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The Ultimate Guide to Vanuatu (Port Vila) Drone Laws & Rules

Updated: Apr 28

๐Ÿ– Drone technology has revolutionized the way we capture images and videos from above. However, as with any technology, there are rules and regulations that need to be followed to ensure safe and responsible use. In Vanuatu, there are specific drone rules that must be adhered to by drone users. This article will provide a detailed overview of the drone rules in Vanuatu (Port Vila), including registration requirements, restrictions on drone use, and penalties for non-compliance.


Give a ๐Ÿ‘ at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in the Vanuatu Drone Forum. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our knowledge & does not replace official sources & your research.

Vanuatu drone laws and rules

Recreational vs Commercial drone use in Vanuatu


Vanuatu does not differentiate commercial & recreational drone use, however, drone use in the country is subject to restrictions & a code of conduct.


โœ… The use of drones in Vanuatu is under the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vanuatu (CAAV) & they can be contacted via:

  • Email: info@caav.vu

  • Phone: +678 22 819

Can I travel with my drone to Vanuatu?


๐Ÿšจ If you plan to use a drone in Vanuatu, you must first register with the Vanuatu Civil Aviation Authority (VCAA). This applies to both recreational and commercial drone use. CAAV warned that penalties will apply for drones arriving but not registered, you should however still be able to keep it.


Drone Travel Gear

๐Ÿšจ Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.


Where can I fly my drone in Vanuatu?


โœ… Vanuatu is very advanced when it comes to safe flying with drones. The little island nation has a well structured portal in several languages which makes sense for any user (resident or not) to register & take some stunning shots in this little paradise on Earth in full safety.


๐Ÿšจ Note that the whole country is under restricted space, so you will necessarily need a permission & registration to fly your drone there.


Vanuatu Drone Fly Map

Drone fly map Vanuatu
Source: drone.vu

๐Ÿšจ Be aware that some resorts have also completely banned the use of drones; usually for the tranquility of their other guests & to protect their bird sanctuaries ๐Ÿฆ…


๐ŸŒฒ National / Marine parks & reserves might be on a case by case permission & you might need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities. ๐Ÿณ


Catching a plane to visit Vanuatu? Be compliant & get your fireproof lipo battery bags

Recreational & Commercial Drone use in Vanuatu


โœ… Vanuatu is really advanced considering its size in terms of drone regulation and pretty organised we must say, good stuff ๐Ÿ‘Œ To fly your drone in Vanuatu, you will need to register your drone prior to take off. Additionally, there are also rules & a code of conduct to follow for all operators:


With this in mind, you must fly:

  • at a maximum altitude of 120 m above the ground.

  • within sight at all times & only during daylight.

  • fly a drone weighting less than 25 kg

  • fly 4 km away (this covers almost the whole islands ๐Ÿค) from airports, heliport, seaports & give priority to all other categories of aircraft. If you see an aircraft during your flight, land immediately.have written consent from anyone or anything you want to fly above firstly.

  • fly avoiding sensitive areas including resorts, government & military facilities.

  • flyaway from a fire or any site where emergencies are required as you could interrupt their operation and delay their intervention.


๐Ÿค” Note, there is not much space left within the 4 km airport restriction flight zone on the main island of Port Vila as Vanuatu Island is at its widest point about 30 km. Note that the entire rest of the island's space is under restricted use as well & you will necessarily need permission.


How to register my drone in Vanuatu?


โœ… To register your drone, you must complete the form below and provide the following information to the VCAA:

  1. Drone make and model

  2. Serial number

  3. Weight of the drone

  4. Purpose of use

  5. Operator details. You will have the option to choose between registering as a visitor/resident or citizen as not the same info will be required from you depending on your situation.

๐Ÿšจ Registering a drone in Vanuatu is only open to 16+ years old.

Vanuatu Drone Application Form
.pdf
Download PDF โ€ข 645KB

The registration process is quite straightforward and should send your completing form to info@caav.vu Once completed, you will receive a registration certificate that you must carry with you whenever you fly your drone.


๐Ÿšจ Note that your drone registration is compulsory before you land in Vanuatu if you do not want to expose yourself to a "welcome fine" upon arrival in Port Vila airport.


We have question for you - The previous application portal used to mention a fee of $50/pilot and $50/drone so at least $100 registration fee. We are unsure if this fee is still in place, if you gain experience taking your drone to Vanuatu please share it in the forum so we can update other pilots in turn.


Travelling to Vanuatu? Need the best travel drone? Click here


What do I risk for flying a non registered drone in Vanuatu?


If you fail to comply with the drone rules in Vanuatu, you could face penalties that range from fines to imprisonment. The severity of the penalty will depend on the nature and severity of the offense. Some of the penalties for non-compliance include:

  1. Fines: Fines can range from 50,000 Vatu to 500,000 Vatu (approximately $500 to $5,000 USD).

  2. Confiscation of Equipment: If you are found to be flying your drone without registration or in a restricted area, your equipment may be confiscated.

  3. Imprisonment: In severe cases, you could face imprisonment for up to 6 months.


โœ… The drone rules in Vanuatu are in place to ensure safe and responsible drone use. If you plan to use a drone in Vanuatu, it is essential to register your drone with the VCAA and follow all restrictions on drone use. Failure to comply with these rules could result in severe penalties. By following the rules, you can enjoy the stunning views and capture incredible footage that Vanuatu has to offer while respecting the environment and the safety of others.


The excellent news is that if you get a permission, you can start flying above The Vanuatu' awesome landscapes & create videos like this one follow us on Youtube!


Travelling further? Check out our Drone Laws World Map; country by country!

Drone laws worldwide map; country by country

โœ… Please leave a comment or update Vanuatu Drone Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone over Barcelona! Have fun and safe flight!


Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone rules and regulations.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links meaning we will get a commission if you decide to purchase via them. This has no costs for you but helps Dronemade stay free for all.


Sources

Civil Aviation Authority of Vanuatu (CAAV) Website

Registration Drone Portal Vanuatu

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