Latest Drone Laws in Fiji

In Fiji, drone flying for recreational and commercial purposes is legal. However, you must observe the latest drone laws governing the device’s operations. 

Otherwise, you risk a six-month jail term, a fine, or both. Knowing these laws is crucial to enjoying your flights without interference from the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF).

Fiji’s current drone laws include special permissions for recreational and commercial flights, prohibited area conditions, maximum altitude, flying times, and more. The rules ensure the safety of other people, including yours and your drone, during flights.

CAAF keeps updating the laws. We’ve compiled these regulations so you don’t have to look further. 

Keep reading.

Which Are the Latest Drone Laws in Fiji?

The latest drone laws of the land include the following:

  • Obtain a special permit to fly your drone in Fiji. Recreational flight permits are different from commercial ones. Fill out the relevant form here. 

  • Avoid drone operations over sensitive areas, such as government institutions, the House of Parliament, military barracks and institutions, prisons, police stations, high way and hospitals. 

  • Operate your device at least 3 km (2 miles) from domestic airports and 5km (3 miles) from international airfields or airports.

  • Keep off airstrips, fuel depots, helipads, moving vehicles, populated areas, private homes, and sporting events.

  • Don’t operate a drone in a resort without the management’s permission.

  • Don’t interfere with other people’s privacy during your drone operations.

  • Only fly your gadget during the day and in good weather conditions.

  • Avoid flying your drone beyond the 200-foot (60 meters) altitude cap.

  • Fly your drone without threatening the aircraft’s safe operations.

  • Never fly a drone with a 0.08% blood alcohol content or higher.

  • Always keep visual contact with your device during flights.

How Is Drone Licensing Done in Fiji?

Fiji has three drone licensing categories for commercial drone flights, while recreational flying requires no licensing. They include the following:

  • Very Small to Small Unmanned Aircraft licensing
  • Medium Unmanned Aircraft licensing
  • Large Unmanned Aircraft licensing

Very Small to Small Unmanned Aircraft Licensing

You must be:

  • A holder of the appropriate qualifications: A basic sub-2kg drone from a recognized organization or

  • Undergoing training at a certified RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) company and complying with its rules, conditions, and limitations or those of CAAF.

Medium Unmanned Aircraft Licensing

To get a license for this aircraft category, you must have:

  • A RePL (Remote Pilots License) or equivalent qualification, and
  • Operate in compliance with the qualification’s conditions or limitations.

Large Unmanned Aircraft Licensing

The aircraft category requires:

  • A RePL holder or one with appropriate qualifications and operating in adherence to the qualifications’ conditions or limitations, and
  • Hold a recent Instrument Rating (Multi or Single).

How Do I Apply for Recreational Drone Flying Authorization in Fiji?

Use form OP 137 — Issue of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Declaration and Permit for Recreational Use Only — to apply for recreational drone flight authorization in the country.

You can directly email drones@caaf.org.fj or apply through a service company.

The former option is free, while the latter charges a fee of $50 and above. The service company submits the permit application on your behalf.

How Do I Apply for Commercial Drone Flying Authorization in Fiji?

You can apply for commercial drone flights by filling out form OP 138—Application for Authorisation to Operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems in Fiji—and sending it to drones@caaf.org.fj.

You’re subject to additional regulations if the drone weighs more than 7 kg. Also, you must have a pilot’s license. Commercial drone permits have an undisclosed fee.

CAAF issues a written authorization after receiving your application. You must have it before conducting any flight. 

Additionally, your drone must meet internationally recognized standards, while its manufacturer, maintainer, and operator should be properly certified.

What Are the Requirements for Drone Flying Authorization Application in Fiji?

The requirements for the authorization application are as follows:

Drones Below 2kg:

  • Have liability and third-party insurance coverage from a reputable insurance broker with experience in Unmanned Aircraft Operations Insurance.

  • A Basic Drone Course certification or equivalent. 

  • An Intent letter.

Drones Above 2kg:

  • Liability and third-party insurance cover from a reputable insurance broker with experience in Unmanned Aircraft Operations Insurance.

  • Remote Pilot License or satisfactory competence evidence during test flights.
  • A Basic Drone Course certification or equivalent. 

  • An Intent letter

Drones Above 7 kg Net:

The requirements include those of the other two categories and additional documentation, including the following:

  • A maintenance inspection program: Manufacturer-specified special techniques, and any mandatory inspection or replacement interval.

  • Maintenance guidelines about disassembly, storage, transport, and reassembly to an airworthy condition.

  • A Company Operation Manual: Hazard identification and risk assessment system program. 

  • Satisfactory evidence to CAAF of the individual in charge of the drone maintenance.

  • An unmanned aircraft manual relevant to the original type of certification.

  • Satisfactory flight and ground test reports as per the CAAF format.

  • Complete records of the drone’s proper maintenance.

Note: 

  • The above weights exclude the payload.

  • You’ll use the updated documents above when renewing your authorizations.

Can I Bring My Drone to Fiji?

Yes, you can bring your drone to Fiji. There are no restrictions to carrying your drone to Fiji if your import is legitimate. 

Generally, the authority allows one drone per person, which you must register upon arrival.

Some main airlines only accept drones on board with detached batteries (should remain in a fire case throughout travel time).

Also, most airlines have a battery voltage limit, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

You can contact the drone regulating body, CAAF, directly before traveling for any queries.

Reach out to them via:

  • Mail: Private Mail Bag, Nap 0354, Nadi Airport, Fiji
  • Email: info@caafi.org.fj
  • Phone: +679 672 1555

What Risk Is There for Flying Drones Illegally in Fiji?

You risk paying a fine for illegal drone flights in the country. The fine’s scope and amount depend on the severity and nature of the law violation. 

Also, the judge assesses if your offense is intentional and if the flight was commercial.

Wrap Up

The latest drone laws in Fiji are policies for safe drone operations within the country. 

They ensure the safety of Fiji residents, drone operators, and drones.

Our article is a definitive guide to legal drone flying in Fiji without colliding with the country’s aviation authority body, CAAF. 

We’ll keep you updated in case they change or update their laws.

Author
Peter Karanja

Peter is a licensed drone pilot and drone fanatic. He owns a DJI Air 2S that he uses to shoot videos for fun, enjoyment and for clients.

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