Toy drone annoyance

| 13/04/2016

Last weekend, up at Cayman Kai, my quiet afternoon was ruined by the buzzing of a “toy” drone, invading my garden and spying on me from the beach at eye level, before heading out over the water, only to return a few minutes later. I later saw that it was controlled by a man with two teenage sons, all visitors to the island. It was noisy (like a swarm of bees) and intrusive. What can be done to stop this unwelcome attention?

Auntie’s Answer: Sadly, not that much. Privately owned small unmanned aircraft (SUAs), or drones, are, like personal watercraft, lots of fun for the user and an irritation to the rest of us.

Unlicensed, or non-commercial, users are banned in certain areas: up to three nautical miles from the airports on all three Cayman Islands and up to one nautical mile from HMP Northward, which is a restriction imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands to reduce the risk of collision with planes and for security issues at the prison. Aside from that, they seem to be able to operate with impunity.

Quite apart from being extremely irritating, drones can carry cameras, which presents serious privacy issues. Here’s an article about it in the New York Times, just to show that we’re not alone with this problem.

However, here in Cayman, the conversation hasn’t begun yet but it really should before the skies are littered with the things. According to the NYT article, you can now buy them for under US$1,000.

The question for the people of the Cayman Islands to take to their MLAs is, what legal restrictions should there be on hobby drone users?


Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (10)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Everything that young people find fun to do on this island, there’s always going to be that one person who just wants to take it away. Just let the young people be.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What about restrictions on business drones? Business interests are what started this on island. Restrictions should be on drones across the board. When civil aviation gave the first license they didn’t consult the public neither did MLAs. In fact, it was granted to a foreigner. Drones are a great illustration of political power in Cayman, it’s out of the reach of common Caymanians, yet overlooking our lives.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know of at least one Caymanian that owns one.

    • Lil Jenny Taylor says:

      Not to a foreigner!!! They come here, stealing our drone licenses.

      Maybe we should have warning lights on all foreigner flown drones, so we all know when we can feel indignant.

    • Anonymous says:

      I like the fact that this story has been converted to a race dispute.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who cares what nationality owns them: annoying a**holes are annoying a**holes.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Since sling shots (classed as a weapon by CIG) are illegal I would considered either a catapult or a potato canon to take out these little buggers.

    Happy Hunting!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry we weren’t looking at you. It was your wife we were watching.