The Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, said there was a need for strong regulatory framework for the deployment of drones to ensure safety and security.

Nuhu said this in his presentation themed, ‘Drone Essence, Growth and Regulations in Nigeria’ at the Airport Business Summit on Cargo&Aero Logistics and Drone Technology Expo, in Lagos on Wednesday.

He said the huge demand for drones and the pace of development of the market was incredibly fast, hence the need for regulation.

He said drones were originally developed for the military and airspace industries, but were now being used for monitoring climate change, goods delivery, search and rescue operations, filming agricultural surveillance and so on.

Nuhu said the NCAA and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) would synergise with the government and stakeholders to mitigate risks to national security and public safety, posed by people who were wrongly deploying drones.

“Drones can be referred to as the following; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs).

“Drones have a long and established history that dates back to centuries, but presently there is a paradigm shift.

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“Their original use was as a weapon in the form of remotely-guided aerial missile deployers. However, today, drones have found a wide range of applications for civilian use. Its essence can be described with one word ‘Versatility.’

“Currently, there is a huge demand for drones. The pace of development of the drone market, both recreational and commercial is incredibly fast,” Nuhu said.

According to the NCAA helmsman, there is need for regulation of this versatile technology and regulations will create a level playing field for RPAS/UAV operators.

“Safety is key to the Nigerian Airspace System. Our goal for unmanned aircraft remains complete and total integration of safety and security is a shared responsibility for stakeholders and UAV operators.

“We must ensure that the Nigerian Airspace remains safe and that the benefits of UAV operations are well understood and implemented.

“I have no doubt that the current legal framework and collaboration with operators, stakeholders and Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) will provide a robust structure and system for the regulation of drone operation and its structured growth in Nigeria,” Nuhu said.

(NAN)

Vanguard News Nigeria

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