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Over 250 drones held at Entebbe Airport

Byadmin

Sep 26, 2019

An average of 4 drones enter the country every day. This was revealed by Mr. Armstrong Turyakira, the Ag. Manager customs at Entebbe international airport during the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) stakeholders’  sensitisation workshop on drones, which was held at Mestil hotel, Nsambya. According to statistics, 191 drones were cleared whereas 251 remain uncleared. “They are still held in the Customs store,” said Mr. Turyakira. He attributes this to limited public knowledge on clearance procedure, which could impact negatively on especially tourism.

UCAA stakeholders during a sensitisation workshop on drones which was held at Mestil hotel in Nsambya

On behalf of the UCAA Director General, the Director Air Navigation services Mr. Richard Ruhesi said, the workshop aimed at providing a forum for various government agencies involved in the regulation and authorisation of drones usage, to enlighten users on the dangers of importing drones without following proper procedure. “We also want to get feedback on how best to ensure utilisation of the new technology without causing harm t0 society,” Mr. Ruhesi added.

According to Mr. Ruhesi, the most challenging task is to monitor drones’ operations once authorised to be used. “These regulations aim to address and protect the community from mid-air collision of drones with aircraft. Drones should therefore, be operated in such a manner as to minimise hazards to persons, property or other aircraft,” explained the director Air navigation services.

According to Mr. Ronald Gidudu the Airworthiness inspector, there’s need to establish a constant information exchange between states, industry and other stakeholders. “Regulations have not yet been promulgated. They were not addressing all the significant operation monitoring concerns. ICAO has not yet issued annexes governing drone operations. ICAO issued a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) manual in 2017. States regulations on drones are  based on International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) annexes issued from time to time,” noted Mr. Gidudu, adding that Uganda in consultation with Stakeholders, is currently drafting its own annexes that will regulate drone usage and operations.

 

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