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Kenyans to pay fees to fly drones, new regulations stipulate

March 21, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Tech & Innovation

Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei | Head of Content

March 21, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Tech & Innovation

Drones in Kenya

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has legalized the private use of drones in the country following its publication of rules and regulations regarding import, ownership and use of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe said on Wednesday that drones can only be used after payment of registration fees, and those who have already imported drones in the country prior to the regulations have six months to apply for registration.

“A person commits an offence if they own, operate, manufacture, assemble or test an RPAS without authorisation from KCAA … Any person who wishes to import, own or operate an RPAS in Kenya shall apply to Kenya Civil Aviation Authority in the prescribed form and pay the requisite fee for the due process,” he said in a statement.

Temporary permits could be granted to persons intending to operate drones not registered in Kenya for a period of thirty (30) days renewable once, the regulation states.

You could be arrested by the police, charged in court and fined Kshs2 million ($20,000) and or 6 months imprisonment if you are caught flying a drone without a license, it adds.

The initial fees for regular users of drones were pegged at $200 for every single use, however, Gilbert Kibe said at a press conference that it will be reviewed in July 2018 at a planned stakeholders forum.

Rwanda is the only country in the region that allows commercial use of the unmanned aerial vehicles. Tanzania and Malawi had announced plans to approve the use of drones after launching projects that will enable drones to deliver medical supplies to remote areas.

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