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Kenyan parliament approves drone charges

  Anyone wishing to own and operate drones in Kenya will now pay Sh3,000 registration fee. The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCCA) receiv...

 

Anyone wishing to own and operate drones in Kenya will now pay Sh3,000 registration fee.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCCA) received the go-ahead to operationalize the Civil Aviation (Regulatory Fees and Charges for Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2020 after they were acceded to by the National Assembly on March 6.

The proposed charges had been gazetted by Transport CS James Macharia, EGH under Legal Notice No. 4 of 2021 on 22 January 2021.

The approval of the Civil Aviation (Regulatory Fees and Charges for Unmanned AircraftSystems) Regulations, 2020 paves the way for full implementation of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems regulatory framework in Kenya.

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority director general Gilbert Kibe said the gazettement of the regulations heralded 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,” Kibe said.

The use of drones was banned after Parliament annulled the Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems Regulations, 2017 leaving no regulatory framework in place.

This was due to security risks it may cause like terrorism. 

Individuals or entities that have already imported drones will have to apply to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority for registration and approval to lawfully engage in safe and secure drone operations of all types.

Drones will help sectors such as agriculture, wildlife management, an inspection of the power grid, building, dams, solar inspection, research, crop spraying and data collection, forest management, road traffic monitoring, 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.

In an era when the 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.

A temporary permit for drone permit will now be Sh20,000 after the National Assembly approved regulatory fees and charges.

Issuance of import permit will be Sh3,000 while registration goes for Sh3,000.

A certificate of de-registration or cancellation goes for Sh2,000 while the reservation of special registration marks series goes for Sh10,000.

Change of ownership will go for Sh2,500 while the amendment of a certificate of registration Sh2,000.

Issue of Certificate of Airworthiness will go for Sh5,000 while the initial issue of remote Air Operator Certificate will go for Sh80,000.

The renewal of the remote air operator certificate will cost Sh50,000 while the amendments of the remote air operator certificate will cost Sh5,000.

The addition of drones to the remote air operator certificate will go for Sh2,000 while the inclusion of the new drone type cost Sh10,000.

Approval of manuals will cost Sh Sh5,000 while the approval of training organisation will cost Sh80,000.

The initial certification of resalers and distributors will cost Sh80,000 while the renewal is Sh50,000. The overflight permit is Sh10,000.

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