Drone Laws in Trinidad and Tobago
In this post, you will find the legislation for the use of drones in Trinidad and Tobago.
In Trinidad and Tobago, drones are divided into five categories:
- Category 1 UA: Maximum starting weight of 750 grams.
- Category 2 UA: takeoff weight of more than 750 grams and less than 20 kilograms and a maximum speed of 40 m / s.
- Category 3 UA: takeoff weight of more than 750 grams and less than 20 kilograms and a speed of more than 40 m / s.
- Category 4 UA: From a starting weight of 20 kilograms and less than 100 kilograms.
- Category 5 UA: All other unmanned aerial vehicles that do not fall into the four categories above.
Regardless of weight and purpose, all drones must be registered with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The only exception is made if you use a category 1 UA multicopter for recreational purposes.
Otherwise, fill in the registration forms and pay a processing fee. After the trial, you will receive a Certificate of Registration that you should always carry with you on drone flights.
The current law allows for the recognition of registrations from other states. Unfortunately, I have no experience with what this recognition looks like in practice.
In addition to the registration, you must also apply for an operator’s license, which refers to one of the above categories. Private users can only cope with this requirement if they fly in a registered drone club or fly under the supervision of a qualified pilot or fly only on private land with the owner’s consent.
Maximum Altitude: For Category 1 drones, the maximum altitude is limited to 30 meters (100 feet). In all other categories, the copter may climb up to 120 feet (400 feet).
Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: Drones must always be within the direct line of sight.
Compulsory insurance: In Trinidad and Tobago only commercial multicopters have to have special liability insurance for drones. However, we recommend every pilot to cover his aerial operations.
Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): See above.
Distance to airports: Depending on the category, the following distances apply:
|Category 1 UA||Other categories|
|Distance to the outer border of airports||2 km||5 km|
|Helipads||1 km||2 km|
|Restricted Fly Zones||1 km||1 km|
Other safety distances: Only persons may be flown over persons if this person has explicitly agreed to the flight.
No Fly Zones: No-Fly Zones for Trinidad and Tobago are marked on this map.
Operating times: No restrictions found.
Special legislation: Drones in Trinidad and Tobago must be provided with a registration badge and a hint of nationality.
Requirements for commercial pilots: Commercial operators require an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Certificate for their work. This certificate can be issued from the age of 18 years. As far as I know, no training certificate is required to obtain the license from the CAA. However, to my understanding, only residents of Trinidad and Tobago can receive the Unmanned Aircraft Operator Certificate.
If you manage to obtain a permit, you will need to log your drone flights in a logbook.
Good to know: For flights on public grounds, you will need prior written approval from the relevant authority.
Helpful Links: CAA about UAVs
We have researched the listed drone regulations for Trinidad and Tobago to the best of our knowledge. We cannot guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Trinidad and Tobago!