Operators faults regulatory restrictions on commercial flights


Operators of unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones, have faulted regulatory restrictions by state agencies, describing the actions as unnecessary bottleneck to the growth of such technology in Nigeria.
The alleged restrictions, in the form of lengthy registration procedure, licensing and clearance hurdles before multiple agencies, have allegedly fettered potential operators from deploying drones for commercial operations.
The stakeholders, at the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Awareness Symposium in Lagos, at te weekend, however, appealed to concerned regulatory bodies like the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to harmonise the regulatory requirements to quicken the processes.
Colonel Kunle Owolabi of the ONSA earlier explained that drones, though a very useful technology was still new to Nigeria, and its approvals required a lot of caution on the part of the authorities.
Owolabi observed that the insurgents in the North-eastern part of the country had lately deployed drones, which further put security agencies on their toes, and the clampdown on drone operators without the end-user certificate.
The Director of General Aviation at the NCAA, Capt. Ayodele Sasegbon, said safety remains the top priority, and as many operators that apply and meet the conditions, would get the NCAA’s approval.
A drone operator in Austria, Capt. Adebiyi, said there was no basis for the current “over-regulation” of drones in Nigeria when other countries had liberalised its usage.
Adebiyi recalled that he got approval to fly drones in Austria within three days.at was lacking in Nigeria is the aggressive deployment of the control measures to check the bad guys.

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