Jan 4, 2018

Guidelines And Requirements For Drone Use In Nigeria | Toju Dottie

I recently was asked if there are guidelines/ licenses for operating drones for commercial purposes in Nigeria, If yes, what are they and the requirements needed to obtain a such license?

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) issued a statement prohibiting the launch of remotely piloted aircraft (known as 'drones') in the Nigerian airspace without a permit from the NCAA and the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA). The NCAA stated that the move was part of the safety guidelines issued by the regulatory agency to drone operators.

NCAA guidelines and requirements
To qualify for the issuance of certificate, applicants are expected to undergo five phases. These are as follows, Pre-Application, Formal Application, Document Evaluation, Demonstration & Inspection and Certification phases.

An application for grant of a permit for aerial aviation services (PAAS) must be made in writing to the director general of the NCAA. The application should be signed by a person duly authorised by the applicant and submitted on or before a date no less than six months before the expected date of use of the PAAS.

Required Information:
The application for the grant of a PAAS must contain the following particulars:

1.     name and address of the applicant;

2.     type of air services to be provided;

3.     proposed operational base of the applicant;

4.     details of proposed routes to be operated, where applicable;
5.     the number and types of proposed aircraft to be used; and the time and frequency of the services.

6.     The following supporting documents are required for processing the application:
a.     four copies of the certified true copy of the company's certificate of incorporation;

b.    four copies of the certified true copy of

-         the memorandum and articles of association;
-         the particulars of the directors of the company (Form CAC 7); and
-         the statement of share capital/return of allotment (Form CAC 2) with minimum paid-up share capital of N20 million; at least one member of the board of directors must be an aviation professional and the majority shareholding must be held by Nigerian(s);

c.      four copies of the current tax clearance certificates of the company and each director (the originals should also be submitted for sighting);

d.    four copies of a detailed business plan of the operation indicating, among other things:

e.     the company's vision, mission, market analysis and strategy; and

f.       the company's ownership structure, personnel plan, fleet acquisition plan, financial plan including source of finance, balance sheet, break-even analysis, pro forma income projections (profit and loss statements), cash flow analysis and charter rates for passengers or cargo; and

g.    other standard business plan requirements showing detailed roadmap of how the applicant intends to provide efficient services;

h.    evidence of the applicant's solvency to undertake the business;

i.       duly completed application forms;

j.        duly completed personal history statement (PHS) forms and two passport photographs for each shareholder of the company with more than a 5% equity shareholding (the PHS forms are to be completed at the ONSA headquarters in Abuja); and

k.    a N500,000 non-refundable processing fee.

Please bear in mind that on receipt of the application, the NCAA may request additional information from the applicant as necessary. The outcome of the technical evaluation of the application, accompanied by an appropriate recommendation, will be forwarded to the Air Transport Licensing Committee for consideration and approval of issuance of a licence or otherwise as soon as the security clearance or comment has been received from the ministry. The NCAA will refuse to grant a licence if the applicant is not cleared by the State Security Services' Office. Licences not used when their three-year validity period expires will not be renewed.

A PAAS is valid for three years. Upon receipt of a PAAS, an annual use fee of N100,000 must be paid to the NCAA.

Oando Reservoir and Production Services Ltd. received the certificate having satisfied the requirements and found competent to secure the safe operation of the Aircraft type Lockheed Martins SN 248-255. The certificate is for flights with the purpose of aerial work specifically Environmental Observation Monitoring and Protection. 

In researching, I observed from the NCAA website that there is no distinction in guidelines between commercial use and recreational use . Possibly these guidelines apply to recreational use of drones in Nigeria; however I have seen movie producers and photographers make use of this equipment and I doubt that they have gone through this rigorous hurdle to obtain a license.

DISCLAIMER: Recourse should be made to the writer or the NCAA for further clarification or information on the matter.

Toju Dottie
Senior Associate & Consultant
George Ikoli & Okagbue

Source : Linkedin 
Photo credit - www.dronelife.com