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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has banned the operation of all unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Nigeria’s airspace without authorisation from the Authority and the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA). Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper reports that this was revealed in a statement by Mr Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA.

According to the statement, the restrictions come as part of a move to improve safety following the proliferation of UAVs in the country.

“In recent times, RPA/UAV (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) are being deployed for commercial and recreational purposes in the country without adequate security clearance. Therefore with the preponderance of these operations, particularly in a non-segregated airspace, there has to be proactive safety guidelines. The development of the use of RPA nationwide has emerged with somewhat predictable safety concerns and security threats,” the statement reads.

The statement says that the NCAA decided to publish its own flight restriction guidelines, as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has yet to publish Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) on operation of civilian UAVs.

“Therefore, no government agency, organisation or an individual will launch an RPA/UAV in the Nigerian airspace for any purpose whatsoever without obtaining requisite permit from the NCAA and ONSA. The NCAA wishes to reiterate that all applicants and holders of permits to operate RPA/Drones must strictly be guided by safety guidelines. In addition, operators must ensure strict compliance with the conditions stipulated in their permits and the requirements of” Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations, the statement continued.