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Aviation regulator seeks fresh views on drones

A man holding a drone
A man holding a drone. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is calling for fresh stakeholder participation on regulations guiding legalisation of drones following rejection of the previous law by Parliament last year.

In a public notice, KCAA said it is seeking comments, views and feedback from the public on the draft Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) before they are allowed to operate in the country.

“KCAA is in the process of developing civil aviation unmanned aircraft system (UAS) regulations to provide a legal framework for the utilisation, control and management of UAS commonly referred to as drones,” said the agency.

“It is hereby notified to the general public that the Authority has organised for a consultative forum on the draft regulations on May 16 at Ole Sereni Hotel.”

KCAA published the drone regulations last year that legalised use of the remotely controlled aircraft but awaited Parliament to ratify them before taking effect.

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A nod from MPs’ would have allowed Kenyans to acquire drones for sports, film shooting, relief services and commercial purposes.

The House, however, annulled the Kenya Civil Aviation (Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems Regulations, 2017) after finding fault with several provisions. The committee on Delegated Legislation pointed out that there was less public participation in drafting the regulations, in violation of the Constitution. It also felt the proposed set of rules fell short of addressing issues that had been raised around safety, security and breach of personal privacy by drones in civilian hands under the Bill of Rights. Additionally, the lawmakers pointed out inconsistencies in application of fines.

“The penalty imposed by regulation 56 of Sh5 million or six-month imprisonment, or both, contravenes Section 82 (4) of the Civil Aviation Act, which allows for the imposition of a fine not exceeding Sh2 million or three years imprisonment,” committee chairperson Gladys Shollei said in a report tabled in Parliament last year.

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