Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has banned the use of drones within the country, with a stern warning sent to violators who will be sentenced to one year in jail or risk fine of up to Sh100,000.
According to the KCAA General Director, Gilbert Kibe, the move was instituted through a notice which prohibited use of drones in Kenya in March by the Cabinet Secretary for Transport James Macharia.
The ban is also extended to unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which were banned in the country by Members of Parliament (MPs), who invalidated regulations that were meant to make the vehicles legal.
“The public is hereby reminded of this prohibition (use of UAVs), which shall apply to any person who imports, tests, operates … a remotely piloted aircraft (drones). The prohibition follows the annulment by Parliament of the regulations previously published by KCAA on March 21,” read the public Notice by Kibe.
The ban is expected to bring many businesses at a stand still including the ones that rely on drone based services on photography, video and even documentaries.
Use of drones have become a major photography milestone in Kenya, with weddings, and other huge functions relying on the same.
In 2017, the National Assembly invalidated the Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems Regulations, citing faults in different provisions.
For instance, the house committee in charge of the delegation noted that the regulations failed to meet the provisions of safety, security and personal privacy.
It was concluded by the committee delegation that regulations were unconstitutional since public participation was not involved in the formulation.
However, according to the KCAA Director General Kibe, new recommendations have been incorporated in a proposed draft detailing involvement of the public and parliament and it is only a matter of adoption before the ban is lifted.
There were complaints from stakeholders alluding that the regulations were taking a longer time to be adopted hence affecting different businesses.