The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has commenced the procurement process to build an online portal for the registration of all remote piloting aircraft system (drone) users in Nigeria.
The project is a part of the capital budget expenditure of the NCAA approved by the National Assembly.
Recall that the Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, at the sidelines of the 3-day International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Symposium had said the Federal Government recently said it would soon commence full regulation of drones in the country and that unlicensed use of drones would be sanctioned.
"We cannot afford to allow drones to continue to roam about our airspace uncontrolled and unregulated. We will for sure regulate but we will not kill the enthusiasm of lobbyists and other users of drones; we will only regulate and make sure that we are safe and secure," Sen. Sirika said.
The General Manager Procurement, NCAA, Mr. Diyajo Yahya Ahmed, who moderated the opening of the bid process, told our correspondent that the capital projects to be procured were safety critical and the response was impressive.
"We also opened bidding for the Remotely Piloting Aircraft System (RPAS), or drones, which is a new phenomenon in the Nigerian aviation industry. On the RPAS we advised for technical experts to design the portal for us so we can register all drone users in Nigeria," Mr. Ahmed told our correspondent.
"We want some people who have remotely piloted aircraft or drones to come for registration when the online portal is ready. This will assist the NCAA for certification of all drone users," he also said.
He explained further that the RPAS and other projects bided for were all those appropriated by the National Assembly for the 2017 capital budget of the NCAA.
"We advertised these projects in the Federal Tenders' journals and two national dailies. We opened the bids on Monday 21st August 2017. Most of the capital projects are to enhance our safety oversight of the NCAA in the aviation industry. There are some that are to support our logistics and operations," he explained further.
"The bid response was impressive. At the NCAA, we have a reputation for transparency so once we announce bids, a lot of people respond. We have never had problems with our procurement processes," he said.