In this post, we explain the legal situation for the use of drones in Ghana.
From September 2016, all Copter owners in Ghana have to register their equipment. The registration must be renewed annually.
Those who do not own a drone or want to import it into the country need the approval of the Civil Aviation Authority. Before you travel to Ghana, you should contact the CAA. Unregistered pilots can go to jail for up to 30 years.
Maximum altitude: In Ghana, the drone height limit is 121 meters (400 feet) above ground.
Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: Private drone flights must only be within the direct line of sight unless a special permit has been granted. To obtain these approvals, you must meet the requirements for commercial activities. If a person next to you is observing your drone flight as a spotter, that person must also prove their own skills at the CAA.
Compulsory insurance: In Ghana drones are only approved if you have Ghana valid drone insurance.
Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): Drones are divided into 3 categories in Ghana:
- Small RPAS: Up to a take-off weight of 1.5 kilograms
- Light RPAS: With a take-off weight of more than 1.5 kilograms and up to max. 7 kilograms
- Large RPAS: All drones weighing more than 7 kilograms
The different terms for the categories can be understood in the PDF linked below.
Distance to airports: To airports and helipads a lateral distance of 10 kilometers must be observed.
Operating times: Night flights with a drone are only allowed in Ghana with a release from the CAA.
Special legislation: For FPV-Races a special permit has to be requested at least 30 days in advance.
Commercial Pilot Regulations: Commercial drone controllers require an RPAS Operating Certificate (ROC) issued by the CAA. You can not apply for the ROC if you are younger than 18 years. During commercial flights, you will need a Safety Management System (SMS) and an Emergency Response Plan. All commercial pilots also have to maintain further documentation in Ghana, such as a logbook and qualifications.
Good to know: The provisions mentioned here do not apply to the use of drones inside buildings. Failure to comply with the regulations can result in massive prison sentences.
Helpful Links: CAA Ghana, Draft New Regulation, Quartz
We have researched the listed drone regulations for Ghana to the best of our knowledge. We cannot guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Ghana!