Oando Plc has become the first private establishment to be issued a licence to operate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) popularly called drone in the Nigerian airspace.
This was coming after last year’s ban of arbitrary deployment of drones by individuals or organisations in Nigeria, except those who got licences from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
A statement by the NCAA on Thursday said Oando Reservoir and Production Services Limited, a subsidiary of Oando Plc, had been issued the first Remotely Piloted Aircraft/Drones (RPAS) operators certificate in Nigeria having satisfied the requirements and found competent to secure the safe operation of the aircraft type, Lockheed Martins SN 248-255.
The certificate is for flights with the purpose of aerial work specifically environmental observation monitoring and protection.
The Director General, NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, presented the certificate to Oando Plc at the Aviation House on June 22, 2017, while Oando Plc team, led by Mr. Anthony Sawyer, the General Manager, Operations, received the certificate on behalf of the oil.
Speaking during the presentation, the NCAA DG advised Oando plc to ensure strict compliance with all the requirements for the grant of an approval.
According to him, the company must adhere to all requirements for the maintenance of an approval applicable to each of the operations’ specifications, as he enjoined the recipient to expect some initial minor challenges. To qualify for the issuance of certificate, applicants are expected to undergo five phases of pre-application, formal application, document evaluation, demonstration and inspection and certification phases.
The RPAS Operators Certificate (ROC) shall remain in force till June 15, 2019 and shall be carried on site during each authorised/approved operation.
The NCAA will continue to provide opportunities and level playing field for all prospective and existing operators in all categories of aviation and its allied services.
In his response, Mr. Anthony Sawyer said the NCAA team was very professional and thorough during the processes towards attaining the certification.