Lesotho, a small landlocked country in Southern Africa, has recently introduced new drone laws to regulate the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in its airspace. The new regulations, which were implemented in 2020, aim to ensure the safety and security of the country’s airspace while promoting the use of drones for commercial and recreational purposes.
Under the new drone laws, all drone operators in Lesotho are required to register their drones with the Lesotho Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) and obtain a permit before flying. The permit application process involves submitting a detailed flight plan, proof of insurance, and a copy of the operator’s remote pilot license.
In addition to registration and permit requirements, the drone laws in Lesotho also specify certain operational restrictions that drone operators must adhere to. For example, drones are not allowed to fly above 400 feet or within 5 kilometers of an airport or military installation. Drones are also prohibited from flying over people or in restricted areas such as national parks and wildlife reserves.
The new drone laws in Lesotho have been welcomed by many in the drone industry who see them as a step towards creating a more regulated and safe airspace. However, some drone operators have expressed concerns about the cost and complexity of the permit application process, which they say could discourage small businesses and hobbyists from using drones.
Despite these concerns, the LCAA has emphasized the importance of enforcing the new drone laws to ensure the safety of the country’s airspace. The authority has also stated that it will work with drone operators to provide guidance and support throughout the permit application process.
Overall, the new drone laws in Lesotho represent a significant step towards regulating the use of drones in the country. By requiring registration and permits, as well as specifying operational restrictions, the laws aim to ensure the safety and security of the airspace while promoting the use of drones for commercial and recreational purposes.
As the drone industry continues to grow and evolve, it is likely that other countries in the region will follow Lesotho’s lead and introduce similar regulations to regulate the use of drones in their airspace. For now, drone operators in Lesotho must comply with the new laws and work with the LCAA to ensure that their drones are registered and permitted before flying.