NCAA to certify drones in new rules for Unmanned Aircraft

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NCAA

WALE AKINTUNDE

Due to the growing interest of the private and public sectors in the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) otherwise known as drones, The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) plans to license drones used for both commercial and private purposes under new regulations governing unmanned aircraft, the head of the civil aviation agency said.

Under the new regime, violators shall be sanctioned according to the dictates of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs).

“We have proposed regulations already,” Dele Sasegbon, director of general aviation at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, told reporters Thursday in the capital, Abuja. “For the integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system, we have to do it seamlessly.”

Steps have been taken by the National Airspace Management Agency to bring drones into the country’s airspace system, he said.

Sam Adurogboye, the General Manager, public relations, for NCAA in a statement stated that “The development of the use of RPA nationwide has emerged with somewhat predictable safety concerns and security threats. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is yet to publish Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), as far as certification and operation of civil use of RPA is concerned.”

The release further stated that “NCAA has therefore put in place Regulations/Advisory Circular to guide the certification and operations of civil RPA in the Nigerian airspace. This is contained in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs 2015 Part 8.8.1.33) and Implementing Standards (Nig.CARs 2015 Part IS.8.8.1.33).”

The agency also forbids government agency, organisation or an individual from launching drones in the Nigerian airspace for any purpose whatsoever without its approval and that of the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) further reiterated that all applicants and holders of permits must abide by the safety guidelines on operation of RPA/Drones.

The release concluded that operators must ensure strict compliance with the conditions stipulated in their permits and the requirements of the Nig.CARs.

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