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The Requirements Of Owning and Operating Drones In Zimbabwe


TechInAfrica – With the increasing popularity of drones in Zimbabwe, CAAZ representatives shared guidelines on drone registration and operation at this year’s Hub Unconference at the Shoko Festival. This is in line with the growing demand for drones in the country, and that people need to be aware of the requirements before owning and operating one. The drones are divided into three categories; commercial operation, cooperate, and non-profit operation, and private.

The Statutory Instrument 271 of 2018 now obliges any citizen of the country to register their drone and this regulation also applies to foreign drones that enter the country. For commercial operation, a letter of approval is required.  After obtaining the letter of approval, the next step is registering the drone. Class 2 and above drones will need a registration certificate, and drones below 2kgs are classified as Class 1 and will need an operator to obtain a letter of approval for operation from CAAZ. For drones above 2kgs, certificate registration is required from CAAZ. Pre-clearance approval is required for temporary importation, which will be valid for 3 months with a temporary importation permit issued by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) on entry into Zimbabwe. After done with CAAZ requirements, you have to get the Ministry of Defense’s approval.


According to section 64(1), “No person shall sell a remotely piloted aircraft within Zimbabwe unless he or she has by a way of a packaging label, or in the case of a resale, by way of notification, notified the buyer of the requirements prescribed by the Authority,” in regards to retail or resale.

Another thing to note is that a piloting license would be required for the three categories. The flying requirement is up to 120 meters or 400 feet. Drones may fly a maximum distance from the pilot of 500 meters (1,640 feet), and up to 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) with special permission and a qualified visual observer assisting. Drones may not be flown at night without approval from the CAAZ. Drones may not be flown within 5 kilometers (3 miles) of any airport or airfield and drone insurance is mandatory.



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