UNLOCKING DRONE OPERATION IN ZAMBIA – KNOWING THE RULES
Are you aware that there are specific laws governing drone operations in Zambia?
With the growing use of drones by both individuals and companies, it is essential to understand the procedures for drone operations in Zambia. While flying drones for personal or commercial purposes is not prohibited, it is regulated in Zambia.
To ensure that drone operations are conducted safely and responsibly, individuals and companies in Zambia operating drones must familiarise themselves with the Zambia Civil Aviation Regulations Part 18. These regulations and guidelines pertain to Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and encompass aspects like inspection, importation, registration, and special authorisation for drone operations in Zambia.
Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) means a set of configurable elements consisting of a remotely piloted aircraft, its associated remote pilot station(s), the required command and control links and any other system elements as may be required at any point during flight operation.
Here is a breakdown of what you need to know to operate drones legally in Zambia:
- Zambia Civil Aviation Regulations Part 18 – These regulations, which can be downloaded from the Zambia Civil Aviation website, serve as the cornerstone of drone operations in Zambia.They provide comprehensive guidance on how to conduct drone operations while adhering to the law.
Required Documents from ZCAA (Zambia Civil Aviation Authority): If you intend to operate a drone in Zambia, you must ensure you have the following documents:
a. RPAS Operator Certificate: This certificate is essential for demonstrating your compliance with the regulations and your ability to operate drones safely.
b. Operator’s Pilot License: An operator’s pilot licence further confirms your competence to operate drones in Zambia.
c. Special Authorisation for RPAS with Foreign Registration: If you plan to operate a drone with foreign registration, you must obtain special authorisation to ensure compliance with Zambian regulations.
- Airspace Permit from Zambia Air Force: While the Zambia Civil Aviation Authority oversees many aspects of drone operations, the Zambia Air Force is primarily concerned with ensuring the security of drone activities. To this end, drone operators are required to apply for an airspace permit from the Zambia Air Force.
Here are the steps to follow:
Fill out the airspace application form, which is available through the Zambia Air Force.
a. Include an official letter explaining the purpose of your drone operations, particularly if they are for commercial purposes.
b. Provide a map indicating the specific area where the drone operations will take place.
c. Attach the RPAS operator certificate and operator’s pilot licence obtained from the Zambia Civil Aviation Authority.
d. Include any other necessary documents as requested during the application process.
By following these guidelines and ensuring compliance with the relevant regulations, drone operators in Zambia can carry out their activities safely and legally while contributing to various sectors, including agriculture, photography, surveillance, and more. Understanding and adhering to these rules not only ensures your compliance with the law but also promotes responsible drone use, safety, and security in Zambian airspace.
Note: Attached pictures are for illustration purposes only.
CREDIT: zambia Air Force Page