The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has warned operators of drones in unapproved areas without certification to desist from the practice or face prosecution that could result in 5 to 30 years imprisonment.
The caution follows an earlier announcement by the GCAA over moves to issue New Directives on the requirements for the registration and use of drones in Ghana. The directive among other things is meant to serve as a supplement to the provisions of the Ghana Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 2011, L.I. 2000.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the Director General of the GCAA, Simon Allotey stated that the directive will ensure safety in the operations of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). “You could be convicted up to a 30 year jail term. Let say an RPAS just takes off without appropriate permit, authorization, and communication traffic control and flies into an aircraft on the approach path, resulting in a crash,” he said.
He explained that it is imperative for the authority to maintain sanity in Ghana’s airspace to prevent loss of lives. He pointed out that the GCAA will enforce its directives to serve as a deterrent. “There are several enforcement actions including withdrawal of permit to fly the drone. You could also be fined depending on the severity of the breach in the regulation. If you are a big operator, the certificate could be revoked,” he cautioned.
As part of the new directive, personnel will not be allowed to act as an RPA observer without having proof of RPA observer document issued by a training organization approved by the authority.