The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has clarified that its new directive on the use of drones is influenced by this year’s general elections.
Per the new directive, drone users are to secure written permission from their respective District and Regional police stations before using the equipment.
“Not at all, there is nothing to do with the elections; this is a permanent additional directive that we have issued and it has nothing to do with the elections,” the Deputy Director General, Technical at the GCAA, Martey Boye Atoklo said Mr. Martey Atoklo however said the directive will foster strict regulation of drones in Ghana.
“We are not banning drones in Ghana like Japan and Dubai have done; we want to have control of the drones wherever they are being deployed.
That is why we are asking the users of the equipment to secure permission from the respective district and regional police stations.” A statement on the new directive said implementation takes effect on Monday, 5th December 2016.
Already, the GCAA has a licensing regime that makes it compulsory for all drones to be registered before use. Defaulters of this directive risk a 5 to 30 year jail term.
The Director General of the GCAA, Simon Allotey has also explained that it is imperative for the authority to maintain sanity in Ghana’s airspace to prevent loss of lives. According to him, drones cannot fly to 400 feet since helicopters fly at 500 feet.
In addition, the GCAA contends it is unlawful for drones to fly 10km from instrument airports and 5km from non-instrument airports.
Meanwhile As part of the new directive, personnel will not be allowed to act as an RPA observer without having proof of RPA observer document issued by a training organization approved by the authority.