About Drone Laws and Regulations in Fiji
Let’s get the legal and technical details out of the way, if you are an avid drone pilot, some of these rules and regulations are standard across most countries, but we do urge you to read all the bullet points carefully, being aware and fully informed of all the guidelines and safeguards, provides protection to you and everyone around.
The CAAF (Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji) the leading authority in Fiji for the operation of an unmanned (pilotless) aerial vehicle (UAV) commonly known as a drone, has simplified the whole process, so you can enjoy the beauty of Fiji from above as easily as possible.
Pour yourself a nice cool refreshment and let’s get started. the whole process should only take 20 – 30 mins.
Before we start we need to go over some basic terminology
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) – This designation is used to define the flying object employed for recreational and professional civilian applications.
- Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) – The term RPAS appears to be the preferred terminology used by international aviation-related agencies.
- Drone – By being the world pioneer in the creation and implementation of regulations for the use of commercial unmanned aerial vehicles, the French Directorate for Civil Aviation is referring to them as drones. Professionals worldwide are using the appellation of drones in the day-to-day jargon, instead of any other official terms.
- Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) – The terms Unmanned Aircraft (UA) or Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) are used to describe the aircraft itself, whereas the term Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is generally used to describe the entire operating equipment including the aircraft, the control station from where the aircraft is operated and the wireless data link.
Do I Need A Licence To Fly A Drone?
You don’t need a licence to fly a drone for recreational purposes*** but you will need to know your Regulations and the scope of what you are allowed and not allowed to do. Source.
***You do need to apply for a drone permit, all the details are below.
|Safety Tips||Do Not Fly Your Drone – Over / To / Around / At|
|Always maintain a visual line of sight of your Drone at all times.||Airstrips, helipads, fuel depots, private property, vehicles, populous areas, sporting events, state-owned property.|
|Always fly your Drone below 200 feet (approximately 61 meters)||Sensitive and restrictive areas, such as government institutions, prisons, hospitals, police stations, military barracks, and parliament grounds.|
|Always check weather conditions before and during every flight.||Resorts without permission from management.***|
|Beyond your line of sight.|
*** This particular point cannot be stressed enough, in Fiji, we have a lot of low flying aircrafts transferring guests from the main international airports to their respective resorts, via seaplane, fixed-wing flights, and helicopters. so checking with management has to be the top priority when planning your drone adventure. Ask the appropriate member of staff, via the resort’s receptions desk.
How do I get a drone Permit in Fiji?
The following simple steps are outlined in the infographic above and in greater detail below; the following steps break down the simple process of obtaining the recreational permit. (Steps 1-2-4-5 are the steps you need to follow)
- Pre Application – Contact CAAF | Office Number +679 892 3155 | Email – firstname.lastname@example.org | Three options here,
- Phoning | To get some greater information and reassurance on the process involved, this is not normally required
- Email | Info@caaf.org.fj to get the latest information and PDF Formal Application sent directly to your inbox
- Visit in Person | at the Nadi International Airport, you can pick up the physical form and fill out the details, it is heavily advised that you arrange your permits before you arrive, to avoid any kind of issues.
- Formal Application – Recreational | For recreational use fill out the OP137 Form
- The form is very simple to understand and should only take a few minutes to fill out, just make sure you provide all the correct information (Example of the form is just below these bullet points)
Formal Application – Commercial | For commercial use, fill out OP138 and attach liability insurance, letter of intent, and drone certification.
- Application Evaluation – CAAF evaluates submitted application
- The application process will only take a few days from start to finish via email.
- Formal Award of Permit – After the evaluation process has been completed satisfactorily CAAF issues the approval to the applicant
- The approval document will be sent to you after the evaluation process. Print the document and add this to your travel documents.
The image above shows the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Declaration and Permit for Recreational Use Form that you fill out and submit to the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji.
List of Domestic Airports in Fiji
- Lau Islands | Cicia Airport, Kaibu Airport, Lakeba Airport, Moala Airport, Ono-i-Lau Airport, Vanuabalavu Airport
- Viti Levu | Ba Airport, Laucala Airport, Pacific Harbour/Deuba Seaplane Base, Vatukoula Airport, Vatulele Airport
- Vanua Levu Group | Bua | Dama Airport, Labasa Airport, Savusavu Airport, Taveuni | Matei Airport, Rabi Airport
- Mamanuca Group | Castaway Island Airport, Malolo Lailai Airport, Mana Island Airport
- Yasawa Group | Yasawa Island Airport
- Lomaiviti Group | Gau Airport, Koro Airport, Ovalau | Levuka Airfield, Wakaya Airport
- Kadavu Group | Vunisea Airport
- Rotuma | Rotuma Airport