Drone Permit was introduced in Nigeria in a bid to regulate the operation of drones and ensure the safety of the Nigerian airspace. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has ordered that no government agency, organization or an individual will launch Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the Nigerian airspace for any purpose whatsoever without obtaining requisite approvals/permit from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). This provision is contained in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations.
The Regulation also provides that all applicants, operators and holders of permits to operate drones must strictly be guided by safety guidelines and with the conditions stipulated in their permits. All violators of these guidelines will be sanctioned accordingly. Thus, no person may operate an Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in Nigeria unless the RPA and the remote pilot has obtained the proper approvals of the Authority.
WHAT IS A DRONE?
A drone is a flying robot that can be remotely controlled or fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems, working in conjunction with onboard sensors and GPS. The NCAA regulations refer to them as RPAs (Remote Piloted Aircraft). RPAs ordinarily are drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that do not need any human on board the craft to pilot it but have a remote control to pilot it by wireless communication.
The NCAA rules provide that any person or corporate body that owns a drone and intends to fly the drone outdoors must register the RPA. There are two kinds of drones that can be registered with the NCAA according to their regulations:
The different types of drones have different registration requirements
This Application can be done online and the following are required;
Log on to the Nigeria Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Registration Service Website. Upon opening the website, the applicant creates a profile by filling in email details and a password for the account.
A confirmation mail is sent to the provided email to enable the applicant log in. On the portal, the applicant fills in the required information mentioned above and submits the application.
Upon successful application, a certificate of registration is sent to the email of the applicant.
Registration of this category of drones has to be by paper. The NCAA makes the following applications compulsory by paper
The steps to register using the paper format are:
The paper form is printed from the portal or obtained from NCAA and filled accordingly. The necessary annexures for the category of the applicant are attached to the form.
The original application and annexures must be submitted to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, General Aviation Directorate.
If all the registration requirements are met, the RPA is registered in the Nigeria Civil Aviation Directory and the certificate is issued.
The following additional information should be noted in case of application to register drones that weigh above 25 kg
1. In the case of an RPA which is imported into the Country for the first time or returns to the Country and has to be re-registered on the Nigerian Civil Aircraft Register (NCAR). The applicant must provide an affidavit confirming the following:
2. Non-registration or de-registration of the RPA from the State or territory from which the aircraft is imported.
3. In the case of ex-military RPA that is imported into the country, the following documents are needed in addition to those mentioned above:
All the means of identification must be certified by a Commissioner of Oaths or Notary Public of a non-interested party on the front of every page, and must include a full signature and ink stamp with full details, address and certification statement of such Commissioner of Oaths or Notary Public.
You must have the NCAA registration certificate in your possession when operating an unmanned aircraft. The certificate can be available either on paper or electronically. If another person operates your RPA, they must have the RPA registration certificate in their possession. You can give them a paper copy or email a copy to them. Federal law requires RPA operators to show the certificate of registration to any Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer if asked. You can show it electronically or show the printed certificate.
Failure to register an unmanned aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal penalties. The NCAA may assess civil penalties. Criminal penalties and/or imprisonment for up to three years.
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