The director general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Usman Muhtar has issued the first Remotely Piloted Aircraft/Drones RPAS Operators Certificate (ROC) to Oando Plc.
Speaking in Lagos during presentation, Muhtar said Oando Reservoir and Production Services Ltd merited the certificate having satisfied the requirements 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,” said Muhtar.
He advised the company to ensure strict compliance with all the requirements for the grant of an approval.
The director general also said the company would have initial minor challenges but enjoined it to adhere to all requirements for the maintenance of an approval applicable to each of the operation specifications.
“These are not entirely unexpected in any new initiative. However, NCAA will be very agile in responding to these challenges.
“The RPAS regulatory framework is a work in progress and we shall continually engage the industry stakeholders to review the regulations when necessary.
“The ROC shall remain in force till June 15, 2019 and shall be carried on site during each authorized/approved operation.
“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,” said Muhtar.
Responding, Oando’s general manager, operations, Mr. Anthony Sawyer, who received the certificate on behalf of the oil company, said NCAA was professional and thorough during the certification processes.
Sawyer said the procedures were rigorous but “we 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,” he said.
To qualify for the certificate, applicants are expected to undergo the pre-application, formal application, document evaluation, demonstration and inspection and certification processes.