Hey Guys! I just wanted to share my experience with the Seychelles drone laws and regulations. First of all, I found almost all the information given in the blog post (https://www.drone-made.com/post/seychelles-drone-laws) to be accurate. However, there seems to be a big difference between theoretical law and daily practice on the Seychelles. I tried to follow the official procedure and sent a written application to the SCAA (yes, via international mail) some weeks(!) prior to my trip. In my letter, that you can read below, I was asking for allowance to fly my drone inside the 15 km airport restricted zone on Mahé & Praslin, stating the dates and locations of my planned flights. I was also asking for a general permission to fly above 200ft on La Digue (also there is a helipad on La Digue which means in theory you cannot fly at Anse Source d'Argent).
It was only the day before departure (about 4 weeks after I submitted my letter) when I recieved reply via e-mail from SCAA. Here's what they wrote:
Contrary to my expectations, they didn't mention any fees but also didn't allow or deny my planned flights. So I packed my drone and flew off to Mahé. My first flight was at Police Bay (my secret tip for everyone looking for beauty and solace). I just called ATC with the number they gave to me and asked for clearance, which they gave me without hesitation once I stated the location, time, and max. altitude. All they asked for was to call again once the flight was finished.
In this regard I have to say that they're not easy to reach. I had to call at least 5 times until someone finally picked up the phone. When I was trying again after the flight, I couldn't reach anyone at all.
I didn't fly while on Praslin and only tried to reach them once more (without success) while I was on La Digue . From then on I stopped trying and simply went for it whenever I wanted. This was also because I spoke to a local guy from the bike rental, who told me that people where flying drones everywhere all the time and police didn't seem to care at all (even when they were flying in front of the police station).
do try to get a permit before flying on the Seychelles (at least you tried). People at SCAA seem to be reasonable and are very friendly and helpful (as most Seychellois are). I recommend doing this via e-mail.
try to inform ATC about any drone activities, especially when flying in restricted airport zones.
despite the very strict rules, authorities don't really seem to care much about drones
they do not seem to charge any fees for drone permits
be safe! Stay away from people, boats, settlements, and aircraft of course.
enjoy flying your drone on the Seychelles, it's an amazing location!
I hope this post will be helpful for all of you visiting the Seychelles!