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The Ultimate Guide to Kenya (Nairobi) Drone Laws & Rules 2020

Updated: Apr 13

🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all law links and known rules about recreational and commercial drone use in Kenya (Nairobi). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in the Kenya Drone Discussion Group . Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.


Recreational vs Commercial drone use in Kenya


Kenya differentiates commercial & recreational drone uses. However, both are subject to restrictions & a strict code of conduct. Additionally, depending on your drone's weight & your destination within the country, different rules will apply.


✅ In Kenya, drone laws falls under the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) & they can be contacted anytime via:

🚨 Note that to be eligible to fly a drone in Kenya you need to be one or either:

  • at least 18 years young

  • be a Kenyan citizen or resident

  • or a registered Kenyan company/institution

✅ Kenya will differentiate your drone based on its weight & identifies 3 classes:

  • below 5 kg (cat 1)

  • between 5 kg & 25 kg (cat 2)

  • above 25 kg (cat 3)

✅ Kenya will differentiate your drone based on what purposes you fly it for

  • Private Use: Recreational/Sport (cat A)

  • Private Use: Other (cat B)

  • Commercial (cat C)


Can I bring my drone to Kenya?


🚨 Currently, you need an import permit from the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority to bring your drone within Kenya or at Nairobi Airport. To obtain it, you will need to complete this form & return it to the KCAA. You will potentially need an approval from the Ministry if considered as a defense risk.



🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.


💡 Smart! Get your drone batteries' firecase today and make sure you're complying with aviation safety rules.

Where can I fly my drone in Kenya?


✅ We did not find an official fly zone map for drones in Kenya "If you have more information about this, please share it in the Kenya Drone Discussion Group. Thankfully in the meantime, app.airmap.io has listed all flight zones in a convenient way.


Kenya drone fly map

Source: app.airmap.io

🚨 You should not fly above or near military installations & strategic infrastructure. Fly away from airports & any aerodromes or airports in the country. Do not fly over anyone and/or congested areas.


🚨 You should keep your drone within the country's border during a given flight; no international flights/border crossing is allowed.


🦅 National parks & reserves might be on a case by case permission & you might need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities.


💡 Smart! Pack some spare drone batteries, you never know how close is the next power plug overseas. Also make sure you have a travel adaptor for Kenya.

Recreational & Commercial Drone use in Kenya


✅ Good things first, you will not need a license for flying your drone in Kenya. However, you need make sure you have registered your drone & obtained a permit to take off in anywhere in the country.


Additionally, you must fly:

  • at a maximum altitude of 122 m (30 m in crowded or congested areas)

  • 50 m away from property, vehicles in movement, large crowds, people & respect individuals' privacy.

  • a drone not equipped with any recording device (no camera or microphone).

  • after a full check of your drone's capacity of flying (make sure nothing is wrong on it).

  • only one drone at a time & with an insurance covering your activities.

  • at least 10 km away from airports (any airport, seaplane base or area where aircraft or helicopter take off & land) & give way to all other type of aircraft.

  • only during permitting weather & within your sight at all times.

  • without carrying any person, animal or dangerous goods (chemical & biological substances; nuclear material; explosives; arms, ammunition and munitions of war; corrosive substances; radioactive elements; volatile liquids; highly flammable liquids & aerosol sprays).

  • away from areas where its use could interfere with police or first aid responders.

  • avoiding sensitive areas including government or military facilities.


🚨 If you intend to fly your drone for a commercial purpose (cat C), you should seek for more information around an Operator's license. Once obtained, this one is valid for 1 year.


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How to register my drone in Kenya?


🚨 To register a drone in Kenya, you will first need to be eligible which means being:

  • at least 18 years young

  • be a Kenyan citizen or resident

  • or a registered Kenyan company/institution


The process from the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority to register your drone in Kenya isn't clear on this part as it simply mentions you will need to register with them via this form but we are unsure it is to be sent. "If you have more information about this, please share it in the Kenya Drone Discussion Group".


🚨 If the ownership of the drone changes, you should notify relevant authorities with 7 days.


Commercial Drone Use in Kenya


Private citizens or companies intending to use drones for commercial applications must apply for a Remote Aircraft Operators Certificate (ROC) from the KCAA.


The regulations stating that “the issuance of a ROC by the Authority is dependent upon the UAS operator demonstrating an adequate organization, method of control and supervision of flight operations, training program as well as ground handling and maintenance arrangements consistent with the nature and extent of the operations specified and commensurate with the size, structure, and complexity of the organization.”

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What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Kenya?


The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such. Kenyan authorities however specified that offences could lead to criminal prosecutions & involve one or more of the following consequences:

  • a fine up to 17,500€

  • imprisonment up to 6 months time


Once you've got everything in order, you can start flying above Kenya's awesome landscapes and create videos like this one:


🎬 INSPIRING! Follow our aerial videos around the world on Youtube!


🌍 TRAVELLING FURTHER? Check out our Drone Rules World Map; country by country!

✅ Please leave a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in the Kenya! Have fun and safe flight! #kenya #kenyan #regulation #rule #rules #law #laws #legislation


💡 You're a local, have a question or want to share a travel experience? Head to our Kenya Drone Discussion Group


Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone regulations.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links meaning we will get a commission if you decide to purchase via them. This has no costs for you but helps Dronemade stay free for all. If you need to buy anything on Amazon or DJI stores, think of us.


Sources

Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority Website

THE CIVIL AVIATION (REMOTE PILOTED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS) REGULATIONS, 2017

KCAA_ASSR_RPA-001 - Application for RPA Importation_Registration- amended


Other resource

Kenya drone fly map

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