You risk 12 months in prison if you fly drones, Gov’t warns

FILE - The Inspire 1, a drone manufactured by DJI, is flown in Davenport, Calif., March 10, 2015.
FILE - The Inspire 1, a drone manufactured by DJI, is flown in Davenport, Calif., March 10, 2015.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has reiterated that use of unmarked aircraft systems known as ‘drones’ is prohibited.

In a notice published in a local daily, the aviation regulator cited a legal notice 76 signed in March 26, 2019 on the prohibition of drones.

”…includes operation of such drones by the public for video coverage, film making, surveillance, and any other interference with Kenyan airspace,” the notice signed by KCAA Director General Captain Gilbert Kibe reads.

A person found guilty of going against this law faces jail term of not more than 12 months or a fine not exceeding Ksh. 100,000 or both.

Unmanned State aircrafts, drones owned and operated by the government are however not affected by these regulations.

The law is part of the Civil Aviation Act of 2013 which states that unmanned aircraft are not allowed to operate either on land or Kenya’s territorial waters.

KCAA however clarified that the prohibition of drones may be reviewed once regulations for their operations are put in place under section 2 of the Aviation Act of 2013.

In Rwanda, unmanned aircrafts –Zipline–are used to deliver blood supplies to hospitals around the country.

”Zipline launches drones into the air, and once they get to their destination, they descend to a height of 30ft and drop the package, which floats gently to the ground with the help of a paper parachute,” BBC reported earlier this year.

Other African countries have also adopted drone usage for commercial/private ventures such as precision agriculture and film making, a move that has made a positive impact on their final product.

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Story By Duncan Mutwiri
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