The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has banned the launching of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in the Nigerian airspace without its permit and that of the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).
This is contained in a statement issued by the General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.
The statement said the move was part of the safety guidelines issued by the regulatory agency to drone operators following the proliferation of the technology in the country.
“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.”
According to the statement, 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.
The statement said the NCAA had therefore put in place Regulations/Advisory Circular to guide the certification and operations of civil RPA in the Nigerian airspace.
It said this was contained in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig. CARs 2015 Part 184.108.40.206) and the Implementing Standards (Nig.CARs 2015 Part IS.220.127.116.11).
“Therefore, no government agency, organisation or an individual will launch an RPA/UAV in the Nigerian airspace for any purpose whatsoever without obtaining requisite permit from the NCAA and ONSA.
“The 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,” the statement said.
It added that violators would be sanctioned according to the dictates of the new rules.
Many businesses in Nigeria use drones for aerial photography and surveillance.
Drones are controlled with various kinds of autonomy : either by a given degree of remote control from an operator, located on the ground or in another vehicle, or fully autonomously, by onboard computers.