Kenyans Who Wish To Operate Drones Will Now Have To Pay A Registration Fee

drones legal in Kenya
image: Capital FM

Kenyans who wish to operate drones will now have to pay a registration fee.

Do you own a drone? then read on because the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has been given permission to charge drone operators. The discussion about drones started last year when a drone operator used his drone for a police station in Lamu and since then its safe to say they received enough attention from the Civil Aviation Authority which now have declared that Kenyans who wish to own and operate unmanned aircraft systems known as drones will now pay a KSh 3,000 registration fee.

Is this a good thing?

According to Kenya Civil Authority Director General, Gilbert Kibe this would be a new era that will give creatives in the country’s aviation ecosytem a new beginning.

“Innovation in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) 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,” Kibe said

In order to avoid any legal penalties it is advisable to apply to the KCAA for registration and approval to secure drone operations of all types.

What does the operation include?

The drones could be used for a variety of operations such as precision agriculture, wildlife management, inspection of power grid, building, dams, solar inspection, research, crop spraying and data collection, forest management, road traffic monitoring and surveillance and aerial mapping.

The Civil Aviation (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2020 categorises drones based on the risks posed by their operations, from low risks to high risks under categories A, B and C.

What is the purpose of UAS?

The whole idea behind UAS is to ensure the safety of the public especially when issuing approvals and authorizations for operations. Additionally to avoid violation of privacy of persons and property the UAS provides provisions that ensure such discretion as provided by the national laws.

The Kenyan laws stipulate that only citizens, residents, businesses and governments are eligible to own a drone.This excludes foreign tourists and the only option left is to rent a drone locally. However, the law also provides for a 30-day temporary permit that may be suitable for travelers.