Kenya passes law to permit drone operations and set up registration and licensing framework

Kenya’s parliament has approved the Civil Aviation (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2019 Act according to a report published by techweez. The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) drew up revised proposals to the bill earlier this year which were presented to parliament in February.

According to techweez; “Kenyans can now buy and operate drones without fear or breaking the law.” It lists the following registration and licensing considerations:

  • The national security of the state
  • Terrorism or organized crime activities
  • Risk of public safety and diversion of drones to unauthorized end user
  • If the application is subject of investigation in a civil or criminal case related to national security.

“You are eligible to own a drone if you are a Kenyan citizen of 18 years and above. Applicants should also have a company registered in Kenya. National or county governments are also eligible for ownership. Owners are not allowed to transfer the ownership of drones without approval from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA). Only the national government is allowed to run drones with military specs. Users can also apply for a temporary permit lasting up to 30 days, and can only be renewed once.”

KCAA authorisation is required in order to import or export drones.

The techweez report continues: “People or companies intending to use drones for commercial applications must apply for a Remote Aircraft Operators Certificate (ROC) from KCAA. According to the regulations, ‘the issuance of an ROC by the Authority is dependent upon the UAS operator demonstrating an adequate organization, method of control and supervision of flight operations, training program as well as ground handling and maintenance arrangements consistent with the nature and extent of the operations specified and commensurate with the size, structure, and complexity of the organization.’ Your drone license can be suspended or canceled in the interest of public safety or national security, or for violating requirements and conditions.”

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