Drone Laws in Ghana

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Republic of Ghana

Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA)


UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Ghana

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

Are drones allowed in Ghana?

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

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

In Ghana, drones are classified into three categories.:

  • Small RPAS: Up to a take-off weight of 1.5 kilograms
  • Light RPAS: With a take-off weight of more than 1.5 kilograms and up to max. 7 kilograms
  • Large RPAS: All drones weighing more than 7 kilograms

The following are the most critical rules to follow:

  • The GCAA requires that all drones be registered. Registration fees can be up to $4,000, and failure to register a drone carries a 30-year prison sentence. 
  • Pilots for commercial RPAS operations, pilots of large RPAS, and pilots of RPAS with Type Certificate are required to obtain a Remote Pilot Licence (see below for licensing procedure).
  • Avoid flying within a ten-kilometer (six-mile) radius of airports or helipads. 
  • Never fly drones above 400 feet vertically. 
  • Drones must maintain a visual line of sight. 
  • Insurance for drones is required. 
  • Drones may be operated at night only with the approval of the GCAA. 
  • Drones are not permitted to fly in restricted areas. 
  • Without prior special authorization, no goods may be dropped or transported via drone. 
  • Operators of drones must be at least 18 years old. 
  • It is prohibited to fly into icy conditions. 
  • Drones are not permitted to be operated in congested urban, suburban, or rural areas. Additionally, drones are not permitted to fly over crowds. 
  • Without prior express permission, drones may not fly within a 30 meter (98 foot) radius of buildings or vehicles.

Pilot Licensing

  1. Apply to the Director-General, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, KIA, Accra, Ghana using Application Form R28-AF-008. In addition, if the purpose of the license is for commercial use (other than recreational purposes), you must attach a Cover Letter on company letterhead to the form introducing the applicant for the license. Address your letter to the Director-General (Attention: Director, Safety Regulation), Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, KIA, Accra, Ghana. An accountable executive must sign the letter.
  2. The applicant will be taken through the application approval process as per Checklist R28-CL-005.
  3. You must pay the appropriate charges, depending on the weight category of the drones you are operating. You can go to the linked page for full details on charges, which shows the Scheme of Charges.
  4. At the end of the approval process, the applicant may be issued or denied the RPAS Pilot or RPAS Pilot Instructor License as applicable.
  5. The approval is valid as per the relevant conditions stated in GCAD Part 28 unless otherwise revoked, suspended, or amended.
  6. The License will be printed on GCAA security sheets.

Additional notes for foreign operators

You are not allowed to import an RPAS without the written approval of the Authority. The procedure to import a drone is as follows:

  1. You apply using Application Form R28-AF-001. If the purpose of the RPAS is for commercial use (other than recreational purposes), attach a Cover Letter on company letterhead to the form indicating the purpose of the RPAS. Address your letter to the Director-General (Attention: Director, Safety Regulation), Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, KIA, Accra, Ghana. An accountable executive must sign the letter.
  2. You must pay the appropriate charges, depending on the weight category of the drones you are importing. You can go to the linked page for full details on charges, which shows the Scheme of Charges.
  3. The Authority will then issue a Clearance Letter to Ghana Customs.
  4. The Authority shall also issue a letter to the applicant on the requirement for registering RPAS and certification, where applicable.
  5. The RPAS shall then be registered after clearing customs as per the “Approval Process for Recreational and Private Operations.”
  6. If intended for commercial purposes, the organization shall first have to be taken through certification as detailed in the “Approval Process for Commercial Operations.” In such a case, the RPAS shall be registered under the recreational category until the completion of the certification process, after which its category would be changed to the commercial category.

Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Ghana

You are allowed to fly a small or light RPAS (defined above) with the written approval of the Authority. The procedure to receive approval is as follows:

  1. Apply using Application Form R28-AF-003. If the purpose of the RPAS is for private purposes, a Cover Letter on company letterhead must be attached to the form indicating the purpose of the RPAS. Address your letter to the Director-General (Attention: Director, Safety Regulation), Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, KIA, Accra, Ghana. Ensure that an accountable executive signs your letter.
  2. The assigned GCAA personnel(s) will inspection the UAV and register it after successful inspection using Checklist R28-CL-001.
  3. The registration number is generated sequentially, but an applicant may request a special registration number.
  4. You must pay the appropriate charges, depending on the weight category of the drones you are operating. You can go to the linked page for full details on charges, which shows the Scheme of Charges.
  5. The Authority will then issue a Letter of Approval. The Approval shall be printed on GCAA Security Sheet.
  6. The approval is valid for one year from the date of issue unless otherwise revoked, suspended, or amended.

Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Ghana

You will need an RPAS Operating Certificate (ROC) issued by the Authority to conduct commercial operations. The procedure to get an operating certificate is as follows:

  1. You should download the documents in the folder “RPAS Guidance for Commercial Operations.”
  2. You will then complete the included RPAS POPS Form and submit it together with a Cover Letter on company letterhead, signed by an Accountable Executive to the Director-General (Attention: Director, Safety Regulation) Ghana Civil Aviation, KIA, Accra, Ghana.
  3. You will then be taken through the applicable certification process as per certification Checklist R28-CL-002.
  4. You must pay the appropriate charges, depending on the weight category of the drones you are operating. You can go to the linked page for full details on costs, which shows the Scheme of Charges.
  5. At the end of the certification, the applicant may be issued or denied the RPAS Operating Certificate.
  6. The approval is valid for one year from the date of issue unless otherwise revoked, suspended, or amended.
  7. The applicant must submit the RPAS POPS Form at least sixty (60) days before the intended start of operations.

The Pilot of commercial operations must be appropriately licensed. See the Pilot Licensing details above in General Rules.

requests for flying above 400 feet or beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), as well as special situations, require separate approvals. Go to the Authority website linked above for further details.


Useful published information on flying drones in Ghana

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

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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IMPORTANT NOTE

The content on this site is collated by volunteers from public general information. This material is not presented as legal advice of any kind, and we cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Do not substitute the information you find here for legal advice from a licensed attorney who is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction. When in doubt, contact the local aviation authority responsible for drone safety, utilize a licensed drone service operator, and/or consult a qualified attorney.

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