NCAA Receives Over 300 Applications for Drone Operations Certification in Nigeria

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says, it has recorded over 300 applications for the certification of drone operations in the country.

The applications for licences according to the NCAA were received through its newly launched registration portal.

The NCAA’s Assistant General Manager, Licensing and Umanned Aerial System representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Panel, Mrs Collette Onyeulo disclosed this during a tour of the UAS Integration Unit at the NCAA’s headquarter Annex in Lagos as part of activities at the 4th DroneTecx Conference and Exhibition held in Lagos.

She said, the CAA is better positioned and well equipped now to address all the expectations of requests from different users who wish to obtain licenses for drone operations.

The ICAO RPAS representative stressed the need for collaboration from the government to adequately support the NCAA to come up with a robust regulations, training and retraining of inspectors.

“We appeal that inspectors drawn from different departments be trained and retrained on this because this is not what we know; Even ICAO is still starting and learning on this. So we have presented that when we have a portal just as it is done in the US, the FAA, for recreational drones, the paperwork would be overwhelming”.

Also speaking, the NCAA Regional Manager, Lagos, Bukola Teriba  explained that the part 21 regulations document developed for the operations of drones is a right step in the right direction affirming that its regulations are important for the aviation industry.

She again underscored the need for adequate inspectors to effectively and efficiently cater to this new development.

For the DG himself he took the bull by the horns and answered the clarion calls from operators especially looking at the overwhelming applications that we have received over time.

“He must be strongly commended for setting up a dedicated desk to anchor all the UAS industry applications and requests. Another is the strong will to make work very well and function. The DG is still very supportive of the unit.”

She noted that, the NCAA’s vision is to aid and accelerate the country’s quest to control and coordinate the increasing numbers of the use of the drone technology in Nigeria.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole who declared opened the portal and inspected the facilities in his response to requests by staff of the unit, he said “I have heard all your requests and challenges. One of the take away from here which I will gladly impress on the minister is that you need training. Of course you need to bring it up for us to see how we can find resources to help you meet that”.

“Secondly, we need to leverage technology. Leveraging technology has many parts, simple application processes, simple approval and simple collaboration processes. For you to prevent non-state actors you need to identify who among them is not registered with you. So the local law enforcement will also have to come in.”

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