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Rwanda Rules and Regulations

georgeannandale

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1.

What is an RPAS?

A remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) is an aircraft that is operated with no pilot on board. An RPAS, or drone as it is commonly known, is one part of a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS), which includes other associated components, such as the remote control equipment.

2.

Are toy aircraft considered as RPAS (drones)?

No.

3.

What are the acceptable uses of RPAS?

The following are the accepted uses RPAS:

(a) Aerial photography/Filming;

(b) Agriculture for crop monitoring/inspection;

(c) Search and rescue or delivery of emergency supplies;

(d) Research and development;

(e) Educational/academic uses; and

(f) Recreational/Leisure.

4.

Do I need a permit to fly an RPA in Rwanda?

Yes. You need a permit if you want to fly an RPAS outdoors.

5.

What are the different types of permits?

(a) RPAS Activity Permit

An RPAS Activity Permit is granted by RCAA to an applicant for a single activity or a block of repeated activities to be carried out at a specific area of operation, and which are of specific operational profiles and conditions. The permit is valid for the period of activity.

(b) RPAS Operator Certificate

An RPAS Operator Certificate is granted by RCAA to an applicant if the applicant is able to ensure safe operation of RPA, taking into account the applicant's organisational set-up, competency of the personnel especially those flying the RPA, procedures to manage safety including the conduct of safety risk assessments, and the airworthiness of each of the aircraft. The certificate is valid for up to one year.

(c) Other Permits

Other permits may be required from various agencies for certain aspects of the RPAS operation that come under their purview, such as Rwanda National Police (RNP) or Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) for aerial photography and/or overflight of security-sensitive locations, or Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) for the use of radio frequencies.

6.

How do I apply for a permit to fly an RPA?

RCAA is the one-stop for the application of all permits for RPAS operations.

RCAA will process and coordinate with other relevant agencies on the evaluation of applications for any permit, and respond to the applicants on the outcome of their application. Application for RPAS operating certificate or permit is made on Form RCAA-Form-RPAS002 obtained from RCAA Office or downloaded from RCAA website: www.caa.gov.rw.

7.

How long is the permit application processing time?

Applicants are encouraged to submit their application well in advance of the date of their RPAS activity.

(a) RPAS Activity Permit

The expected processing time for an application is at least 2 to 4 weeks for an Activity Permits, although straightforward cases or applications for RPAS Activity Permits may take a shorter time, presuming that the documents are received in good order. The processing time includes time required for assessment of submitted documents and coordination with other competent security agencies for security vetting prior to permit issuance.

(b) RPAS Operator Certificate

The expected processing time for an application is at least 2 months for RPAS Operator Certificates. Applications for an RPAS Operator Certificate require a more in-depth evaluation by RCAA and/or other agencies, or further discussions with the applicant. RCAA will process and coordinate with other relevant agencies such as Ministry of Internal Security (Rwanda National Police), Ministry of Defense and Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), where applicable. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

8.

How do I know if my application has been approved?

RCAA will notify the applicants on the outcome of their application for any permit or certificate.
 
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