Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Musa Nuhu, has said there is a need to establish a strong regulatory framework for the deployment of drones to ensure safety and security.
He made this known during his presentation, ‘Drone Essence, Growth, and Regulations in Nigeria’ at the Airport Business Summit on Cargo & Aero Logistics and Drone Technology Expo, in Lagos on Wednesday.
Nuhu added 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 wrongly deploying drones.
The NCAA boss explained that 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 now used to monitor climate change, goods delivery, search-and-rescue operations, filming agricultural surveillance, etc.
“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.
“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 boss, safety is key to Nigeria’s airspace system.
Nuhu added, “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.”