Remember this article where Techspaceke reported that Kenya had finally legalized the ownership and flying of drones in the country? I got a lot of questions about how much it’d cost to own and operate them. We now have all the information.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) now has the go-ahead to operationalize the Civil Aviation (Regulatory Fees and Charges for Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2020 after they were acceded to by the National Assembly on 6 March 2021.
The approval of the regulations paves the way for full implementation of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) regulatory framework in Kenya. These charges are a reduction from the revoked rates under the Kenya Civil Aviation (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2017. Under the new cost structure, Kenyans and entities wishing to own and operate Unmanned Aircraft Systems popularly known as drones will now pay a Ksh3,000 registration fee.
Here is a breakdown of the charges for owning a UAS.
- Sh3,000 to register a drone down from Sh6,000.
- Sh2,000 to get a certificate of registration down from 10,000.
- Sh100,000 and Sh5000 to get a Remote Air Operator Certificate (ROC) and renew one respectively.
- Sh5,000 for the addition of a UAS (drone) under the certificate
- Sh 20,00 for the inclusion of a new UAS type
Kenyans who already own drones are encouraged to apply to the KCAA for registration and approval.
“Innovation in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) has been accelerating at such an exponential rate. The capabilities of this technology are limitless – from the positives such as filming movies, documentaries, sports, weddings and delivering medicines.” Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Director-General, Capt. Gilbert M. Kibe said.
Individuals or entities that have already imported drones are encouraged to apply to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority for registration and approval to lawfully engage in safe and secure drone operations of all types which could include precision agriculture, wildlife management, an inspection of the power grid, building, dams, solar inspection, research, crop spraying and data collection, forest management, road traffic monitoring, and surveillance and aerial mapping.
The Civil Aviation (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2020 categorizes drones based on the risks posed by their operations, from low risks to high risks under categories, A, B, and C. The purpose of the UAS, and risk to public safety and security form the basis for consideration by the Authority in registering, issuing approvals, and authorizations for operations.
In an era where the privacy of persons and property is an important issue, the regulations have made provisions that ensure such discretion is respected as provided in the constitution and other national laws. Additionally, KCAA will be undertaking public sensitization on the application and implication of the regulations.