Drone Laws in Benin

Table of Contents

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Republic of Benin

Agence Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ANAC) du Bénin

Benin Drone Technical Regulation and Benin Procedures of Applications


UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in the Republic of Benin

The Benin agency responsible for drone safety, ANAC, has provided several internet-accessible details on flying for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the link above.

Are drones allowed in Benin?

According to ANAC, drone use is allowed in Benin, subject to ANAC regulations. Read on for more details.

Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Benin:

Categorization and classification of remotely piloted aircraft.

Remotely piloted aircraft systems are classified and categorized according to their mass and use.

Remotely piloted aircraft systems are divided into 3 classes:

  • Class 1: remotely piloted aircraft systems with a mass of 5 kg or less, including any load carried by the remotely piloted aircraft systems;
  • Class 2: Remotely piloted aircraft systems with a mass greater than 5 kg but less than or equal to 25 kg, including any load carried; and
  • Class 3: Remotely piloted aircraft systems weighing more than 25 kg, including any load carried.

Remotely piloted aircraft systems are divided into 3 categories:

  • Category A: Remotely piloted aircraft systems used for recreational and sport purposes only;
  • Category B: Remotely piloted aircraft systems for private use, excluding uses for recreational and sporting purposes; and
  • Category C: Remotely piloted aircraft systems used for profit.
 Category A Leisure & sportCategory B Private useCategory C For-profit use
Class 1: 0 – 5 kg1A1B1C
Class 2: 5 – 25 kg2A2B2C
Class 3: 25 kg and more3A*3B*3C*

Note: * Above 25 kg, the airworthiness and training requirements for remotely piloted aircraft systems apply

Eligibility conditions to operate a remotely piloted aircraft system.

Is eligible for obtaining authorization to operate a remotely piloted aircraft system:

  • any Beninese who is at least 18 years old;
  • any resident in Benin who is at least 18 years old;
  • all legal persons regularly established in Benin who can justify the use of such equipment.

Registration of remotely piloted aircraft systems.

Any operator or owner of civilian remotely piloted aircraft systems is required to register with the Authority.

Note: Although an integral part of the remotely piloted aircraft systems, the remote cockpit (RPS) is not entered in the aircraft register.

Airworthiness of remotely piloted aircraft systems.

  • The owner or operator of a remotely piloted aircraft system must ensure that all components are in working order and following the supplier’s operating manual.
  • An RPAS which has received a type certificate must obtain a certificate of airworthiness.
  • It is the responsibility of the RPA operator to ensure that the RPA system is airworthy before conducting an air operation. Airworthiness means that at least the following conditions are met:
  • the remotely piloted aircraft systems have been maintained following the maintenance schedule and schedule specified by the manufacturer;
  • the requirements of any airworthiness directive (or an equivalent document) issued by the manufacturer of the aircraft, the control station, or any other secondary component have been implemented;
  • all modifications and repairs to the remotely piloted aircraft system have been carried out following the manufacturer’s instructions, and no unapproved modifications have been made;
  • all remotely piloted aircraft systems equipment necessary for safe flight is in working order.

Insurance.

  • No person may operate or hire another person to operate a remotely piloted aircraft system unless he has an insurance policy for risks against third parties.
  • The operator of a remotely piloted aircraft system must keep the certificate of insurance in its original form at the system’s operation management location or another location specified by the Authority.
  • Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, ANAC may grant exemptions from the regulations depending on the category and class of the RPAS.

OPERATION OF REMOTELY PILOTED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS 

Obligations of owners and operators of remotely piloted aircraft systems
  • The operator of remotely piloted aircraft systems must comply with all the requirements established by the Authority concerning its operations.
  • The operator accepts responsibility for the services he subcontracts from the service providers. (Example: communication service providers) as necessary to carry out its operations.
  • Responsibility for operational control rests with the Owner or Operator of the remotely piloted aircraft systems registered in the registrar.
  • The owner or operator of a remotely piloted aircraft system should ensure that it is entered in the registration register per the provisions of this Regulation.
Authorization of flights and operations of remotely piloted aircraft.
  • No one may operate a remotely piloted aircraft system in Benin unless authorized to do so.
  • Notwithstanding the provision of paragraph 1. above, operators of remotely piloted aircraft systems may be authorized to operate them according to the category of use:
    • For remotely piloted aircraft systems used for private use, the authorization is granted directly to the operator by the ANAC under the provisions of this Regulation;
    • No one may operate a remotely piloted aircraft system used for international navigation from or over Benin unless you have submitted form R2-OPS-FOR-06 accompanied by prescribed parts and obtained from the ANAC the required authorization.
    • In the event of cancellation of the flight, the operator or the remote pilot informs the Civil aviation authorities of the States concerned.
    • If changes are made to the authorization referred to in paragraph (c) above before departure of the flight, they will be brought to the attention of the State or States concerned for review and approval. If approved, the operator informs all Authorities concerned.

Prohibited Operation with an RPAS.

Remotely piloted aircraft systems cannot be used:

  • in a negligent manner likely to endanger another aircraft, the persons and property of others;
  • in a way that violates the right of others;
  • above 300 feet above the ground unless permitted by the ATS concerned;
  • in prohibited areas defined by regulators;
  • over the high seas without prior coordination with ATS services;
  • in restricted or dangerous areas or any area notified by ANAC except with the latter’s permission and following any conditions imposed by it.
Limits on the use of a remotely piloted aircraft system
  • No person shall operate an RPAS in the recreation or sport category above 400 feet above the ground.
  • A remotely piloted aircraft system may not be used: 
  • at night;
  • and in conditions other than day VMC flight.
Notification of incident/accident involving a remotely piloted aircraft system.

