Kenya has finally legalized the ownership and flying of drones in the country. With the new Civil Aviation (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations Act of 2019, Kenyans can now buy drones and use them for both commercial and recreational purposes. Previously, it was ‘technically’ illegal for anyone but the military to have a drone in the country.
I say technically because as owning a drone in the country was not illegal, it was a privilege, only the elite had been given the rights to own drones in the country, paying hefty prices to get permits while upcoming creatives faced jail time for even thinking about owning drones. Until late 2019, flying a drone was punishable by a prison sentence of up to 12 months in the country.
The new act has now made it possible for any Kenyan citizen who is above the age of eighteen a UAS. A Kenyan resident or a locally registered company is also legible to own a drone in the country.
To own a drone, Kenyans will still need a permit, which is to be issued by the Authority. same as importation. The Authority shall issue a certificate of registration and establish a database that’ll be used for the identification of drones and their respective owners.
It is still illegal for civilians to own, register, or operate a drone with military specifications.
This is a good beginning to loosening the tight squeeze on young creatives’ necks. In a country riddled with unemployment and redundancies, an act such as this one will go a long way in the battle to secure the bag, young people will have a place to seek refuge by creating their own jobs in this already growing ‘smart’ era.