Drone Laws in Namibia

Flying drones in Namibia

In this article, we’ll tell you which drone laws apply in Namibia and what hurdles you have to take to fly a multicopter in the country legally.

In Namibia, all drones must now be registered. Different requirements are depending on the purpose of your flights. Further down, you will find out how to register your drone.

Overview: Drone rules in Namibia

Recreational use of drones allowed? Yes, after registration or approval
Commercial use of drones permitted? Yes, after registration or approval
Maximum Altitude:150 Foot (45,7 Meter) in uncontrolled airspace.
Is drone insurance mandatory? Yes, for private and commercial drone flights. Learn more about drone insurance here.
Does the drone need a badge?No.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? Yes.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people
Contact information

Namibia Civil Aviation Authority:

E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: +264 61 70 2005

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Registration of a drone in Namibia

We have uploaded the application form for remotely piloted aircrafts here as a docx file.

Private users must apply for an RPAS Letter of Approval (RLA). This request must be made by foreigners at least 60 days in advance and include the following information:

  • A formal letter of application to the Executive Director of the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) detailing the purpose of the drone flights and their intended duration.
  • A map with the intended flight areas and the coordinates of the ascent location.
  • Risk analysis and a “Safety Management Plan.”
  • Documentation of the aircraft, which shows the technical standards of the drone.
  • Proof of drone insurance, which also covers damages of third parties in Namibia
  • Proof of payment for the transfer of the processing fee of currently 1,200 NAD (about 80 Euro).

As you can see, getting official approval from the NCAA is extremely time-consuming. I doubt that it’s worthwhile for a private vacation.

It gets even more complicated for commercial copter pilots. They must apply for an Operator Certificate (ROC). Foreign pilots must expect a processing time of at least 120 days. For the application you must present the following documents:

  • A formal letter of application to the Executive Director of the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) detailing the purpose of the drone flights and their intended duration.
  • An aviation license.
  • Proof of registration of all drones.
  • RLA for every single drone.
  • Operations Manual according to the specifications of the NCAA.
  • Proof of payment for the transfer of the processing fee of currently 4,500 NAD (about 308 Euro).

Each drone can only be registered under one ROC. This means that each commercial drone can be assigned to exactly one pilot.

You probably not only want to fly your drone, but also take pictures with it. If you only film or take pictures as a tourist in Namibia, you have fewer restrictions. All other photographers and filmmakers need a permit and a temporary work visa. The Namibia Film Commission is responsible for the approval. Flights in national parks also have to be approved by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

Drone flights in Namibian national parks

For many tourists, the use of a drone in the national parks is indeed a tempting idea. Poachers also use drones. It is a fact that drones can disturb the wild animals. The legislators had good reasons to ban the use of drones in national parks. This prohibition applies at a distance of 9.3 kilometers (5 nautical miles) around the protected areas.

If you still want to fly in a national park or a reserve, you need the approval of the NCAA and the permission of the responsible nature conservation authority. If you can not show these and get caught by a ranger, you have to expect fines.

Further rules for the operation of drones in Namibia

Regardless of NCAA approval, you must obtain written permission from the property owners (individuals, authorities, organizations) before each flight. This obligation applies to both private and commercial drone aviators. All granted permits must be carried when copters are used.

Drones are allowed to operate in Namibia only in daylight and within the line of sight. Multicopters are not allowed to fly over crowds.

For the outer boundary of airfields in Namibia a distance of 9.3 kilometers (five nautical miles) must be observed. Maintain a distance of 50 meters to uninvolved persons, other objects (such as vehicles, buildings, etc.) and roads. Public roads may not be used as a take-off and landing site.

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Namibia 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 Namibia!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!

Discussions

  • Nick Groenewegen | 01.05.2018

    Hi there Francis,

    My wife and I will be travelling through Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on an overland trip. I have travelled through South America so far with no problems. Is it ok and safe for me to bring my drone (DJI Mavic). I just need to know whether I can safely bring it over each border without it being confiscated. From what I can see drones are legal in these countries now, just some countries are more strict in allowing you to fly it. Any country where we may need a permit we obviously won’t fly. Do you know if all of this is true?

    • Francis Markert | 29.06.2018

      Hi Nick,
      I recommend you to check the laws of every country. You named a few nations where it is difficult to carry a drone.

    • Neil van Rensburg | 26.03.2019

      Hi Nick.
      Did you travel with your drone through Namibia? Was there any issue? I have a small DJI Spark that I want to take with me on holiday next month.

      Hope to hear from you.
      Kind regards

      • Eugene | 15.06.2019

        Hi Neil

        how was your experience with entering Namibia with dji spark? any issues we should know about?

  • Miriam | 18.06.2018

    Can you explain what I need to do here “Risk analysis and a “Safety Management Plan.””?
    Shall I just write a document based on what is online to this topic? or do I need to make some kind of assessment?
    I really appreciate any help you can provide.

  • Wade | 23.07.2019

    Hi,
    I want to find out if a drone can be used for fishing in Namibia. So the Drone will go over sea to drop the bait.

    any help will be appriciated.

    Thank you

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