Antarctica Drone Laws and Regulations

The use of UAVs/drones is currently the subject of much discussion by the Antarctic community. IAATO is cautioning all potential travellers to Antarctica, who are hoping to fly a drone, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), to check with their travel agent or tour operator before packing their device.

If you own a drone, you are subject to a plethora of rules and regulations about where and when you can fly it. So, if you are heading to Antarctica with Aurora Expeditions, do these same laws apply and can you use your drone safely in the one of the most beautiful regions on the planet?

Aurora Expeditions’ Environmental Impact Assessment does not include the usage of drones for recreational use. Furthermore, under the Antarctic Treaty System and IAATO, all recreational drone or UAV use is not allowed – highlighting the value that more than 100 countries put on protecting this part of the world.

However, if you require to use a drone for commerical use there is a way to apply for a commerical drone license so that you can fly your drone in Antarctica.

Applying for a commercial drone license

You can submit an Environmental Impact Assessment to your appropriate Antarctic Governing body of your country of residence and apply for a commercial drone license to gain permission to fly a drone in Antarctica. This is an extremely rigorous process and must be successful to be able to fly the drone or UAV in Antarctic airspace.

Here is a PDF file by IAATO that you may like to read.