Drones in mining can improve the overall productivity of large mine
sites: CAAZ

By Lungelo Ndhlovu
Miners who adapt drones into their mining operations can quickly realize
the significant added value to their mining operations, according to the
Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ).
“Drones can provide accurate and comprehensive data detailing site
conditions in a very short time. Drones can also support better
coordination among teams on the mining sites,” said Prudence Mariwa,
Aerodromes Inspector at CAAZ in an interview.
However, professional miners who need to use drone technologies in
their operations must adhere to their usage and follow the country’s
rules and regulations.
“Drone owners and operators should familiarise themselves with the
Civil Aviation (Remotely Piloted Aircraft RPA) Regulations (Statutory

Instrument 271 of 2018). Hard copies can be obtained from Print flow
(Pvt) Ltd (formerly Government Printers) which has outlets in Harare,
Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo,” he said.
Mariwa indicated that all drones should be registered with the Authority
(CAAZ) before they can be operated in Zimbabwe and this also includes
preclearance before temporary importation.

“The statute stipulates that no person shall sell a remotely piloted aircraft
within Zimbabwe unless he or she has, by way of a packaging label, or
in the case of a resale, by way of written notification, notified the buyer of
the requirements prescribed by the Authority. For commercial and
corporate or non-profit, operators should obtain an RPA Air Operator
Certificate before commencing drone operations,” he said.

According to Mariwa below are some important information on the
drone technologies use in Zimbabwe:

Class  MTOM (kg)  Document issued by CAAZ after registration
Class 1  – Below 2 kg  Approval Letter
Class 2  – 2–7 kg  Certificate of Registration
Class 3  – 7–20 kg  Certificate of Registration
Class 4  – 20–70 kg  Certificate of Registration
Class 5  – 70–150 kg  Certificate of Registration
Class 6  – Below 150 kg  Certificate of Registration
Class 7  – Larger than 150 kg Certificate of Registration
Class 8 – Reserved  

  • All drones shall be registered.
  • Drones below 2kg (class 1) will be issued with an Approval Letter only after registration. Most toy and recreational drones fall into this class.
  •  Drones above 2kg will be issued with an Approval Letter plus Certificate of Registration.
  • Approval Letter is valid for 12 months after initial registration, thereafter the validity period changes to 3 years.
  • Certificates of Registration and Approval Letters are not transferable, ownership changes must be registered with the Authority.

Drone registration requirements Registration eligibility; 
The following persons shall be eligible to register a remotely piloted
aircraft in Zimbabwe—  

(a)  a Zimbabwean citizen or permanent resident of Zimbabwe;
(b) companies, organisations, associations, partnerships or institutions
whose principal place of business is in Zimbabwe.

Documents required for registration

  • Copy of ID or passport
  •  Proof of ownership, hire or lease and proof of ZIMRA clearance
  • Approval Letter (class 2 and above)
  • Drone specifications
  • Completed registration form; CA for 520 for individuals and CA form 505 for corporates.
  • Airworthiness history review of the remotely piloted aircraft, where necessary (class 2 and above)
  • The Authority shall carry out a physical inspection of the remotely piloted aircraft system, its maintenance and operational history (class 2 and above).
  • Proof of deregistration if the drone was previously registered in another country.
  • Owners of drones in class 2 and above who were only issued with Approval Letter will need to apply for registration and obtain Certificates of Registration.

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