21 March 2018

Kenya Publishes Rules for Operating Drones

Photo: Pixabay

Nairobi — The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has published regulations for the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles - commonly known as drones.

In an advert placed in the local dailies, KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe stated that an operator of a remotely piloted aircraft system is expected to register it before use.

He explained that anyone who already owns a drone imported into the country at the commencement of the regulations should apply to the authority within six months.

"A person commits an offense if they own, operate, import, manufacture, assemble or test an RPAS without authorisation from KCAA. Any Person who wishes to import, own or operate an RPAS in Kenya shall apply to the Authority in the prescribed form and pay the requisite fee for due processing," he stated.

He reiterated that it will be an offense to own, operate, import, manufacture, assemble or test a drone without authorization from KCAA.

"The regulations do not apply to State aircraft, unmanned free balloons or airships and operations of toys," he said.

Kenya currently permits the use of drones for recreational and private use while neighbouring Rwanda allows commercial use of the unmanned aerial vehicles.

Tanzania and Malawi had also announced plans to begin using them from early next year to deliver medical supplies such as blood and vaccines to remote areas.

The regulations were published just days after Attorney-General Githu Muigai gave them the nod and all security agencies under the National Security Advisory Committee had approved the rules in January.

Under the regulations, civilians are limited to flying drones at a height of not more than 400 feet above ground level to avoid collision with aircraft.

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