The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued the first Remotely Piloted Aircraft/Drones RPAS Operators Certificate (ROC) to Oando Plc.
The organisation is pioneering the issuance of certificate to civil/private operators in the unmanned aircraft operations category.
An online statement issued by General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye,explained that Oando Reservoir and Production Services Limited received the certificate having satisfied the requirements and found competent to secure the safe operation of the Aircraft type Lockheed Martins SN 248-255.
The regulatory body added that the certificate is for flights with the purpose of aerial work specifically Environmental Observation Monitoring and Protection.
The Director General of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, presented the Certificate to Oando Plc at the Aviation House on the 22nd June, 2017.
Oando plc team led by the General Manager, Operations, Mr. Anthony Sawyer received the certificate on behalf of the oil company.
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.
Capt. Usman urged the recipient to expect some initial minor challenges, adding that these are not entirely unexpected in any new initiative but that NCAA will be very agile in responding to these challenges.
Taking cognizance of the rapid pace of technological development, the DG said the RPAS regulatory framework is a work in progress and we shall continually engage the industry stakeholders to review the regulations when necessary.
In his response,Sawyer explained the Oando’s Managing Director’s absence as unavoidable.
He said the NCAA team was very professional and thorough during the processes towards attaining the certification.
Sawyer said the procedures were rigorous but OANDO were convinced the authority was doing the right thing in line with its oversight responsibilities.
Oando will definitely abide by all the conditions attached to the certificate especially with our pioneer status.
According to NCAA to qualify for the issuance of certificate, applicants are expected to undergo five phases.
These phases according to NCAA are: Pre-Application, Formal Application, Document Evaluation, Demonstration & Inspection and Certification phases.
The RPAS Operators Certificate (ROC),NCAA said shall remain in force till June 15, 2019 and shall be carried on site during each authorized/approved operations.
NCAA stated that it would continue to provide opportunities and level playing field for all prospective and existing operators in all categories of aviation and its allied services.