Drone operators complain of lengthy wait for approval of permits

A number of persons desirous of operating drones in Guyana’s airspace have expressed concerns over the lengthy processing time for those approvals to be granted.
The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has cautioned importers and owners of these aerial devices, and has indicated that a permit is necessary to operate them. The GCAA has said that Guyanese are not permitted to use any such devices once a camera has been thereto attached or provision has been made for a camera to be thereto attached, unless they first obtain a permit is this regard.
Applicants for permits to operate drones have indicated that they are willing to adhere to the GCAA’s instructions, but they complain that months have passed and they still have not been able to receive an update on their applications, except that they were told that their applications are at the Police Commissioner’s Office.
“I applied, and they said it will take a month maximum; but months (have passed) and I’m still waiting. I trying to follow up, and the GCAA told me it’s at (the Police) commissioner’s office awaiting final approval. I can’t get any updates from there. This is ridiculous. You try to adhere to the law to avoid trouble, but the system is so long and stressful,” an applicant told Guyana Times on Saturday.
In response to recent questions from the media on the drone applications, Police Commissioner Leslie James has said he is unaware of any backlog of applications. “I am not aware of any backlogs. We expedite with all matters,” he said.
He added that the process starts with an application being submitted to the GCAA, which is forwarded to his office. Those applications, he said, are then sent to other departments for processing, after which they are returned to the GCAA.
He noted, however, that the only reason an application may be delayed is due to an applicant having issues with security or related issues.
The GCAA has issued a statement which detailed that anyone desirous of using such a device must submit a request in writing to the Authority.

Police Commissioner
Leslie James

“Said request must include the name and address of the applicant and the name of the company for whom he is working, if applicable. The request must also include details of the aircraft to be used, including the make, model, serial number and dimensions of the aircraft, as well as the type of power plant installed on the aircraft, and any other information requested by the Authority” the GCAA said.
Moreover, the GCAA has said it is sending out a reminder that the Customs and Trade Administration of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has detained a large number of recreational drones imported into the country without the required permit.
Additionally, the GCAA has said that using a drone without the necessary permit is a crime punishable by the laws of Guyana. Application for the drone permit must be made to the Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, 73 High Street Kingston, Georgetown.
The application, which includes the required security clearance from the Guyana Police Force, can take up to thirty (30) working days to be processed.