The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority NCAA says, it is ready to support stakeholders in the use and growth of drones in the country and ensure safety and security is accorded priority.
The Director General, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu who stated this in his paper entitled “Drone Essence, Growth and Regulations in Nigeria”, at the ongoing Airport Business Summit in Lagos said, regulations were underway to create a level playing field for operators that would address security approvals and registration of drones, owners and operators.
Others are operational certification and approval, air worthiness approval, economic authorization, licensing of pilots and other personnel and privacy issues.
In many climes, the use of drone is very common.
With its vast use of goods delivery, filming, search and rescue operations amongst others, it could also be deployed to harm national security.
To this end, it has become expedient to regulate its use.
The Director General Nigeria, Civil Aviation Authority NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu says, the regulatory agency had gone far in the drafting of the drone regulations in the country and currently in final draft stage.
Captain Nuhu represented by the Director, Airworthiness, Mr. Kayode Ajiboye said, the regulations have 20 parts, adding that their greatest challenge was on how to address matters of security and piracy.
He stressed that, drone use was a new area for them and the NCAA do not have the final say on this matter.
“Security issues, piracy issues these are areas we do not have the final say, we try to ensure that the appropriate organs of government assign the role that they need to play if we want to have a secured and safe operations”
Captain Nuhu also stressed that there was need to mitigate risks to national security and public safety posed by people who were not playing by the rules.
He assured that the current legal framework and collaboration with operators, stakeholders and Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA would provide a robust structure and system for drone operations and its structured growth in Nigeria.
The Commissioner Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Mr. Akin Olateru said, the use of drones can help in detecting an aircraft black boxes in the event of an accident.
He disclosed that the Federal Government had acquired two Hi-Tech drones to facilitate accident investigation.
“We have gotten it, we need all the approvals and the licenses and once that is done, our plan is to have one drone par location”
Rector, Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, NCAT Zaria, Captain Modibbo Mahmud said, inclusion of drone studies would bring about future inventions and open up more opportunities in the sector.
“That will enable students to be equipped with practical knowledge to partake in future inventions and control”
Delegates also stated that the growth opportunities in the drone services and software segment were huge for Nigeria but great planning and development of the market were required.