Drone Laws in Namibia

Flying drones in NamibiaIn 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.

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).

You see, getting official approval from the NCAA is extremely time-consuming. I doubt that the cost of a private vacation is worthwhile.

It gets even more complicated for commercial copter pilots. These 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. Alternatively
  • 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).

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.

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 them and get caught by a ranger, you have to expect fines.

Rules for the operation of drones in Namibia in the overview

Once you have obtained your permits, you must abide by the following rules.

Maximum Altitude: In Namibia, the maximum altitude allowed for drones is limited to 45 meters (150 feet).

Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: Drones are allowed to operate in Namibia only within the direct range of sight.

Compulsory insurance: In Namibia the conclusion of an aviation liability insurance is mandatory.

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): Currently I have no information on weight limits.

Distance to airports: For the outer boundary of airfields in Namibia a distance of 9.3 kilometers (five nautical miles) must be observed.

Other safety distances: For uninvolved persons, other objects (such as vehicles, buildings, etc.) and roads, a distance of 50 meters must always be maintained.

Flight Bans: Multicopters are not allowed to fly over crowds. Public roads may not be used as a take-off and landing site.

Operating Hours: Drone flights are only permitted in daylight in Namibia.

Special legislation: Each drone may only be registered under one ROC. This means that every commercial drone can be assigned to precisely one pilot.

Rules for Commercial Pilots: Commercial pilots must apply for a ROC (see above).

Helpful Links: NCAA

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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