Drone operators in Kenya have until 21 May 2019 to respond to new UAS regulatory proposals announced by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) to enable the full and safe integration of drone operations in the country. As part of these proposals the national “Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) shall establish procedures, acceptable to the Authority, for integration of UAS operation into the airspace to ensure aviation safety and such procedures shall include communication and surveillance detection.”
According to the proposals, every operational drone and drone import will have to be registered with the KCAA and commercial operators will require a Remote Aircraft Operators Certificate (ROC). “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 programme 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,” says the text of the proposal rules.
Drone operations have been categorized based on the risk posed by the type of operations – low, medium and high risk. Drones are not to be flown 400 feet Above Ground Level (AGL) and within 50 meters of any person, vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the UAS “except with the authorization of the Authority, in conditions other than Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC); at night, unless specifically cleared by the Authority on a case by case basis; where cameras, imaging devices or other sensors capture information, pictures or videos extending beyond the prescribed area of approved operation….”
UAS operations may be conducted in conditions other than VMC provided that the pilot is duly rated, the UAS meets required specifications and is approved by the Authority.
The Authority will also establish a mechanism for members of the public to report accidents, incidents and alleged violations of the regulation by the UAS operators or owners. “Except with the written permission of the owner or operator of an aerodrome, the appropriate Air Navigation Service Provider and approval from the Authority, a person shall not operate a UAS (a) within ten (10) kilometres of an aerodrome…”
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