Drone Enthusiasts in Kenya seek Operating Licenses with Regulations set for Take-Off in September

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Drones have become popular world over,with a whole range of applications. Their usage has become part of the norm with the Military using them in warfare, wildlife services such as the KWS using them to tackle poaching and Internet companies like Amazon using Drones to deliver goods that consumers have purchased. They have been used for rescue activities, where a drone helped rescue two boys from drowning.

In Kenya, drones have become widely popular creating a community of enthusiasts ranging from photographers and even pilots. As such, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has been keen to create regulations for the same, which has seen the body engage different stakeholders to come up with the best way forward for the same.

Among the proposal in the regulations includes one that states owners of drones will be required to  register their devices with the KCAA where they will receive an RPAS operating certificate.  The authority will establish a registration and identification system for the same, where drones will be categorized based on based on their use and weight. Also in the regulation is one that states drones cannot be flown above 400 feet above ground level or at night, while owners who have to be over 18 years will require 3rd party insurance for their devices.

According to local paper Business Daily, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has received over 1,000 applications for drone licences which would allow them to establish transport businesses. According to the KCAA, the applications range from parties interested in running film and photography, relief services and other commercial purposes. KCAA  further stated that the proposed regulations should take effect in September 2016 after approvals by the National Security Advisory Committee. Currently, the non-military use of drones is restricted hence the immense benefits to be accrued from the opening up of the industry.

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