Nigeria to license drones under “new regulations” governing unmanned aircraft


The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dele Sasegbon, told reporters in Abuja on Thursday, that Nigeria plans to license drones for both commercial and private purposes. He further said that the drones will be licensed under the “new” regulations governing unmanned aircraft.

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) commonly called “Drone” is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. Drones are a component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), which include a UAV, a ground based controller and a system of communication between the two.

Dele Sasegbon said that steps have been taken by the National Airspace Management Agency to bring drones into the country’s airspace system. Also, that many Nigerians have expressed their interest in using drones to monitor pipelines and storage tanks in its oil and gas industry and in power line inspections.

On the 8th of May, 2016, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) issued a statement prohibiting the launch of remotely piloted aircraft (known as ‘drones’) in the Nigerian airspace without a permit from the NCAA and the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The high cost and tedious process in obtaining a permit restricted the use of drones in Nigeria by individuals and even businesses.

Although the NCAA stated that the move was part of the safety guidelines issued by the regulatory agency to drone operators following their proliferation in Nigeria; we are yet to know what the new regulations entail this time around.

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