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Drone Regulations: NCAA in the final draft stage says security is a major challenge

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Picture: NCAA Directors, Commissioner AIB and others at the AIB stand at the ABSE

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority NCAA has disclosed that it is in the final draft stage of the Regulations in the use of drones and Remotely Piloted Aerial System, RPAS in Nigeria.

This is just as the industry’s regulator says, their headache regarding the draft is on matters of security and has no final say.

Speaking at the Airport Business Summit Expo, the Director General NCAA Capt. Musa Nuhu represented by the Director Airworthiness, Kayode Ajiboye said, there were safety, security and technological challenges that needed to be addressed for seamless use of the unmanned Aerial vehicle.

According to him, the upcoming regulations would create a level playing field and address issues like registration, security approvals, operational certification, Airworthiness, licensing of personnel, economic authorization and privacy.

Capt. Nuhu noted that when the final draft is completed, there would be a stakeholders engagement to garner their inputs to the draft and an advisory circular on guidance had been sent to respective operators on how to get certificated.

On security, he stressed that there was need  to mitigate risks to national security and public safety posed by people who are not playing by the rules.
” We must ensure that the Nigerian Airspace remains safe and that the benefits of UAV operations is well understood and we’ll implemented”.

He added that, they have no doubt that the current legal framework and collaboration with operators, stakeholders and Office of the National Security Adviser ONSA would provide a robust structure and system for the regulation of drone operation and its structured growth growth in Nigeria.

Capt. Nuhu observed that, UAVs were not yet robust enough especially for all weather operations and collision avoidance especially with helicopters, Aerial work operators were also issues of concern.

“Required data-network for operations of out of line of sight is still being worked and integration into the ATM system has not yet been fully achieved”.

He said, the drone technology was an exciting development and Nigeria can benefit from its speed and ability to reach hard-to-reach areas which would provide a viable platform for end users.

“Presently, this potential is attracting some of the best minds in technology and manufacturing and the devices they are creating have limitless uses, opening up new possibilities for companies or professionals who want to use it for various business ventures”.

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