AAZ Speaks On Drone Technology

Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (AAZ) held a stakeholder workshop held in Harare yesterday focusing on Drone Technology and the Open Skies Policy.

In her speech at the workshop today, the Permanent Secretary for Transport and Infrastructural Development, Engineer Joy Pedzisai Makumbe, who was represented by Mar Mashababe, the Air Accident and Incident Investigation, said the Government is fascinated by the usage of drone technology in the country.

“I wish to compel all drone owners and users to be guided by our laws and regulations on Remotely Piloted Aircraft for our safety and security as these technological pieces can be a threat to air transport users, the public, and a security threat to all if they are misused or in wrong hands. We appreciate the efforts that are being put in by all stakeholders such as ZIMRA, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Home Affairs through the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe to ensure that the use of drones is adequately regulated.

I also wish to inform you that the Ministry, in furtherance of our aspirations captured in NDS1, is constantly scanning the environment for opportunities that can help us achieve our set targets. We take note of the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 flagship program; the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), generally known as the “Open Skies Policy.”

Speaking on the same occasion, the CAAZ Board Chairperson, Captain Alois Nyandoro, through his representative, the Deputy Chairperson, Retired Deputy Commissioner Nonkosomi M Ncube, said the Aviation industry is a highly regulated industry that is expected to always stay compliant with the established Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) as guided by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

“It is important to note that within the same compliance framework, CAAZ also ensures strict adherence to the full spectrum of local statutes and policies including drone regulations and economic regulation of the Air Transport industry. As a Regulator, our main focus is on raising safety and security compliance levels for the State in order to promote the growth and development of the Aviation industry.

“In economic regulation, the main objective is to foster the sustainable development of an air transport system. In that regard, Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s workshop is therefore focused on two topical areas that shall be addressed through panel discussions namely, Drone Technology and Open Skies Policy,” Captain Nyandoro said.

Drone usage in Zimbabwe has seen a sharp increase as the country continues to embrace the technology. The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe can only complement to ensure that drone operations within the country are safe and secure. We hereby encourage all personnel and corporates to be conversant with the Civil Aviation (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) Regulations, SI 271 of 2018 which is currently in force. We may sometimes fall short of the industry expectations and as such we request engagements with our frontline personnel and their superiors through our customer feedback platforms which strive for continuous improvements in line with the Authority’s Quality Management Systems. We shall be improving on drone registration platforms to include online drone registrations and payments to cater to those far away from our airports and to ensure seamless travel experience at our borders.

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