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KCAA’s revised drones rules set for Parliament

drones
Plan to roll out use of drones in Kenya at advanced stage. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) will present draft regulations on drones to Parliament next month in its second attempt to have them approved by the August House.

KCAA director-general Gilbert Kibe said they are currently compiling views presented by the public in last week’s forum by stakeholders.

“We are compiling the views from the public and after we are done with that we shall present them to the parliamentary Committee on Delegated Legislation for approval,” said Mr Kibe, expressing optimism that they will be approved this time round.

He said after the approval by parliament, the regulations will then be forwarded to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport before being promulgated, paving the way for commercialisation of drones in the country.

Currently it is illegal for anyone to operate drone in the country.

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Hundreds of drones have been confiscated at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after being imported at the time when there is no legal framework for such gadgets in the country.

Stakeholders have complained that it has taken too long for the regulations to be adopted, saying the move has hurt some of them who were ready to start using the equipment locally for different activities.

“We have been waiting for too long and it is time that these regulations are ratified by Parliament to pave way for use of drones in Kenya,” said Sanjeev Gadhia, chief executive officer of Astral Aviation, which is starting a drone company in the country.

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

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 inadequate 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.

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