Any RPAS operator will ensure that all incidents and accidents involving RPAS are reported to the air traffic control unit and ANAC or administrative authority or the nearest local area within 48 hours, following applicable regulations. The Accident Investigation Office will be responsible for investigating all accidents and serious incidents occurring or involving RPAS per the laws in force.

AUTHORIZATION OF RPAS

  • No one should begin a PAS flight inside Beninese territory and end it outside Beninese territory without first obtaining permission from the ANAC or any other Authority designated for this purpose, the Civil Aviation Authority of the State of destination, or any Authority of a State whose airspace will be overflown.
  • No one can start a PAS flight outside the Beninese territory to end it inside the Beninese territory or fly over Benin’s airspace without receiving authorization from the National Civil Aviation Agency and/or any other requested Authority.
  • Any operator or person who intends to conduct operations with an RPAS must obtain authorization from the appropriate Civil Aviation Authority (s) and be present at the time of operation.
  • On the initiative of the ANAC, a morality investigation is carried out by the competent departments of the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, in particular the Directorate of Security Public and the Directorate of Territorial Intelligence.
  • RPAS shall meet performance requirements and required equipment load for the specific airspace in which it is called upon to operate.
  • The authorization request required in paragraph 3.6 (c) of these regulations will include the following:
    • Name and contacts of the operator;
    • Criminal record of less than three (03) months;
    • Authorization from the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security;
    • RPAS characteristics (aircraft type, maximum certified take-off weight, number of engines, wingspan);
    • Copy of the identification certificate (if applicable);
    • Call sign to be used in radiotelephone communications, if applicable;
    • Copy of the airworthiness certificate, if applicable;
    • Copy of the RPAS operating permit (ROC), if applicable;
    • Copy of the receipt for payment of the corresponding royalties;
    • Copy of the remote pilot’s license, if applicable;
    • Copy of aircraft station license, if applicable;
    • Description of the proposed transaction (including, type or reason for the transaction), rule of flight, line-of-sight flight operation if applicable, date of the intended flight, point of departure, destination, cruising speed, cruising levels, route to follow, duration/frequency of flights;
    • Takeoff and landing performance;
    • PAS performance characteristics including:
      • Speed ​​of use;
      • Typical and maximum climb rates;
      • Typical and maximum rates of descent;
      •  Typical and maximum turn rates;
      • Other relevant performance data (for example, limitations of wind, icing, and precipitation limitations; and
      • Maximum autonomy of the aircraft.
  • Communication, navigation, and surveillance capabilities:
    • Safety of aeronautical communications, frequencies, and equipment, including understanding:
      • communications with ATC including any alternative means of communication;
      • command and control links including control parameters performance and designated areas of operational coverage;
      • (C) Communications between the remote pilot of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) and the RPA observer, if applicable;
    • Navigation equipment; and
    • Surveillance equipment (for example, secondary radar, ADS-B)
  • Detection and avoidance skills;
  • Emergency procedures including
    • Communication failure with ATC;
    • Command and control link failure; and
    • Communication failure between the remote pilot and the RPA observer, if
    • applicable.
  • Number and location of remote piloting stations as well as transfer procedures between remote cockpits, if applicable;
  • A document attesting to the noise certification, if applicable;
  • Confirmation of compliance with the requirements of Annex 17 to the Chicago;
  • Description and information on the payload; and
  • Proof of subscription of insurance covering civil liability.
  • When documents required under paragraph 3.6 (e) are issued in a language other than English, the operator will ensure that the content is translated into English.
DETECTION AND AVOIDANCE

Any RPAS to be operated beyond-line-of-sight flight will be equipped with a detection system and avoidance.

COMMAND AND CONTROL

The owner or operator of RPAS will ensure that they maintain at all times the controls and RPAS checks during flight.

Communication with air traffic services (ATC)
  • Remote pilots must ensure that ATC is informed of any operation that must take place in areas likely to affect air traffic;
  • The air navigation service provider (ANSP) shall establish procedures, acceptable to the Authority, integrating the operation of the remotely piloted aircraft system in the airspace to ensure aviation safety. in its communication and surveillance aspects;
  • The procedures referred to in paragraph 2) above shall prescribe and detail the information to be transmitted to ATC by the remote pilot before and during the operations of the remotely piloted aircraft system;
Site Examination
  • Before a remotely piloted aircraft system, the Authority should assess each site to determine if it is suitable to ensure that operations can be carried out safely. The assessment consists of a site visit, the use of aeronautical charts and other sources of information, digital images (satellite image or 3D image, etc.).
  • The following should be included in an assessment but not limited to:
  • the definition of the limits of the area where the operations will take place;
  • the airspace class and specific airspace-related arrangements (e.g., controlled airspace);
  • the altitudes and routes that will be used for the approach to the areas where operations will take place and for the departure from these areas;
  • other aircraft operations (e.g., proximity to aerodromes, including Heliports and hydro airports, or other operating sites);
  • hazards associated with surrounding industrial sites;
  • areas with high-intensity radio transmissions or interference electromagnetic (e.g., radar stations);
  • the limits and/or restrictions of local regulations;
  • the location and height of obstacles (e.g., wires, masts, buildings, cell phone towers, wind turbines, etc.);
  • airspace restrictions such as restrictions around nuclear facilities;
  • built-up areas, major roads, and recreational activity sites;
  • security measures to limit public access;
  • the prevailing weather conditions at the site and proposed flight areas;
  • the minimum separation distance from people, vehicles, and structures.
Operations in the vicinity of an aerodrome.

Except with the written authorization of the owner of an Aerodrome and the approval of ANAC, no one may operate a remotely piloted aircraft system in the vicinity:

  • and within a radius of 10 km around the aerodrome reference point for Code C, D, E, and F aerodromes;
    • and within a radius of 7 km around the aerodrome reference point for code A and B aerodromes;
    • take-off and approach trajectories;
    • navigation aids;
    • of the aerodrome circuit ;
    • waiting racetracks in the terminal area.
Operations in the aerodrome circuit.

The Authority may, after approval of the operation of a remotely piloted aircraft system:

  • Impose operating restrictions on approval in the interest of safety;
    • Publish the details of the approval in aeronautical information publications (NOTAM or AIP);
    • Revoke or modify the conditions of approval and publish details of the revocation or modification in the NOTAM or AIP.
Operations taking place in a building, structure, or underground
  • These provisions apply to the use of a remotely piloted aircraft system inside a building or structure, or even in an underground environment:
    • If the only people present are the remotely piloted aircraft system crew, clearance is not required.
    • Suppose the crew of the remotely piloted aircraft system and persons directly involved in the operation of the remotely piloted aircraft system are present (e.g., actors on a film set), and no spectators or guest is present. In that case, an operating license (ROC) is not required. However, the remotely piloted aircraft system operator must ensure that all persons involved in using the system are informed of the possible dangers and risks.
    • If persons inside the structure not participating in the remotely piloted aircraft system (e.g., spectators during a sporting event, participants in a demonstration during a trade fair, etc.) are present, authorization (ROC) is required.
  • In all of the situations described above, the operator of the remotely piloted aircraft system must obtain the consent of the owner of the building or land before carrying out operations.
Control of a remotely piloted aircraft system from a moving vehicle

Certificate applicants wishing to perform such operations must provide the Authority with a security assessment that shows that the risks of these operations can be reduced to an acceptable level.

Certification of the remotely piloted aircraft system

Remotely piloted aircraft systems engaged in profit or professional operations must obtain certification from the Authority per the regulatory provisions in force.

Authorization of remotely piloted aircraft systems for private use

  • Any operator or person who intends to conduct operations with a remotely piloted aircraft system must request authorization from the competent authorities and be authorized to do so before starting any operation.
    • RPAS remotely piloted aircraft systems must meet the requirements for the specific airspace in which they are to operate.
    • Unless otherwise specified by the Authority, the authorization request required in this paragraph includes in particular:
  • Name and contacts of the operator;
  • Criminal record less than 3 months, if applicable;
  • Characteristics of the remotely piloted aircraft system (aircraft type, maximum certified take-off weight, number of engines, wingspan);
  • Call sign for use in radiotelephone communications, if applicable; 
  • Copy of the remote pilot’s license or certificate;
  • Description of the intended operation (including, type or reason for the operation), flight rule, line-of-sight flight operation if applicable, date of the intended flight, point of departure, destination, speed of cruise, cruise levels, route to follow, duration/frequency of flights;
  • Special operations manual and maintenance manual
  • Take-off and landing performance;
  • Performance characteristics of the remotely piloted aircraft system including:
  • Operating speeds;
  • Typical and maximum rates of climb;
  • Typical and maximum rates of descent;
  • Typical rate s and turn maxima;
  • Other relevant performance data (for example, wind limitations, limitations relating to icing, precipitation; and
  • Maximum autonomy of the aircraft.
  • Communication, navigation and surveillance skills, 
    • Safety of aeronautical communications, frequencies, and equipment, including:
      • communications (coordination with air traffic services) including any alternative means of communication;
        • command and control links including performance parameters and designated areas of operational coverage;
        • communications between the remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) remote pilot and the RPA observer, if applicable;
    • Navigation equipment; and
    • Surveillance equipment (e.g., secondary radar, ADS-B)
  • Detection and avoidance skills;
  • Emergency procedures including;
    • Failure of communications with air traffic services; 
      • Command and control link failure; and
      • Communication failure between the remote pilot and the RPA observer, if applicable.
  • Number and location of remote pilot stations as well as transfer procedures between remote pilot stations, if applicable;
  • A document attesting to the noise certification, if applicable;
  • Confirmation of compliance with security requirements;
  • Description and information on the payload; and
  • Proof of purchase of insurance covering all risk liability.
    • When certain documents required under this paragraph are issued in a language other than French, the operator must ensure that the content is translated into French.
Detection and avoidance

Any remotely piloted aircraft system to be operated beyond-line-of-sight flight must be equipped with a detection and avoidance system.

Command and control

The owner or operator of the remotely piloted aircraft system must ensure that they maintain the controls and controls of the remotely piloted aircraft system at all times during the flight.

Dangerous operation.
  • No one may:
    • Operate a remotely piloted aircraft system in a deliberately neglected manner or reckless, which could endanger the life or property of others; Where
    • Drop from a remotely piloted aircraft an object that could endanger the life or property of others.
  • Any remote pilot must stop the flight when he has reason to believe that the continuation of the flight is dangerous for the operations of civil aviation, the persons, or the goods.
Transport of dangerous goods.

No one may transport or cause to be transported, delivered, or have delivered dangerous goods for transport on board a remotely piloted aircraft.

Flight in direct view of the remote pilot.

The remote pilot must maintain normal permanent visual contact (without assistance) with the remotely piloted aircraft to be able to:

  • Maintain operational control of the aircraft; and 
  • Constantly locate the aircraft.
Multiple operation of remotely piloted aircraft systems.

No one may operate as a remote pilot on more than one remotely piloted aircraft system at a time.

Operations near an aircraft: priority rules.
  • The remote pilot must see and avoid other aircraft and vehicles and give way to all aircraft and vehicles.
  • The remote pilot must, at all times during the flight of the remotely piloted aircraft, meet the criteria specified in Article 20 above to maintain visual contact with other aircraft and vehicles.
  • Yielding means that the remotely piloted aircraft must give way, by a right turn, without passing over, under, or in front of the other aircraft or vehicle.
Operation in populated areas.

No person may operate a remotely piloted aircraft system over an assembly or crowd of persons in the open air unless such assembly or crowd is a direct part of the operation of the unmanned aircraft system.

Familiarization, inspection, and pre-flight actions of a remotely piloted aircraft.

Before the flight, the remote pilot must:

  • Evaluate the operating environment, taking into account the risks to people and property in the immediate vicinity, both on the ground and in the air. The assessment includes:
    • Local weather conditions;
    • Local airspace and flight restrictions;
    • The location of people and property on the ground; and
    • Other ground hazards.
    • Ensure that all those involved in aircraft operations receive a briefing that contains operating conditions, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and potential hazards;
    • Ensure that all links between the ground station and the remotely piloted aircraft are functioning properly;
    • ensure that there is sufficient power for remotely piloted aircraft system operations during the scheduled time of operations and five minutes after operations if the remotely piloted aircraft is powered.
    • Each person involved in the operation must perform the tasks assigned by the remote pilot.
Cancellation, suspension, or modification of the authorization.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 18 above, the Authority may cancel, suspend, or modify any authorization granted under this Regulation in the interest of safety and security.

COMMERCIAL OPERATION OF REMOTE PILOTED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

Compliance of the remotely piloted aircraft system operator’s certificate.
  • No person may engage in the commercial operation of a remotely piloted aircraft system unless he has a valid remotely piloted aircraft system operator certificate issued by ANAC.
  • The remotely piloted aircraft system operator certificate authorizes the operator to conduct remotely piloted aircraft system operations following the conditions and limitations detailed in the related ROC operations specifications.
  • The issuance of a ROC by the ANAC depends on the operator’s ability to demonstrate that its organization, its method of control and supervision of operation, its training program, ground handling operations, and maintenance are adequate and compatible with the nature and extent of the operation specified and, appropriate to the size, structure, and complexity of the organization.
  • Every commercial operator of a remotely piloted aircraft system shall develop and implement a safety management system (SMS) per its operational requirements established under the Civil Aviation Code and regulations set under this Code.
Application for a remotely piloted aircraft system operator’s certificate.
  • Any operator requesting a remotely piloted aircraft system operator’s certificate from the Authority must submit an application:
    • In the form and manner prescribed by ANAC;
    • Containing any information that the Authority deems necessary.
  • Any applicant for a ROC must submit their request for a first issue or a renewal of ROC at least 30 days before the start date of the planned operations.
Issuance of a remotely piloted aircraft system ROC

ANAC may issue a remotely piloted aircraft system operator’s certificate to the applicant if the applicant;

  • At its head office in Benin and is registered in the trade register from Benin;
  • Meets with the applicable requirements to the ROC holder;
  • Is suitably qualified, has adequate managerial staff, and sufficiently equipped to conduct safe commercial operations of the remotely piloted aircraft system;
  • has proof of ownership of the RPA;
  • holds an authorization from the Minister of the Interior and Public Security;
  • holds an import authorization for RPAs of 25 kg and over; and
  • has an ANAC approved safety program.
Validity and renewal of a remotely piloted aircraft system operator’s certificate.
  • A remotely piloted aircraft system operator’s certificate issued by the Authority is valid for 24 months from the date of issue or renewal, except in circumstances that may justify a reduction in this period.
  • ANAC reserves the right to suspend, revoke or invalidate the operating permit granted at any in the event of:
    • non-compliance with the requirements of these regulations;
    • waiver by the ROC holder:
    • notification by the ROC holder of the suspension of its operation;
  • A suspended or revoked ROC must be returned to ANAC;
  • An operator whose ROC has expired is required to re-apply.
Amendment of the remotely piloted aircraft system operator’s certificate.

The Authority may amend a remotely piloted aircraft system operator’s certificate if:

  • The Authority determines that the modification is necessary for the safe commercial operation of the system.
    • A substantial change has taken place in operations;
    • The certificate holder requests a modification, and the Authority determines that the change is necessary.
SURVEILLANCE

Monitoring of RPAS operations is carried out through inspections, audits, and tests by the ANAC to ensure that the license holder for the operation of RPAS (ROC) remains in conformity with the initial conditions which prevailed on the issuance of the ROC and the related authorizations.

Personnel required for the commercial operation of a remotely piloted aircraft system.
  • The PAS operator must have a Responsible Officer acceptable to ANAC, having the powers to ensure that all necessary resources are available to support the operations appearing on the ROC specifications.
  • The Responsible Manager must have sufficient qualified and competent personnel to carry out the tasks and activities planned under the applicable requirements;
  • The operator must establish an initial and recurrent training program to ensure the continuing competence of his staff.
  • The remote pilot of an RPA system is responsible for the operation and safety of the aircraft during flight. As with manned aircraft, the remote pilot may not handle the controls and may occasionally supervise another remote pilot. The remote pilot may be supported by other crew members who have been assigned functions essential to the operation of the RPA (e.g., payload operators, visual observers, launch and recovery system operators, and mission planners). Crew members involved in using an RPA system must, during flight, obey the remote pilot’s instructions.
  • Persons associated with operating the remotely piloted aircraft systems (visual observers, maintenance technicians, and payload operators) must be at least 18 years of age and meet the provisions of the regulations.
OPERATION AND RECORDS MANUAL
  • The operator will develop and submit for ANAC approval an operations manual per compliance with the requirements prescribed by the ANAC.
    • At a minimum, an RPA operator must maintain an up-to-date operations manual, maintenance, an RPA system flight manual (for each type of RPA used), aircraft checklists. The list is not exhaustive.
    • The RPA operator must provide the checklists and brochures to enable the pilot to use the PAS following his flight manual, operator’s manual, or equivalent document.
    • The RPA operator shall maintain up-to-date records of flight operations performed, which include the following information:
    • flight records (location, date, times, crew, aircraft type, etc.);
    • total accumulated flight hours per aircraft (when the ROC contains a condition concerning maintenance requirements);
    • the flight hours of the pilot (s) (day, month, year).

AUTHORIZATION OF NON-PROFIT TRANSACTIONS

(a) A person who satisfies the provisions of paragraph 3.7 of these regulations can only start for-profit PAS operations after authorization from ANAC.

(b) The authorizations referred to in paragraph (a) of this section will be specific to special operations.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 4.4 (a) of these regulations, the PAS flights in the for-profit flight category will be performed at the height specified by ANAC.

CERTIFICATION OF PROFESSIONAL RPAS PILOTS
  • PAS pilots engaged in for-profit operations must obtain certification of the ANAC under the provisions of PA 7.2 of these regulations.
    • An applicant for the PAS pilot license referred to in paragraph (a) of this section shall:
  • be at least 18 years old
  • hold a class 2 medical fitness certificate;
  • demonstrate that they have a level of linguistic competence in the English language equal to or greater than level 4, the PA pilot’s license will bear in annotation the English language proficiency level of its holder;
  • pass an initial aviation knowledge test covering the areas specified.
    • RPAS pilots will hold an appropriate type rating where applicable. ‘operations they will perform including:
  • type rating
  • the instrument rating and
  • instructor qualification.
VALIDITY OF RPAS PILOT LICENSES

The PAS pilot license is valid for twenty-four (24) months subject to the validity of the

medical certificate of the holder.

TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR COMMERCIAL RPAS OPERATIONS

RPAS pilots will be trained following the training requirements of RAB 01.

REQUIREMENTS FOR EQUIPMENT AND INSTRUMENTS
  • ANAC will prescribe for PAS operators the instruments required for operations specific PAS depending on:
    • the class and category of the RPAS;
    • the type of operation; and
    • special authorizations sought.
EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

To establish safe procedures for using RPA, ROC applicants must establish an emergency procedures checklist and make it immediately available to each RPA flight crew member for each RPA system used.

REQUIREMENTS RELATED TO SPECIFIC OPERATIONS

  • RPAS operations for leisure and sport purposes will be carried out within structures duly registered and recognized, the list of which is published and updated by the ANAC.
  • These structures are recognized based on documentation requirements, regulation interior, and specific aeronautical regulations for leisure and break.
  • The structures referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection will submit to ANAC for approval, information on the areas of operations as well as the schedules of these operations.
  • All RPAS operations for recreational and sporting purposes will be conducted strictly regarding the portions of the airspace reserved for PAS operations, including applicable restrictions notified by NOTAM or any other means.

TRAINING

  • The structures referred to in paragraph 5.1 (b) shall prescribe and submit for the approval of the ANAC the minimum training required to conduct RPAS operations for recreational purposes.
  • Training developed per the provisions of training requirements referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection will be submitted to ANAC for approval.

SAFETY

  • No one could operate an RPAS from a point in Beninese territory unless he prepared an operator safety program approved by ANAC, in line with the parties relevant to the National Civil Aviation Security Program
  • The operator’s security program will specify the measures to be taken, the procedures to follow, and the practices to be observed by the operator to protect the pilot and the installations from acts of unlawful interference. This program will include at least:
    • the objectives of the program and the responsibility for ensuring its implementation
    • the operator’s safety function organization chart, including tasks and responsibilities. The operator will ensure that a Security Officer is appointed responsible for civil aviation security.         
  • A PAS operator must maintain security measures, including identification, resolution of suspicious activities which may constitute a threat to civil aviation:
    • at a remote cockpit
    • to an RPAS;
    • to any installation under the control of the RPAS operator.
  • The specific security measures mentioned in paragraph (c) of this subsection include the following:
    • the premises used for the preparation, storage, and parking of RPAS including, the RPAS ground station, are protected from unauthorized access at all times;
    • protection of critical information, technology, and security systems communication used during operations against interference that could jeopardize the safety of civil aviation;
    • protection of flight documents;
    • operators who request to operate with a camera are required to include in the request the specifications of the camera to carry out a safety review then for approval by ANAC;
    • The inspection and security search compartments are labeled on both the inside and outside of the RPAS.
    • Those involved in RPAS operations are adequately trained and subject to regular knowledge checks and selection procedures.
SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR RPAS OPERATORS

The RPAS operator is responsible for the safety and security of RPAS operations including,

associated facilities, personnel, and equipment.

ACTS OF ILLEGAL INTERVENTION AGAINST CIVIL AVIATION
  • The RPAS operator will develop procedures to be followed by its operating personnel in response to threats and incidents involving RPAS operations.
  • The operator or owner will ensure that acts of unlawful interference are reported without delay to ANAC.

GENERAL RULES

  • There is only one category of RPAS pilot license. License categories private pilot, commercial pilot, multi-crew pilot, and airline pilot license do not apply to RPAS pilot licenses.
  • Regardless of the provisions of Article 32 of the Chicago Convention, any pilot who is called to pilot an RPAS from a remote piloting station (RPS) installed on Benin’s territory is required to hold a remote pilot license issued or validated by the ANAC.
  • RPAS pilots will have a valid remote pilot license that is endorsed with the qualifications needed to perform the type of operation:
    •  class qualification:
    •  instrument rating; and
    • instructor qualification.
  • Persons engaged in recreational activities with toy aircraft models are not required to be licensed by RPA. However, these people should be trained in the clubs they belong to, under paragraphs 5.1 (a) and 5.2. (a).
  • No one shall exercise the functions of RPA Observer unless he has a document issued by the RPAS operator or by a training center attesting to its competence to provide PA observer functions in VLOS flight.
  • No remote student pilot ‘will perform alone flights that:
    • under the supervision or with the authorization of an authorized instructor and if he holds a valid class 3 medical fitness certificate, or
    • only if the flight has been authorized by the States concerned and If the student pilot remotely holds a valid class 3 certificate of medical aptitude in the case of an RPA in international flight.
DOCUMENTS TO BE KEPT BY STAFF

Any remote pilot at the controls of an RPA or on duty in a remote cockpit (RPS) must hold:

  • a valid class 2 medical certificate
  • his valid RPAS remote pilot license, or if it has been validated, the license validation and the original license
  • proof that he meets the requirements of recent experience, namely, having completed the three previous months, at least three (03) take-offs, and three (03) landings.
FILES
  • The PAS operator is required to establish an archiving system that allows for safe storage adequate, and reliable traceability of the activities developed, covering at least:
    •  the organization of the operator;
    • the safety management system;
    • the training and competence control of personnel; 
    • documentation of all key management system processes;
    • maintenance records;
    • safety management records.
  • Records shall be kept in such a manner as to protect them from theft, alteration, and damage.
  • The records referred to in this subsection will provide sufficient detail to help determine whether the experience and qualification requirements are satisfied to continue commercial operations.
REPORT OF VIOLATION OF PROVISIONS

Anyone who becomes aware of a violation of any of the provisions of these regulations will notify ANAC.

OFFENSES AND SANCTIONS

Anyone who contravenes any of the provisions of these regulations is liable to sanctions per the legal provisions applicable in the Republic of Benin.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The application procedures are an integral part of these regulations.

STEPS FOR CATEGORIZATION AND CLASSIFICATION (EQUIPMENT)

The proposed rules are divided into three (03) categories of use of RPA.

Each category is established based on aircraft size, pilot, and where the RPA is operated.

Very small RPA operations (class 1):

  • Pilots must be at least 18 years old and must:
    • enter their name and contact details on their device,
    • pass a basic knowledge test,
    • have liability insurance,
    • keep their device at least
      • 5.5 km from aerodromes,
      • 1.85 km from the helipads,
      • 30 m from any person.

Operations limited to rural areas (class 2):

This category is for people who use RPAS in rural areas (e.g., for commercial purposes, agricultural, and for wildlife surveys in natural resources).

Pilots must be at least 18 years old and must:

  • enter their name and contact details on their device,
  • pass a basic knowledge test,
  • have liability insurance,
  • keep their device at least:
    • 5.5 km from airports,
    • 1.85 km from the helipads,
    • 150 m from any gathering of people in the open air (e.g., show),
    • 75 m from any person, vehicle and boat,
    • 1 km from built-up areas.

Complex operations in urban areas (All classes)

This category is for users who plan to fly RPAs in urban areas, in controlled airspace, or near a location where airplanes, helicopters, and seaplanes can take off or land.

  • Pilots must be at least 18 years old and must:
  • hold a pilot’s license,
  • have liability insurance,
  • register their equipment and mark it with a unique identification number provided by ANAC,
  • comply with the design standard,
  • respect the flight rules,
  • Obtain approval from air traffic control to use an RPA in controlled airspace or near aerodromes, keep their device at least:
    • 150 m from all levels,
    • assembly of people in the open air (e.g., show), except when flying at least 90 m altitude,
    • 30 m from any person, vehicle, and boat.

PERSONNEL REQUIRED FOR COMMERCIAL OPERATION OF RPAS

The following provisions apply to persons associated with the operation of the RPAS (the visual observers, service technicians, and payload operator).

A visual observer

A visual observer is an adequately trained crewmember assigned to perform collision avoidance duties, such as continuously monitoring RPA and airspace both around and beyond the vehicle (looking for other aircraft, clouds, obstacles, and terrain). Unless it can be demonstrated that the risks can be mitigated in another way, one or more visual observers will be required for VLOS operations.

The primary responsibility of the visual observer is to provide information to the captain for the latter to avoid dangers and any risk of collision with ground obstacles or other aircraft.

Furthermore, the visual observer should assist the RPA pilot in meeting applicable ROC conditions, such as flight visibility and visibility requirements, cloudy ceiling, and ensuring that the aircraft is visible. Throughout the flight, he must be able to see the aircraft and surrounding airspace. To carry out these tasks, the visual observer must be able to determine the relative altitude of the aircraft, the flight path, and the proximity to all other aerial activities and hazards (e.g., terrain, weather conditions, and structures) close enough to prevent the aircraft from posing a collision risk.

Visual observers should only perform observation tasks for one RPA at a time.

Visual observers should always communicate with the RPA pilot and quickly share information to avoid other aircraft if there is a possibility of conflict.

The use of visual observers in moving ground vehicles will not be approved as a method to expand the operating area/scope of an RPA system.

Here are the minimum requirements for visual observers:

  • Visual acuity sufficient to perform their tasks.
  • Working knowledge of the following:
    • visual scanning techniques;
    • communication requirements between crew members;
    • hazardous weather conditions in flight;
    •  the measures to be taken in the event of a risk of collision;
    • the vertical and horizontal limits of the operation;
    • the class of airspace in which they intend to operate the aircraft, including the vertical and horizontal limits of the airspace as well as the determination of adjacent airspace classes;
    • the priority rules indicated in the ROC
    •  limitations of the RPA system.
  • Radiotelephony – A restricted radiotelephony (aeronautical) certificate is required for communicating on protected aviation radio frequencies.
  • Language skills – The observer must demonstrate that he has an English language proficiency equal to or above level 4.

A maintenance technician must be trained in the maintenance of the RPA system.

An Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) license is not required to operate a small RPA in VLOS. The maintenance of an RPA, including the airworthiness of the aircraft, is the responsibility of the operator of the RPA.

With regard to the maintenance of all other RPAs (i.e., not the small RPAs used in VLOS), additional knowledge, skills, and competencies will be required and assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Payload operator

He must undergo training allowing him to understand the payloads of the RPA fully. If a pilot has a dual role (e.g., If the RPA pilot is also the payload operator), the certificate applicant must address the risks inherent because the same person has two functions. Payload operator functions must not affect handling aircraft or the RPA pilot’s workload.

Requirements for other crew members

Support personnel for launch and recovery systems and mission regulators/planners should be trained and deemed competent to carry out the tasks assigned to them by the RPA operator.

EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

In order to establish safe procedures for using the RPA, applicants for ROCs must establish an emergency procedures checklist and make it immediately available to each AP flight crew member for each PA system used.

Loss of link General
  • There are many acceptable ways of meeting the requirements for loss of link. However, procedures related to lost links should ensure that the aircraft’s flight path remains predictable and does not represent a risk to other airspace users.
    • Procedures related to link loss in the ROC request should include, where applicable, the flight path and circuit points in the event of loss of connection, use of the transponder, communication procedures (with whom and when), and the planned points of interruption of the flight or any other contingency planning in case RPA recovery is not feasible.
    • The pilot-in-command must assess the risks associated with specific circumstances of the link loss and establish when the Automated recovery or flight interruption maneuvers will begin.
    • Suppose a link loss could result in a situation where the device enters controlled airspace or a region with reporting requirements (i.e., restricted airspace). In that case, the certificate applicant must provide the loss of link to the relevant ATS unit or air traffic control provider before performing the proposed operation.
Loss of link during an operation authorized in IFR
  • Unless otherwise authorized, if an RPP is used under an IF authorization, the link loss procedure must comply with the last ATC clearance for a period prescribed by the provisions applicable in the matter so that the ATS unit is informed of the loss situation liaison and can ensure conflict resolution.
  • Link loss procedures that deviate from standard procedures for loss of communication in IF must be coordinated beforehand with the relevant ATS units included in the ROC request and the RPA operator’s operations manual.
  • Unless otherwise authorized, link loss procedures must:
    • limit RPA theft to areas above water or sparsely populated areas for return to a predetermined point of loss of link in VLOS to reestablish the connection;
    • avoid unpredictable U-turns and/or altitude changes;
    • avoid locating waiting points in the event of a loss of contact in an area published hold, airway, or air route.
  • If the link is not reestablished within a specified predetermined period in the ROC request, the aircraft may:
    • perform an automatic landing;
    • go to another lost link point to reestablish the link C2;
    • go to a point of interruption of the flight.
  • When multiple or concurrent RPA operations are planned in the same region, the certificate applicant must provide a separation plan in a simultaneous link loss scenario. For example, the conflict elimination plan may include different altitudes and horizontal spacing ensured by using independent link loss points.
Flight interruption

All PA systems must have system redundancies suitable and independent in operation to ensure their safety and overall predictability.

To avoid a situation where the aircraft is adrift and protect other airspace users, RPA systems that do not include redundancies could require an independent flight interruption system that the RPA driver can activate.

Emergency equipment requirements

The relevant crew member (s) must have access to emergency equipment, in particular a portable fire extinguisher of a type capable of extinguishing fires likely to occur.

CERTIFICATION OF RPA PILOT

This application procedure sets the conditions for issuing and validating a license for an RPA remote pilot and the conditions for issuing a medical certificate of aptitude for class 2.

