Uncertainty engulfs the future of videography drones in Kenya

Kibe said that they have no capacity to control their (drones) operations due to lack of legislation.

Videography Drone
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Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director General Captain Gilbert Kibe has cast fears on the use of drones in the Kenyan space owing to lack of legislation.

Appearing before the Parliamentary committee on delegated legislation Kibe said that they have no capacity to control their (drones) operations due to lack of legislation.

“As the regulator and provider, we issue licences to airlines, cabin crew, register airlines and offer navigation services. Legal Notice of 2009 banned usage of drones and therefore, any drone imported after the legal notice is illegal unless and until we have approved legislation,” said Kibe.

Following the ban in 2009, drone owners are required to get approval from the Department of Defence before KCAA gives the go ahead for importation.

Recently, KCAA stipulated a drone import permit fee of Ksh20,000 ($200). It also put a registration fee of Ksh20,000 for sports and recreational, Ksh 30,000 ($300) for private and Ksh50,000 ($500) for commercial drones. Kenyan filmmakers ganged against the fees, terming it as exaggerated.

Following the advancement of the Kenyan film industry, the number of Kenyan filmmakers using drones is on the rise. Currently, the Kenya Revenue Authority is holding 150 imported drones at JKIA.

According to Kibe, for them to adequately monitor, undertake surveillance and control usage of the unmanned or Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RAPS), they require a surveillance machine that will cost Sh5 billion.

The will also need to implant electronic chips and barcode that detail the owner and usage of the unmanned vehicle.

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