For traveling drone owners, Zimbabwe has its own rules for the temporary import of multicopters. You must apply to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) at least 30 days before entry. To do this, you must provide the following information:
- Name and address of the owner/controller of the drone
- Land in which the drone is already registered
- Model, serial number, and manufacturer of the copter
- The weight of the drone
- Specifications of the drone
- Purpose of the drone in Zimbabwe
- Duration of the planned temporary import
- Details of the scheduled airfields
After getting the approval from the CAAZ, you will also need to obtain a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. These rules apply to foreigners.
But the citizens of Zimbabwe have to overcome some hurdles before they can rise with a copter. Locals always need a Letter of Approval (RPA) from the CAAZ in Zimbabwe before you want to get on a drone. RPAs are initially valid for one year and can then be issued for a further three years. Above all, for the application, you must demonstrate your piloting skills and show that your aircraft has sufficient safety standards. For commercially available drones, I assume that a Letter of Conformity (i.d.R is part of the delivery) is sufficient. The application will incur a fee.
Once you’ve mastered the bureaucracy, keep in mind that during Copter flights, a first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher must always be within the range of the helper.
Maximum altitude: In Zimbabwe, multicopters are allowed to ascend up to a height of 120 meters (400 feet).
Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: In most cases, a horizontal distance of 500 meters between drone and you is required as a controller. If you are eligible for extended visual line-of-sight maneuvers, you may fly up to 1,000 meters if a qualified observer observes the drone.
Compulsory insurance: In Zimbabwe insurance for multicopters is mandatory.
Distance to airports: To airports, a distance of 5 kilometers (3 miles) must be observed.
Hours of Operation: Drone flights at night require approval from the CAAZ.
Special legislation: Each drone must have an altimeter (altimeter), so you can always understand the current altitude on the ground. If your drone does not have this feature, you must abide by the toy drone rules (see below).
Requirements for commercial pilots: I understand that Zimbabwe does not distinguish between drone flights for recreational and commercial purposes.
Good to know: These laws do not apply to toy drones for children unless they are equipped with surveillance equipment (such as a camera). In these cases, you can fly as high as the highest obstacle in an environment of 300 meters. The maximum horizontal distance between the controller and copter is also 500 meters, and you must always have direct eye contact (Restricted Visual Line-of-Sight).
Helpful Links: Techzim
We have researched the listed drone regulations for Zimbabwe to the best of our knowledge. We cannot guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Zimbabwe!