Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has directed that no government agency, organisation or an individual will launch Remotely Piloted Aircraft/ Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (RPA/UAV) simply known as drones in Nigerian airspace without obtaining requisite approvals/permit from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Office of National Security Adviser (NSA).
This is just as the regulatory body states that operators and intending operators must ensure strict compliance with the conditions stipulated in their permits and the requirements of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) averring that anyone who goes contrary to laid down rules will be sanctioned.
This directive is coming following the growing requests for the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) leading to its proliferation in Nigeria and has therefore issued safety guidelines accordingly.
In recent times, RPA/UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are being deployed for commercial and recreational purposes in the country without adequate security clearance. Therefore with the preponderance of these operations particularly in a non – segregated airspace, there has to be proactive safety guidelines.
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.
Due to this, 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 220.127.116.11) and Implementing Standards (Nig.CARs 2015 Part IS.18.104.22.168).
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) wishes to reiterate that all applicants and holders of permits to operate RPA/Drones must strictly be guided by safety guidelines.
In addition, operators must ensure strict compliance with the conditions stipulated in their permits and the requirements of the Nig.CARs. Violators shall be sanctioned according to the dictates of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs).