You will now need to pay KES. 3,000 registration fee if you wish to own and operate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones) in Kenya. This comes after the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) received the go-ahead to operationalise the Civil Aviation regulations 2020, after they were acceded to by Parliament on 6th March 2021. There are other charges however, and the the full details can be obtained from www.kcaa.or.ke.
The proposed charges had been gazetted by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works, Mr. James W. Macharia, EGH under Legal Notice No. 4 of 2021 on 22 January 2021.
This approval has now paved way for the full implementation of the UAS framework in Kenya. And has brought about the reduction in cost from the previously revoked rates under the 2017 regulations.
Individuals or entities that have already imported UAS (drones) are encouraged to apply to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority for registration and approval to lawfully engage in safe and secure drone operations of all types which could include precision agriculture, wildlife management, inspection of power grid, building, dams, solar inspection, research, crop spraying and data collection, forest management, road traffic monitoring and surveillance and aerial mapping.
Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Director General, Capt. Gilbert M. 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 (UAS) 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.”
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. The purpose of the UAS, and risk to public safety and security form the basis for consideration by the Authority in registering, issuing of approvals and authorizations for operations.
In an era where 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.