Aviation expert backs drones use in Nigerian Airspace

An Aviation Expert, Captain Lukman Jaiyeola has thrown his weight behind new policy by the Federal Government for deployment of drones into the Nigerian airspace.

This is coming as the Federal Government plans to use Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in Nigerian airspace for security purposes.

Speaking during an Interview with Pilot Aviation on Friday, he said updated mappings, effective surveying and usage of drones would not only ensure security, but would also resolve encroachment of the airspace by unwanted elements.

Jaiyeola, who is the CEO of Copterjet International LTD, stressed that Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) have sparked excitement among manufacturers.

He said “The potential is attracting some of the best minds in technology and manufacturers and the device is creating more jobs in the aviation sector.”

According to him, “It was in the news that suppliers of Boko Haram foods and weapons use helicopters sometimes, therefore whether this is true or false drones usage will send alert to the airspace managers.”

He called on government to partner with wide range of stakeholders to move the country aviation to world standard.

The expert however stressed that his company is into ramp services like aircraft ground handling, cargo management, baggage handling and aircraft towing among others

Meanwhile, Mr Dele Sesegbon, the Director of General Aviation, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has said the agency is determined to regulate the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in Nigerian airspace.

He told journalists on Saturday in Abuja that NCAA had a proposed regulation already to drive both commercial and private RPAS operation commonly known as drones and unmanned aircraft.

The director said the authority was also currently working with Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to integrate unmanned aircraft in the country into the airspace.

According to him, it is such a big challenge and NCAA wants to make sure that it succeeds.

“The regulation is ready. The integration of the unmanned aircraft into the airspace system has to be done seamlessly and we have to do it.

“Basically, what we have done so far is to get the country’s Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) involved, which is NAMA.

“NAMA will get involved and then bring those unmanned aircraft into the airspace system.”

Sesegbon said the authority had worked hard over the years to make manned operation in Nigeria’s airspace as safe as possible, adding that the manned and unmanned aircraft were two different systems.


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