The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority releases cost of operating a drone in Kenya

After being marred by controversy, Kenya ultimately allowed private entities to own and operate drones in its airspace. This comes after the government had initially outlawed the use of drones in the country owing to the insecurity aspect attached to the unmanned air crafts. Drones technology has been deployed worldwide in aiding to combat situations that normally would be impossible to tackle such as emergency situations but the increase of unregulated crafts in the airspace has been linked to various mishaps resulting in accidents.

Areas that drones can be used in Kenya

There are several areas that drone technology can be used to effectively tackle than relying on traditional methods. These include use of drones in the agricultural sector to tackle infestations such as locust infestation that Kenya is currently fighting.

Secondly, the use of drones in the photography industry has become popular with the ability to shoot aerial photos from any angle. Photography has evolved to the extend of involving drones to take those aerial shots during special functions such as weddings, funerals, fundraising and many more.

Although the use of drones to make retail deliveries is happening elsewhere in the world, it’s an area that Kenya hasn’t matured enough but there are a few firms that are aspiring in just doing that.

After the government allowed use of drones in the country, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has gone ahead and announced the costs for drone operations in the country. The draft fee structure details the amount you’ll be expected to part with in terms of importation, registration, airworthiness certificate and training your organization for use of drones.

Requirements for registering drones in Kenya

For a start, all unmanned drones must be identifiable, meaning they’ll all need to be registered at some point as Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The authority will then provide a certificate of registration. Only Kenyan citizens above 18 years and corporate bodies or national government/county government members can register drones.

From the draft regulations, drones have been grouped into different categories from A-C depending on the risk levels, and each of them have specific rules and regulations that have been laid out to guide operations.

These regulations apply to any persons who import, export, test, own, operate, procure, assemble, manufacture, modify or maintain drones in Kenya or intend to do so. The regulations also apply to use, registration and storage of drones in the country.

If the current draft proposals are adopted, you’ll pay as below to operate a drone in the country;

ItemFees (Kenya Shillings)
Certificate of Registration Issuance2,000
Remote Air Operator Certificate (ROC)100,000 renewal fees 5,000
UAS (drone) under the certificate5,000 new UAS Type 20,000
Change of ownership2,500
Amendment of the Certificate of Registration4,000
Issuance of a temporary permit10,000

Basically, you’ll need close to Ksh125,000 to be allowed to own and operate a drone in Kenya.


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