Just like any other type of regulations, the new Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) drone regulations provides drone fans with guidelines of flying drones within the confines of the law. However, there are some requirements that seem weird but they have to be met regardless of their ‘weirdness’. Let’s take a look at these regulations
Zimbabwean drone operators are required to have a Class 4 Medical Certificate to fly their drones. This is the type of medical certificate which is a requirement for recreational pilots, be it for drones or some other aircraft. As written in the CAAZ regulations:
An applicant for an RPL (Remote Pilot Lcense) shall hold at least a valid Class 4 medical certificate for B-VLOS operations or operations involving RPA classified as Class 3 or higher; or (ii) for all other classes or types of operation, submit a self-declared medical assessment report……
Frankly, I didn’t think that drone operators are required to have a medical certificate considering that drones dont carry a people who may be at risk if the pilot become mentally or physically incapacitated. But I understand that any airborne object poses danger no matter the size so one has to be assessed if they are mentally or physically fit.
This requirement is not exclusive to Zimbabwe as the United States also requires drone operators to have some kind of medical evaluation to fly a drone.
First Aid Kit
As I said I above, drone’s just like any airborne object pose danger. You never know, you may lose control of the drone or it might run out of battery and land on someone’s head. That’s when a first aid kit comes in handy, no wonder why CAAZ requires you to have it when you fly the drone. As written in the CAAZ regulations:
No operator of a remoteley piloted aircraft shall operate the aircraft unless a first aid kit consisting of the medical supplies is available within the remote pulot station……………………
Hand-held fire extinguishers
Usually, fire extinguishers are carried onboard an aircraft (that carries people) in case a fire starts. But since drone operators are not onboard of their drones I was surprised to know that drone operator still need a fire extinguisher. Indeed, You should always carry a small portable fire extinguisher with you during your ‘missions’ according to the CAAZ regulations. As written in the CAAZ regulations:
No remotely piloted aircraft shall be operated unless suitable hand-hledfire extinduishers is available at the ground station.
Perhaps one argument for having this requirement is that the Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries in drones can be volatile and cause a relative minor explosions. So if this ever happens, it’s best to be prepared with your fire extinguisher.
Whilst a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher seem essential, it will be somewhat inconvenient for drone operators to carry them around whenever they want to fly their drones. But hey, at the end of the day you don’t want to spend two years in prison when CAAZ catches you at the wrong side of the law after you get into an accident.