Kenyans seeking to operate drones will need to pay sh3000 registration fee, following the approval of the Civil Aviation (Regulatory Fees and Charges for Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2020 by the National Assembly.
Making the announcement, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) said they will now go-ahead to operationalize it.
The proposed charges had been gazetted by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works, Mr. James W. Macharia, under Legal Notice No. 4 of 2021 on 22 January 2021.
The approval of the Civil Aviation (Regulatory Fees and Charges for Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2020 paves the way for full implementation of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) regulatory framework in Kenya.
These charges are a reduction from the revoked rates under the Kenya Civil Aviation (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2017.
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.”
Individuals or entities that have already imported UAS 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, an inspection of power grid, building, dams, solar inspection, research, crop spraying and data collection, forest management, road traffic monitoring and surveillance and aerial mapping.
The Civil Aviation (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2020 categorizes 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.
Other charges include an import permit of sh3000, change of ownership is sh2,500 and issuance of a temporary permit is sh20, 000.
Institutions intending to train people on how to use drones will pay sh80, 000.
Details of the charging structure can be obtained from www.kcaa.or.ke