The Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) popularly known as a drones, operate with various degrees of autonomy, remotely controlled by human operators. They were originally used for missions too dull, dirty or dangerous for humans.

While the UAS were mostly deployed in military operations, their use has expanded to commercial, scientific, recreational, and agricultural purposes such as policing, peacekeeping, surveillance, cargo delivery, aerial photography and agriculture. They are also used in smuggling, film making, oil and gas exploration and drone racing.

To effectively integrate the UAS into the National Airspace, the Acting Director General, Civil Aviation Nigeria, Captain Najomo recently approved the creation of a dedicated UAS Integration Unit in the NCAA to act as a hub for the registration, licensing, and monitoring of the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). 

The UAS Integration Unit will partner with relevant stakeholders in the aviation industry to oversee the increasing use of drones in Nigeria and ensure that they are used subject to NCAA rules regulating the sub-sector.

There is an urgent need to strike an equilibrium, a balance between innovation and safety. Hence the move to integrate, facilitate, embrace and regulate this emerging trend,  arising from the development and deployment of this fascinating technology.

The Unmanned Aircraft System is an evolving prospect that will present Nigeria with job and wealth creation benefits as well as an impending alternative in air transportation.