Aviation regulator to toughen rules for drone users and other unmanned aircraft systems
Drone operators will be banned from using imaging devices to conduct surveillance on or take an image of a person without written consent, if Parliament approves new regulations.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) wants Parliament to approve tough rules on the use of drones and other unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the country.
The proposed rules were tabled in Parliament by Leader of Majority Aden Duale.
“A UAS operator or owner shall not use a UAS equipped with an imaging device to record in violation of such persons reasonable expectation of privacy without his or her written consent,” the rules state.
Under the Civil Aviation (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2019, a person is presumed to have a reasonable expectation of privacy on his or her property if he or she is not observable by persons located at ground level in a place where they have a legal right to be, regardless of whether he or she is observable from the air with the use of UAS.
The new regulations, however, provides that a UAS equipped with an imaging device may, with the approval of KCAA, be used for the purposes of mapping and evaluating the earth’s surface, including terrain and surface water bodies and other features and investigation of forests and forest management.
It may also be used in search and rescue and investigation of vegetation and wildlife. The rules compels the owner or operator of a drone to comply with any other law relating to protection of privacy or data
Those who contravene any part of the new rules risks a fine not exceeding Sh2 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.