Local Drone Training School Receives Approval For Commercial Operations

drone space
Image courtesy Aerospace Technology

A local drone training school is eyeing a piece of the untapped aircraft business after receiving the licence for commercial operations from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

Drone Space, which only opened in Nairobi in December, aims at using its drones for various productive activities in the country. This includes videography, geo-mapping and online delivery services. This is definitely a move that is likely to bring up competition in the logistics sub-sector by leapfrogging infrastructure challenges.

“This landmark certification is a critical step in the use of drones to provide solutions to everyday challenges,” said Drone Space Chief Executive Officer Tony Mwangi. “Over the last five years, there has been significant demand for drone pilots and legal operations.”

The remote operator’s certificate granted to the institution now allows licensed pilots to carry out specified operations for commercial purposes.

“Flying a drone is legal in Kenya, however, commercial drone operations require a pilot to obtain a remote operator’s certificate from the Authority [KCAA],” Mr Mwangi noted.

Still A Long Process

This follows the recently approved laws of drone ownership in the country that allowed the KCAA to drop its regulatory fees all the way to KES 3,000. However, the process to legally own one in Kenya is still hectic as it involves:

  1. KES 3,000 to register (a 50% slash from the initial KES 6,000).
  2. KES 2,000 to get a certificate of registration (from the current Ksh10,000).
  3. Remote Air Operator Certificate (ROC) will be maintained at KES 100,000 and KES 5000 to renew.
  4. The addition of a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) under the certificate will cost KES 5,000 while including a new UAS type will cost KES 20,000.

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