By Victor Adar
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has received the go-ahead to operationalise the Civil Aviation (Regulatory Fees and Charges for Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2020 after National Assembly acceded to the regulations on 6 March 2021.
The proposed charges were gazetted by Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia under legal notice Number 4 of 2021 in January this year, and their approval paves the way for full implementation of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) regulatory framework in Kenya.
Under the new cost structure, Kenyans and entities wishing to own and operate Unmanned Aircraft Systems popularly known as drones, will now pay a Sh3,000 registration fee. According to KCA director general, Gilbert Kibe, the gazettement of the Regulations heralds a new era in the country’s aviation ecosystem by opening up the sector to innovations.
“Innovation in Unmanned Aircraft Systems has been accelerating at such an exponential rate. The capabilities of this technology are limitless from the positives such as filming movies, documentaries, sports, weddings and delivering medicines,” said Kibe.
Individuals or entities that have already imported UAS are encouraged are required to apply to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority for registration and approval to lawfully engage in drone operations including for precision agriculture, wildlife management, inspection of power grid, building, dams, solar inspection, research, crop spraying and data collection, forest management, film making, road traffic monitoring and surveillance and aerial mapping.
In an era where privacy of persons and property is an important issue, the regulations have made provisions that ensure such discretion is respected as provided in the constitution and other national laws. Additionally, KCAA will be undertaking public sensitisation on the application and implication of the regulations.