🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all law links and known rules about recreational and commercial drone use in Rwanda (Kigali). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in the Rwanda Drones 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.
💡 This article is also available in French
Recreational vs commercial drone use in Rwanda
Rwanda does not seem to differentiate commercial & recreational drone use. 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 Rwanda, drone laws falls under the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) & they can be contacted anytime via:
Phone: (+250) 2 5258 5845
Can I bring my drone to Rwanda?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Rwanda or at Kigali Airport as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person).
🚨 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 Rwanda?
✅ We did not find an official fly zone map for drones in Rwanda "If you have more information about this, please share it in the Forum". Thankfully in the meantime, app.airmap.io has listed all flight zones in a convenient way organised in a 3 color legend.
Rwanda drone fly map
🚨 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.
🚨 Do not fly in the prohibited areas referred into the Rwanda Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP).
🦅 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 Rwanda.
Recreational & commercial drone use in Rwanda
✅ Good things first, you will not need a license for flying your drone in Rwanda. However, you need to be at least 18 years old to fly a drone in Rwanda & have it registered before being able to fly it in Rwandan skies.
💡 Note: Rwandan authorities exclude toys in the registration process. However, the official toy list hasn't been published yet so we assume all drones should be registered in the meantime - learn more or share your experience here
Additionally, you must fly:
at a maximum altitude of 100 m & latitude of 300 m from you.
30 m away from property, large crowds, people & respect individuals' privacy.
50 m away from vehicles in movement
after a full check of your drone's capacity of flying (make sure nothing is wrong on it).
away from urban areas
a drone weighting maximum 25 kg
at a maximum speed of 161 km/h "You should be fine here.." 👌
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.
away from areas where its use could interfere with police or first responders.
avoiding sensitive areas including government or military facilities.
🚨 In case of an accident, your should report it within 24h to the Flight Safety Services of Rwanda via the RCAA-Form-UAS004 form
How to register my drone in Rwanda?
🚨 To register a drone in Rwanda you will need to be either a Rwandan institution, corporation, citizen or resident (above 21 years old) 🌏 Foreigners will need the back up of a local to register your drone on your behalf.
✅ The process is pretty simple and straightforward as you will need to complete the RCAA-Form-UAS001 available here. To complete it, you will need:
your full personal details
the full tech info about your drone
a proof of ownership such as an invoice
a copy of your ID (& person acting on your behalf when applicable)
🤑 The registration costs about 110€ that you will have to send via bank transfer to:
Bank: Bank of Kigali
Beneficially: Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority
Account Number: 040-0015823-45
🕔 Allow about 4 weeks to process, time for local authorities to look into your application.
💡 if you need further help, Rwandan authorities created this sweet FAQ for drone registration cheat sheet.
What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Rwanda?
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. Rwandan authorities have however specified that offences could lead to criminal prosecutions.
Once you've got everything in order, you can start flying above Rwanda's awesome landscapes and create videos like this one:
💡 You're a local, have a question or want to share a travel experience? Head to the Rwanda 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.
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