Unregistered drone operators to be arrested in Tanzania
You can now be jailed for flying an unregistered drone in Tanzania.
The government, through the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) had twice extended the registration deadline day, from December 2019 to August 23 this year, and then by another week to last Friday, August 28, with the authority issuing a final warning for drone owners and operators to register their unmanned vehicles.
“The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) urges drone owners to ensure that these flights should be Registered by August 28th, 2020,” read the TCAA statement last week. “After this statement, anybody who violates the order will be subjected to severe legal action. The authority in conjunction with the police force have set up a special task force that will oversee the implementation of the regulations.”
Yesterday, the TCAA released another statement, which confirmed the passing of the final deadline, and promised to make good its decree that anybody caught flying an unregistered drone would now be liable to arrest and to a fine equivalent to $431, or a six-month jail term.
Thirty-one drone operators had heeded the law since the first call to register drones was made in September last year. By the end of deadline day last Friday, an additional 34 applicants had scrambled to comply, and fall in line with the requirements of the country’s 2018 Civil Aviation (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) Regulations that require all unmanned aerial vehicles to be registered before they are put to use.
The TCAA Director General Hamza Johari told local press that the 34 applicants to succeed in forwarding through their applications for further processing were among hundreds of hopeful drone owners and operators whose applications had to be turned down because their documentation was no in order.
In yesterday’s statement, the TCAA reiterated that successful applications had to satisfactorily fill out the registration documents from the aviation authority, supply all the accompanying requisite documentation, pass a security vetting process and pay the once-off registration fee of $100 (annual renewal is still required, though at no further cost).
The latest statement further requires that henceforth, all drone operators have to seek permission with the aviation and police authorities first before embarking on drone missions; stating the date, time, place and nature of work they will be engaged in.
If you are in Tanzania and need to dash and register your drone, you can do so at the TCAA offices in the capital Dar es Salaam or regional offices in Arusha, Dodoma, Iringa, Mwanza, Mtwara, Mbeya, Kilimanjaro, Kigoma, Tabora, Tanga, Unguja and Pemba.