Reminder on the use of SUA/Drones in St Helena


With the festive season is just around the corner, some may be receiving a Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) / drones as a gift, others may be planning to take footage during the holidays of the breathtaking views the island boast. As such, it is important that all SUA / drone owners and operators are aware of their legal obligations. These obligations apply to all types of SUA / drones regardless of size, weight and purpose.

Drone checklist

Regardless of the type of drone (toys or more sophisticated equipment) and purpose of flight, all users must ensure you:

  • Have the correct permission to fly within the area by contacting:
  • The Airport for flight requests within Yellow and Red Zones
  • Respective Authorities and Land Owners for flights within Commercial / Operational areas, Private land etc.
  • Respect the security and privacy of others
  • Observe your drone at all times – do not let it fly out of sight
  • Do not fly your drone dangerously or near to people, wildlife or property
  • Do not fly higher than 120m (400ft) above ground level
  • Do not fly within 45m (150ft) of any person, vehicle, vessel and structure
  • Do not fly within 120m (400ft) of an open-air gathering of more than 400 persons
  • Only fly an SUA when reasonably satisfied that the flight can be made safely
  • Be aware that reckless or negligent endangerment of persons or property is an offence
  • Understand your legal responsibilities

If your drone is being used to carry out work for valuable consideration or commercial purposes, you must apply to Air Safety Support International (ASSI) for approval to operate your drone. Failure to do so means that you could face prosecution.  Detailed information can be found at

Drone Zones

The Island has been divided up into three zones, each with different rules around what activity is or is not permitted. These have been colour coded to easily show where flights can be undertaken.

Green zone – Safe Fly Zone

Requires no prior permission to conduct flights, and allows them to be undertaken wherever and whenever desired (except in a small area around a transmission site in Blue Hill), in line with the rules outlined above. 

Yellow zone – Restricted Fly Zone

Permits flights to be undertaken by any drone, in line with the rules outlined above, but only with prior permission from the Airport. 

Red zone – No Fly Zone

Does not permit any drone flights to be undertaken at any time, except for research purposes and in emergencies (e.g. search and rescue). Permission to conduct such flights is required from the Airport before they can commence.

More information and the drone zone map can be found on the St Helena Airport website at  

Fly safe!

29 November 2022

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470