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Shipping & Logistics

KCAA in fresh bid to lay ground for use of drones

Members of the delegated legislation committee of the National Assembly are shown how a drone is operated at JKIA on April 24, 2018. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Members of the delegated legislation committee of the National Assembly are shown how a drone is operated at JKIA on April 24, 2018. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) held a fresh stakeholders meeting yesterday to deliberate “underlying” issues on the introduction of drones in the country.

This is the second attempt to introduce unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) after the previous regulations were rejected by Parliament.

The meeting, which brought together all the interested parties in drones, seeks to reach a consensus with KCAA after MPs rejected the previous regulations due to lack of public participation, among other reasons.

Stakeholders have complained that it has taken long for the regulations to be adopted and the move has hurt those who were ready to start using the technology locally.

KCAA published the drone regulations last year, legalising use of the remotely controlled aircraft but Parliament had to ratify them before taking effect. Approval 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.

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The Committee on Delegated Legislation pointed out that there was insufficient public participation in drafting the regulations, in violation of the Constitution.

It also felt that 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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