While planning for a shoot in Uganda, many crews have a hard question to answer on whether they will use a drone as part of their shoot in Uganda. There seems to be a lot of mixed information that has not helped a lot in easing the mind of the filmmaker. with that, we have provided you with a general guide on the importation and use of drones in Uganda. Below you will find everything that you need to know and we have answered the hardest questions out there about drone use in Uganda.
Can I bring in a drone in Uganda?
Each day that passes the government of Uganda makes it harder to temporarily bring a drone into the country and have it cleared through customs, the process is lengthy and requirements are endless. The system is moving towards using locally registered drones and operators and for clients who are licensed to fly the drone, you can seek permission and fly on their own.
Do I need clearance to import and fly a drone in Uganda?
Yes, you need to get clearance from relevant bodies to be able to use the drone, Flying without proper authorization is illegal and warrants the confiscation of the drone and may lead to arrest as well.
What is the process if I want to import my own drone?
The process requires you to first seek permission through your line ministry depending on what the shoot is about for them to give you a letter of no objection once you have this letter then you will take it to the Ministry of Security “Uganda People’s Defense Force” (UPDF)to get security clearance. Depending on what the project is about they can either accept or deny you clearance so it’s a 50-50. As and when UPDF accepts, you will then go ahead and seek clearance from CAA to clear you to fly in Uganda’s air space and provide you with a permit. After permission has been granted, an authorization letter will be forwarded to the line ministry which will communicate to Africa Fixers by email or phone. We will pick up your letter and forward it to our clearing agent. Africa Fixers charges a fee for the above as well as clearing it into and out of the country.
How long does it take to go through the drone clearance process?
The process is lengthy and might take about two months to go through the entire process and sometimes without success. I advise that for anyone planning to import in their own drone you need to give the process ample time or hire a local drone with its operator.
What are the requirements to do drone clearance in Uganda?
You will need to fulfill the below requirements in order to bring in a drone;
- A completed RPAS/Drone Operations Application Form FORM: AC – UAS 001
- Line Ministry letter of no objection
- Security clearance from Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force
- Drone operations manual and specifications.
- Remote Pilot training certificate and license.
- Class III medical certificate issued by a recognized aviation designated medical examiner. This is done after arriving in Uganda charges $100 for the test.
- Geographical location and map of the area of operations
- A copy of third-party insurance.
- Safety Risk Assessment
- Safety management systems
- Emergency procedures
- Dangerous Goods Manual if applicable
- A Copy of the certificate of airworthiness if applicable
- Detect and Avoid (DAA) capability to ensure that the drone remains well clear of all other traffic (this can be included in the operations manual).
Can I Hire a drone Locally?
Yes, we have locally owned and licensed drones in the country that you can use, the have most of the security clearances and all you need to do is get CAA clearance for that particular shoot and area of operation. Take not that these drones come with their own operators who are in the permit and are permitted to fly it. It’s illegal to fly a drone if you are not on the permit. Contact us for our drones for Hire.
Can I hire the drone only without an Operator?
Yes you can hire a drone only without an operator but you will be required to get CAA to clear you and add you to the drone permit before you can fly it.
What does a foreign need to do to fly a locally owned drone?
You will have to present a copy of your drone license, provide passport copy, copy of Risk and Safety analysis for the area of operation and then also pay third-party insurance.
What drones are available for hire in Uganda?
We have quite a number of drones available for hire in the country is this will depend on the client’s needs specific to the shoot they are working. Some options to consider include Phantom drones, DJI Mavic Series, DJI Enterprise Series, DJI Mini-series and Inspire series depending on your needs. For rates on drone hire please contact us and we will provide you with rates.
Are there no-fly zones for drones in Uganda?
Yes, there are designated no-fly zones, including areas around airports, military installations, and government buildings. It’s essential to avoid flying drones in restricted areas. Also its advisable that when you get in an area inquire with local authorities to know if there are any in the area of operation so that you can avoid them.
Other paperwork needed by Drone Operators
Having permission to temporarily clear your drone into the country is not enough. You need to process your visa, work permit and media card to be allowed to come into Uganda to film and operate your drone.
Work passes and Visas must be applied online through the Ministry of Internal Affairs while Media Accreditation is done prior through Uganda Media Council. Africa Fixers assists all clients in processing Visas, Work passes, and Media Cards. All this can take 3-5 working days.
When you hire a drone with Africa Fixers, we will assist you in requesting permissions from the respective authorities as well as locations where you will be filming. For more information on the types of Drones available for hire, please contact us by phone or email.
Further note that Africa Fixers can assist you to hire or temporarily importing drones into Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and most countries in East and Horn of Africa.