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Aviators urge ONSA to ease access to drone technology

By Wole Oyebade
11 May 2022   |   3:56 am
Stakeholders in the aviation sector yesterday, urged regulators to simplify the approval protocol for drone usage in the country.

Stakeholders in the aviation sector yesterday, urged regulators to simplify the approval protocol for drone usage in the country.

The aviators, at the opening of the Drone Technology Conference and Exhibition at the NIGAV Centre in Lagos, said the economy has a lot to gain from its full utilisation.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Accident Investigation Bureau Nigeria (AIB-N), Akin Olateru, noted that the world had warmed up to the deployment of safe usage of drones, and Nigeria should not continue to be an exception.

Olateru added that the need in Nigeria was too large to have all approvals dependent on the busy Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

He said once approvals are less tedious, this technology can be deployed in several sectors, including agriculture, health, traffic management and security.

“We need to simplify all processes of drone approval. It is too cumbersome. ONSA is a busy office and cannot be taking individual requests for drone technology. If we want to move forward, we need to find a way to simplify the process.

“The benefits are indeed enormous. With drones, we can monitor traffic on the Third Mainland Bridge. Are we investing in drones enough to monitor our pipelines? Are drones monitoring our perimeter fencing at our airports? Those are an avalanche of opportunities,” Olateru said.

Convener of the conference, Fortune Idu, said the deployment of drones had gone beyond threat to safe air flights, and a reason to embrace its emerging opportunities.

Idu said the three-day conference was aimed at promoting the advancement of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), as a game changer with its numerous applications.

“Before the end of this decade, the UAV and autonomous vehicle industry will experience exponential growth and the application of drones will be found in virtually every sector.

“This emerging industry has huge potential to create jobs in software and hardware engineering while empowering other sectors to deliver speed, efficiency and cost effective services,” he said.