When in Namibia…
Of course, you have to do what the Namibians do.
The Namibian Drone Academy has shared some very useful information about tourists wishing to fly drones while visiting Namibia. We understand it might be tempting to test the patience of local authorities while on holiday or on foreign business assignments, but adhering to rules won’t do you bad at all.
And knowing how sensitive getting a drone in the air is for most countries, visitors are better advised to understand unmanned aviation laws of the countries they are touring.
The Namibian Drone Academy is an Approved Training Organisation (ATO) that offers different remote pilot training and can also assists drone users in their applications to their authorities for various drone operations.
The academy has helped many overseas tourists and companies with their drone needs since their inception.
We hope you find their advice valuable.
According to Namibia’s national aviation authority, Namibia Civil Aviation (NCAA), flying a drone is legal in Namibia; but before flying, we feel it is important that everybody is aware of and compliant with the drone regulations listed below.
Special Travel Considerations
If you’re traveling to Namibia and want to bring your drone, the NCAA has some special considerations for foreigners who want to fly drones while in the country:
To register a private drone, one has to fork out N$300 (about US$20), and N$4500 (about US$300) for a commercial drone.
To fly a drone in Namibia as a foreigner for recreational purposes, you must obtain approval from the NCAA. Foreigners must submit applications for approval to fly recreationally and must be submitted at least 15 days prior to the planned flight.
You can earn more about how to apply for approval by the NCAA on their website.
To fly a drone in Namibia as a foreigner for commercial purposes, you must also obtain approval from the NCAA. Foreigners must submit applications for approval to fly commercially at least 30 days prior to the planned flight. Do not forget to contact the Film Commission of Namibia and, where applicable, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Namibia (MEFT).
General Rules for Flying a Drone in Namibia
Since 27th of March 2020, Namibia has new regulations regarding drone flying in Namibia. The NCAA has added a new directive for RPAS which became active from the 1st of May 2022. Both documents can also be found on the website of NCAA.
Basically, there are will find 3 categories for flying in Namibia; and it is good to understand them before one takes off:
- Category I: Pure recreational and only on private property
- Category II: Research, tourists and sport events. As a tourist you will fall in this category. An application needs to be done. You can download all forms at the website of NCAA
- Category III: Commercial drone flying. You will need to be a licensed RPAS pilot. Foreign licences can be presented to NCAA for conversion when accepted by NCAA.
You can also find a classification based on weight of your drone. Please consult NAMCARS Part 101 at the website of NCAA.
Here are the most important rules to know for flying a standard multicopter in Namibia for tourism purposes:
- Do not fly drones higher than 150 feet and further than 500m (VLOS)
- Do not fly drones within a published controlled zone, air traffic zone, or air traffic area.
- Do not fly in a National Park or sensitive area such as army bases, or embassies
- Do not fly closer than 50m from a public road
- Do not fly drones closer than five nautical miles from the boundary of an aerodrome.
- You can only fly your drone in VFR conditions
- Make sure you always have permission of the landowner to fly your drone on her/his premises
- You will need consent of people when you fly & record
- Never fly over a crowd of people
Recently, BVLOS and E-VLOS drone operations have also been defined by NCAA. Inform yourself when flying during such operations.
Another important fact to know is that third-party liability insurance is required before operating a drone in Namibia.
In conclusion, we recommend that you inform yourself before flying drones in Namibia. Start your application procedure in time. All forms can be found on the aviation regulator’s website.
We wish you all a safe flight and amazing pictures or footage taken with your drone!