“Therefore, no government agency, organisation or an individual will launch an RPA/UAV (read: drone) in the Nigerian airspace for any purpose whatsoever without obtaining requisite permit from the NCAA and ONSA.”
What seems to be going on here (._. )? Okay, I’ll tell you. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, through Sam Adurogboye, their General Manager, Public Relations has released a statement banning the unauthorised (take note of this word because we’ll come back to it later) flying of drones in the Nigerian Airspace. Let’s hear more nuggets of wisdom from the horse’s mouth.
“In recent times, RPA/UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are being deployed for commercial and recreational purposes in the country without adequate security clearance,” he said in the press statement, “The development of the use of RPA nationwide has emerged with somewhat predictable safety concerns and security threats. Therefore with the preponderance of these operations, particularly in a non-segregated airspace, there has to be a proactive safety guidelines [sic].”
While some form of regulation is necessary to stop some oafs from flying UAVs at Airports and other sensitive locations, it makes no sense to issue a blanket ban for nascent technology. Especially since there’s a lot of good that can come from the democratisation of drones. Off the top of my head, there’s traffic monitoring, logistics, recreation, agriculture, photography, event coverage amongst others. So, I can’t understand why anyone would want to stifle experimentation under the pretext of security
It’s almost as irrational as banning the use of phones across an entire University because one person’s phone rang while the Chancellor was speaking. Just saying.
I wouldn’t be too bothered if the NCAA specified clear, nuanced criteria you needed to meet before being issued a license, and specific locations where drone flying is prohibited and publicised those. Instead, while the USA’s Federal Aviation Authority is aggressively cutting back on restrictive regulation, to allow students operate drones for research purposes, Nigeria is going in the opposite direction. I’m done.
Step 1: Ban something. Anything. Step 2: Introduce some form of license. Step 3: make the process for obtaining said license as ambiguous as possible. Step 4: Sit back and enjoy the system you’ve created because corrupt individuals will start to sell access to said license to anyone who will buy – including the very criminals you claim to be stopping in the first place.
Make of that, what you will. 🙂
Me, I’m just sad that our filmmakers in Nollywood won’t be able to get those much-coveted *coughs* Fifty *coughs* drone shots of the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge without getting “authorised” by the Office of the National Security Adviser.