Operating A Drone in Kenya – Licensing, Importation and All The Costs Involved


Operating a drone in Kenya is a touchy topic seeiazng as there are many rules and regulations when it comes to importation, licensing and operation. For this article, we spoke to a drones expert, Mr Craig Cliff, CEO of KenDrone and a KCAA representative who helped us understand better the entire situation.

Operating a Drone in Kenya

Drones in Kenya are no longer a new subject and many people are getting into the industry. Some with all the information and others with little to no clue about how it all works. Well, it can be an amazing experience or a jail term waiting to happen. Let’s keep you away from the latter.

Assuming you have bought a drone, here are the steps to follow to make sure you do note break any rules.

  1. If you buy your drone from out of the country, you have to notify the KCAA of the drone you want to buy and obtain an import permit.
  2. After this you register your drone
  3. Seek authorisation from the civil aviation authority. They will then asses the risks and then you will be allowed to use the drone.
License fees and importation rules when buying a drone in Kenya

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), now have to be registered with the KCAA and a certificate issued. This is simply because the regulations state that drones should be identifiable.

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The draft charges for owning a UAS have may soon be amended and this is what it might cost you to own a drone in Kenya

  1. Import Permit: KES 3000
  2. Registration: KES 3,000
  3. For private activities i.e pictures of your family: KES 2000
  4. For Commercial Use i.e weddings and survey: KES 2500 per event
Foreigners coming with their drones to Kenya

In the Aviation world, an Aircraft has a nationality already. So if you are bringing in your drone to Kenya, you do not need to register it again.

As the regulations state, there is a temporary permit given to you when you come into the country. The same way you can preapply for a Visa, you can go online and apply for certification and clearance for your drone.

Toy drones

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, they try and steer away from the term toy drone. To them, they would rather focus mainly on the use of the drone. They put the use into three categories. A, B & C with A having low risks and C having higher risks.

So those in category A, with low risk are least likely to come into issues with the government and more likely to be considered as toy drones.

There is a lot more information on drones, flying classes and regulations on our podcast, Anti-Social. Take a listen and feel free to ask any more questions

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