial.

The skies over these paradise islands are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority Bahamas (CAAB).

Note: this is my personal experience and the laws reflect the publication date of this unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) guide. Please consult the Civil Aviation Authority Bahamas for your trip.

can you fly a drone in the Bahamas view of teal water white sand and palm trees from above
Stunning white sandy beach from above 😍

Bahamas drone registration (permit required)

The Civil Aviation Authority Bahamas (CAAB) dictates that all drone activities, whether for capturing breathtaking shots as a recreational drone hobbyist or soaring through the skies for commercial drone projects, require a permit. 

I found the process for answering the question, “Can you fly a drone in The Bahamas?” quite straightforward. Recreational or commercial, you start at The Bahamas Drone Registration.

white sand beach and two coves of water in Exumas
More beautiful beaches in Little Exuma, Bahamas

Remember, flying drones safely in The Bahamas isn’t just about capturing paradise from above; it’s about respecting the beautiful environment and adhering to the drone rules to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment. 

You’ll want to apply for a permit within 30 days of your arrival to the country, in order to be in compliance with The Bahamas drone laws. I had to follow up a few times so I’d recommend starting the process sooner than later.

The application involves personal contact questions, equipment details and where you’ll be flying. Your drone must have geofencing capabilities and you’ll need to upload a copy of your passport. 

If your drone is over 249g, you’ll need to upload your flying certification and/or license from your home country. 

woman laying on the sand with blue water and white wave after Bahamas drone registration
Flying above a beach in Great Exuma

Part of the application is agreeing to the drone terms and conditions (more about that in a bit).

There’s a fee to fly a drone in The Bahamas. It’s $30 for recreational use and $50 for commercial use.

You may be able to pay more to get a faster turn around time if needed.

Following up on your drone permit

picture of wooden pier and teal water in Nassau while obeying Bahamas drone laws
Flying a drone above a pier near Nassau, Bahamas

Because I had a few weeks before heading to The Bahamas, I opted for the standard processing time (5 days instead of 3). However, it was a week later and I still hadn’t heard back so I followed up.

Within a few days I received an invoice for the drone permit. I promptly paid, and waited a few more days. About a week later, I followed up again to ensure I received all the necessary approvals.

The following day I received my official certificate. I was instructed to show this to Customs officials when entering The Bahamas.

Rules for drone pilots in The Bahamas

flying a drone in the Bahamas with my husband couple standing on sandbar with water in distance
Drones capture the best photos!

As part of the drone application process, you’ll need to commit to following the terms and conditions. They’re pretty straightforward and you can review them here.

Basically, if you’ve taken the TRUST certification or even have your Part 107 pilot’s license, you’ll know the basics:

  • Don’t fly over other people (keep a distance of 50 feet laterally; 100 feet vertically)
  • Keep your drone under 400 feet high
  • Stay away from airports, military spaces and other controlled air space
  • Keep a visual line of sight when flying

UAV drone laws seem to constantly be changing, so be sure to review the terms and conditions in detail when applying for your permit.

If you’re applying for a commercial permit, be sure to follow the extra steps needed to be in compliance.

Traveling with your drone internationally

Nassau Bahamas from the air with palm trees, teal water and white sand and boats
Do drone beach photos ever really get old? Didn’t think so 😉

If you’re new to traveling with your drone, just remember these tips as you pack and prepare to bring your drone to The Bahamas:

  • Print your drone permit letter and pack it.
  • Batteries must be in your carry-on luggage.
  • If possible, it makes sense to fly all drone equipment in carry-on since it’s expensive to replace if lost or stolen – I’ve taken mine to Thailand, Greece, Costa Rica and many more destinations!
  • Declare your drone at Customs. As I arrived in The Bahamas, I showed the officer my drone permit and she took a look at the dates and waved me right on through. No big deal!

Before you launch your drone in The Bahamas

flying a drone in the Bahamas view of sand bars and teal water
Capturing a sandbar in The Bahamas

Never underestimate the utility of a drone preflight checklist for both before and after you fly. This simple step can save you from unforeseen troubles and elevate your drone flying experience in The Bahamas. 

Get the perfect Drone Preflight Checklist

FREE download includes the must-do actions before and after each drone flight!

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    Just a head’s up: in the US, I use Aloft Air Control to review flying access. However, I didn’t find it to be particularly accurate in The Bahamas.

    Can you fly a drone in the Bahamas?

    view of ocean wave and water with resort in distance in The Bahamas via drone
    More beautiful beaches in Great Exuma

    As you can clearly see, the answer is yes! Just be sure to abide by The Bahamas drone laws.

    It’s such a beautiful and fun destination to fly! And with over 700 islands to choose from, you’ll never run out of ideas during your trip!

    My personal favorite spots to fly my drone were at Pretty Molly Beach in Little Exuma and Exuma Point Beach in Great Exuma.

    I hope you discover many fabulous places to fly your drone in The Bahamas!

    Related content you might like:
    Drone Preflight Checklist: Essential Actions You’ll Need Before Every Flight

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