Definition: "Remotely piloted aircraft" (RPA) means an unmanned aircraft which is piloted from a remote pilot station.

Acceptable uses of RPA


For private use:

(a)    The RPA may only be used for an individual's personal and private purposes where there is no commercial outcome, interest or gain;

(b)    The person shall obtain prior authorisation from the  Department of Civil Aviation;

(c)    The pilot must observe all statutory requirements relating to liability, privacy and any other laws enforceable by any other authorities.

For all other use:

(a)    The RPA operated for commercial, corporate and non-profit operation  must be registered  and have an RPA Operator Certificate (ROC) issued by the  Department of Civil Aviation. 

Dangers of negligent operation of an RPA:

(a)   Collision with other aircraft, with possible fatal results

(b)   Injury to the public

(c)   Damage to people's property

(d)   Legal liability for breaking laws  such as privacy by-laws and other laws enforceable by other  

Do's and Don'ts:


DO NOT, through act or omission, endanger the safety of another aircraft or person therein or any person or property through negligent flying/operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or toy aircraft.

Do not fly/operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or toy aircraft 30 m or closer from:

  1. Any person or group of persons (like sports field, road races, schools, social events, etc.)
  2. Any property without permission from the property owner.

Unless approved by the  Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), DO NOT fly/operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft or toy aircraft:

  1. Near manned aircraft
  2. 10 km or closer to an aerodrome (airport, helipad, airfield)
  3. In controlled airspace
  4. In restricted airspace
  5. In prohibited airspace.

Do not fly/operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or toy aircraft higher than 150 ft from the ground, unless approved by the Director of Civil Aviation.


  1. Fly/operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or toy aircraft in a safe manner, at all times.
  2. Remotely Piloted Aircraft or toy aircraft should remain within the visual line of sight at all times.
  3. Fly/operate RPA in daylight and clear weather conditions.
  4. Inspect your aircraft before each flight.

Note: All the application for Remote Pilot Aircraft use shall be addressed to the Director of Civil Aviation, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Postal Address

The Director of Civil Aviation
P/Bag B311
Lilongwe 3


For more information refer to RPA Operations Guidance Advisory Circular A3/2017 of the  Department of Civil Aviation.

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