  • AGE CONDITIONS – The RPA remote pilot must be over 18 years of age.
  • KNOWLEDGE – The remote PA pilot must have proven knowledge in the subjects following
    • Air law – RPA remote pilot regulations, rules of the air, methods, and appropriate air traffic services procedures.
    • General knowledge of RPAs – 
      • principles of use and operation of systems and instruments;
      • limits of use of the category of PA considered, operational information requirements of the flight manual or other relevant documents;
      • use and verification of the functioning of systems and equipment of aircraft considered;
      • method of maintaining aircraft cells, systems, and engines considered:
      • for powered-lift aircraft and helicopters, transmission (dynamic chain), if applicable.
    • Flight preparation, performance, and loading
      • effects of loading and mass distribution on maneuverability, the flight characteristics and performance of an aircraft; calculations of weight and balance
      • use and practical application of performance data, particularly in takeoff and on landing;
      • planning, pre-flight, and en route for commercial VFR flights; establishment and filing of flight plans for traffic services; air proper air traffic services procedures; altimeter setting procedures;
      • for powered-lift aircraft, airships, and helicopters: effects of external loads on maneuverability.
    • Human performance
      • Human performance, including the principles of managing threats and errors.
    • Meteorology
      • interpretation and application of messages, observations, maps, and forecasts aeronautical meteorological use and procedures for obtaining meteorological information, pre-flight and in-flight; altimetry;
      • aeronautical meteorology; elements of climatology influencing aviation in regions where the candidate will be required to manage the movement of pressure systems, structure of fronts, origin and characteristics of significant meteorological phenomena that influence the conditions of take-off, cruise, and landing;
      • causes, recognition, and effects of icing; penetration procedures frontal areas; avoidance of dangerous weather conditions.
    • Navigation
      • Air navigation, including aeronautical charts, instruments, and navigation aids; understanding the principles and characteristics of systems appropriate navigation; use of onboard equipment.
    • Operational procedures
      • applying threat and error management to performance operational;
      • use of aeronautical documentation such as publications aeronautical information (AIP), NOTAMs and codes and abbreviations aeronautics;
      • altimeter setting procedures;
      • appropriate emergency precautions and procedures;
      • operational procedures for transporting freight risks that may present dangerous goods;
      • in the case of helicopters and, where applicable, lift aircraft motorized, collective pitch default depression, ground resonance, retreating blade stall, lateral tipping, and other related hazards theft; safety measures specific to VMC flight.
    • Principles of flight
    • Radiotelephony
      • Communication procedures and phrases for VFR flight actions to be taken in the event of communications disruption.

THEORETICAL KNOWLEDGE EXAM

  • (Applicants for an RPA remote pilot license, one or more qualifications to be entered on the license receive the theoretical knowledge relating to the license or qualifications in an approved training organization (OFA).
  • The candidate will not be presented to the theoretical knowledge exams by the instructor or OFA who trained him only if the candidate’s level of knowledge is deemed satisfactory.
  • Ab initio candidates must have passed all the theoretical examinations required for the PA remote pilot license and the ratings to be entered on the license within a maximum period of two years from the date of registration in a first OFA, if applicable. However, if there is only one exam session for a given subject in two years, the candidate will be allowed to stand for two sessions.
  • Any pilot of a manned aircraft holding a valid license or not may, on request, benefit from a credit in terms of exemption from certain examinations of theoretical knowledge.
  • The minimum mark to be obtained by a candidate for a theoretical knowledge exam to be declared successful in this exam is 75% of correct answers.
  • The theoretical knowledge exams required for the remote pilot license remain valid 18 months after the date of the announcement of the results of the last theoretical knowledge exam, which the candidate will have passed.

PRACTICAL EXAMINATION

  • A candidate shall not sit for the practical examination to obtain a remote pilot license from RPA if they:
    • will not have passed all of their theoretical knowledge exams; Where (He) will have passed his final examination of theoretical knowledge required for the RPA license for over 18 months.
    • The candidate will not be presented for the practical examination by the instructor or the OFA who trained only if his practical training is completed and the level of experience operational expectations of the candidate are considered satisfactory. Instead, the instructor or the OFA will give the candidate’s file to the ANAC, who forwards it to the RPA examiner.
    • The candidate for the RPA remote pilot license shall demonstrate, during an examination practical, that it is capable, as an RPIC of an RPA of the considered category and of the corresponding PS, to apply the procedures and perform the maneuvers applicable with a degree of competence corresponding to the privileges attached to this license.
    • The RPA remote pilot license applicant will have acquired alongside an instructor the expected level of experience in piloting RPA and the use of an RPS from the category of those used for the examination convenient. The candidate for the remote pilot license practical exam must demonstrate competence in the following applicable areas:
      • recognition and management of threats and errors;
      • flight preparation, including inspection and preparation of the RPA and RPS, verification of communications and control functions, adjustment of commissioning of the RPS, loading, and validation of information for the flight plan, and obtaining ATC clearances if necessary;
      • maneuvering on the ground and in the aerodrome circuit, where applicable, precautions take and procedures to be applied to avoid collisions on the ground and in flight (CA), including through the use of RPA observers and communications, if applicable;
      • control of RPA by visual reference, unless PAS allows no such maneuvers;
      • recovery from dangerously high-speed flight situation low, with a high rate of descent and, in the case of airplane RPAs, avoidance cities;
      • recovery from unusual attitudes, concerning ‘flight instrumentation or using onboard cameras;
      • normal and crosswind take-offs and landings;
      • navigation procedures using all available means, including change of destination or in-flight change of programming of the flight plan in the event of failure of the C2 link;
      • recognition of hazardous meteorological phenomena and procedures to avoid them;
      • procedures and maneuvers in exceptional and emergency situations, including the simulation of electrical and engine failures, software, loss of the C2 link, failure and operating anomalies limited to RPS, and communications failure;
      • in the case of helicopter AP, procedures in exceptional situations and emergency, autorotation, retreating blade stall, dent with engine, rotor rpm too low, forced landing, operations on the ground in slope, takeoff at maximum performance, steep approach, oblique landing, and take-off;
      • compliance with horizontal and vertical airspace restrictions, observance of ATC service instructions and procedures;
      • in the case of PA helicopters: hovering circulation near the ground and hover rotation change from hover to flying in displacement and vice versa.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Provide proof of ownership of the RPAS;

Provide an extract from the criminal record dated less than three (03) months;

The ANAC may require a morality investigation.


Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Benin

See general rules above.


Notes for Commercial Drone Services operations in Benin

See general rules above.


Useful published information on flying drones in Benin

Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Benin…

NOTE: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model aircraft, toy aircraft, Remote controlled aircraft, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.


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