🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all law links & known rules about recreational & commercial drone use in Nigeria (Abuja and Lagos). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to comment your experience or any updates in The Forum. 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 Nigeria
Nigeria differentiates a little commercial vs recreational drone uses. Both are subject to restrictions & a strict code of conduct. Additionally, depending on the weight of your drone, different rules will apply.
✅ In Nigeria, drone regulation falls under the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) & they can be contacted anytime via;
Phone: (+234) 127 904 21
Mail: NCAA House Murtala Mohammed Airport Ikeja – Lagos
✅ Nigeria differentiates 3 drone weight classes:
Small = below 25 kg
Light = between 25 kg & 150 kg
Aircraft = above 150 kg (needs to follow manned aviation rules)
Can I bring my drone to Nigeria?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Nigeria (Ljubljana) as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person) and that you have registered your drone prior landing in the country.
🚨 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.
Where can I fly my drone in Nigeria?
🚨 We did not find an official fly zone map for drones in Nigeria "If you have more information about this, please let us on the Forum know anytime". Thankfully, app.airmap.io has listed all flight zones in a convenient way showing that flying over the main cities and national parks is subject to restrictions and permits might be required.
Nigeria Drone Fly Map
🛬 No fly airspace operates up to 9.2 km around any airport. From then comes in place a controlled airspace which is represented with colours on the map.
🐘 Nigerian national parks might need a special authorisation on a case by case basis. These are often in place to keep wildlife safe and protect the animals from smugglers who could use drone to identify their next target 🌲 Here are some sites to check upon.
Recreational drone use in Nigeria
🚨 You will need to register your drone before flying for recreational use in Nigeria. Note that to be eligible, you will need to be at least 16 years old to fly a drone in Nigeria.
✅ In every category case, you will need:
fly at a maximum of 122 m altitude and always within sight or at a maximum horizontal distance of 500 m (whichever comes first).
you will need a third party insurance to operate your drone in Nigeria and a war insurance (this is copy/paste from the official text) if flying near the country's borders.
run a back check of your drone and the flights' surroundings prior any take off.
fly at a maximum speed of 161 km / h "You should be sweet here" 😉
fly at least 9.26 km (5 nm) away from airports. You must also give priority to all other categories of aircraft & if you see n aircraft during your flight, land immediately.
fly your drone 50 m away from animals, objects, vehicles, roads, railways, buildings, waterways, power lines, people (reduced to 30 m for take off/landing) & respect individuals' privacy.
fly your drone 150 m from, congested areas, crowds (1,000+ people).
do not transport or drop anything from your drone.
How to register my drone in Nigeria?
✅ For drones weighting less than 25 kg, the process to register your drone in Nigeria is fairly simple and straightforward as you will just need to complete this form with the required information including your drone and personal details. You will be asked your credit or debit card details but the cost to register for the first year is free.
💡 Your online registration identification will serve as a certificate of ownership for your arrival at the airport customs so keep it safe with you.
🚨 For drones weighting more than 25 kg, you will need to complete a paper version of the registration form and send it to: The Director General Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority Aviation House Murtala Mohammed Airport Ikeja – Lagos. 💡 For more information about the manual process, you can phone (+234) 127 904 21
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Commercial drone use in Nigeria
✅ To fly your drone for commercial purposes in Nigeria, you will need to have a drone pilot's license (including a radio telephony qualification) and an operating authorisation before undertaking the job.
🚨 Note that to fly a drone for commercial use in Nigeria, you will need to be at least 18 years young, vetted by the National Security Advisor (NSA), having completed the Part 21 online training course and pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an NCAA-approved knowledge testing centre.
🌏 Good news for foreign pilots as your qualifications should be recognised (on case by case). To save time and confusion for local administration, our experience recommends you to submit an English copy of your qualification(s) or a sworn translation of it.
How to obtain an authorisation to fly my drone for commercial purposes in Nigeria?
🚨 This is unclear here as the official regulation notice refers to the form NCAA-GAD-002 to be completed. However, after seeking online and contacting local authorities, we are still pending in getting a copy for you to complete. If you have further information about this, please let everyone know via the Forum so we can update others in turn and contribute to safer skies for all.
🤑 We understand there is a fee per authorisation request.
Once you got everything in order, you can start flying above Nigeria's awesome landscapes and create videos like this one:
✅ Please leave a comment or update the Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in Nigeria! Have fun and safe flight!
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 rules and regulations.