The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Thursday issued its first Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs)/Drones Operator’s Certificate (ROC) to Oando Plc.
Director General, NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, presented the certificate to the Oando management at the Aviation House in Lagos.
Usman noted that the organisation was pioneering the issuance of certificate to civil and private operators in the unmanned aircraft operations category.
“Oando Reservoir and Production Services Ltd. received the certificate having satisfied the requirements and found competent to secure the safe operation of the aircraft type Lockheed Martin’s SN 248-255.
“The certificate is for flights with the purpose of aerial work specifically Environmental Observation Monitoring and Protection,’’ he said.
The director general advised the company to ensure strict compliance with all the requirements covering the approval.
According to him, the company is expected to adhere to all operations specifications as contained in the approval document.
Usman alerted the company to expect some initial minor challenges as it was a new initiative, adding that the NCAA would, however, was ready to respond promptly to the challenges.
“Taking cognisance of the rapid pace in technological development, the RPAs regulatory framework is a work in progress.
“Hence, we shall continually engage the industry stakeholders to review the regulations when necessary,’’ he said.
Usman said the RPAs Operators Certificate would remain in force till June 15, 2019 and should be carried on site during authorised and approved operations.
He said the NCAA would continue to provide opportunities and level playing field for all prospective and existing operators in the aviation industry and its allied services.
The certificate was received on behalf of Oando led Anthony Sawyer, its General Manager, Operations.
Sawyer commended the NCAA team for their professionalism and diligence during the process of the certification, which he described as rigorous.
“Oando will definitely abide by all the conditions attached to the certificate especially with our pioneer status,’’ he said.
To qualify for the certificate, applicants are expected to go through five phases including pre-application stage, formal application, document evaluation, demonstration and inspection, and final certification.