By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, the body in charge of running the country’s aviation industry, has embarked on an exercise to register remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), popularly referred to as drones with effect from September this year.
The move according to the Director-General of the GCAA, Mr Simon Allotey, would enable the authority to be able to compile the number of drones in the country, noting that plans were underway to put operators into an association in the long term.
He emphasised the need for individuals and commercial operators to register with the authority for easy regulation, stating that per the new guidelines, a person will not be obliged to act as an RPA observer without having in his or her possession proof of RPA observer competency issued by a training organisation approved by the authority.
“No person shall be allowed to operate or import drones into the country without our approval,” he said.
Mr Allotey who was addressing a day’s workshop organised for stakeholders within the aviation industry in Accra reminded participants about the introduction of a new directive to regulate the operations of drones and which is meant to supplement the provisions of the Ghana Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, 2011, Legislative Instrument (LI) 2000.
Among some of the obligations under the new directives are that; Personnel will not be obliged to act as an RPA observer without having in his/ her possession proof of RPA observer competency issued by a training organization approved by the Authority.
Meanwhile some privileges and conditions included are; No person shall operate an RPAS without a license issued by the Authority. No RPAS pilot shall operate an RPAS except in accordance with the ratings, limitations or endorsements of their license. The exercise of the privileges granted by a remote pilot license shall depend on the validity of the license, the medical certificate and if applicable, of the ratings contained in the license and an RPAS piloting license shall be valid for a period of five (5) years, renewable every year upon proof of a valid medical certificate.