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Airspace Harmony: A New Framework for Drone Regulations in the Global South

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May 29th, 2024

CAA White paper

Across the Global South, Flying Labs showcase the Power of Local every day, utilizing drones and other emerging technologies to drive positive social change and implement innovative solutions to real-world challenges, from disaster response to environmental conservation. However, in the course of their work, many Flying Labs and their local drone ecosystems experience regulatory hurdles as national Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) seek to develop adaptable drone regulations that support innovation without compromising safety. This poses a significant difficulty for everyone: regulators, operators, and a variety of actors within the larger local drone ecosystem, including manufacturers, insurance companies, academia, future talent, and more. 

There is currently no one-size-fits-all set of drone regulations; each country has distinct drivers, needs, and challenges regarding drone operations. A contextual understanding of the local, regional, and global regulatory environment is foundational for CAAs to balance local considerations with global harmonization. Effective stakeholder engagement can be a catalyst for CAAs to establish a contextual understanding of their local, regional, and global regulatory environment. However, the onus is not just on the CAAs; proactive leadership from local stakeholders in fostering collaboration across the ecosystem can significantly amplify the effectiveness of regulatory development.

It is this realization that prompted a collaboration between WeRobotics, Namibia Flying Labs, and Deloitte D2international, a social impact community within Deloitte Consulting LLP. Following a year-long learning project spearheaded by Namibia Flying Labs with the support of WeRobotics and Deloitte D2international, we are thrilled to share the culmination of our collective expertise in the form of this comprehensive white paper that delves into the dynamics of proactive engagement with CAAs to foster thriving local drone ecosystems, using Namibia Flying Labs as a case study.

The learning project produced a repeatable framework that now can be replicated and refined across the Flying Labs Network – the Flying Labs Drone Regulations Engagement Framework. Designed to equip Flying Labs to form tailored insights regarding their local drone regulations, this framework will enable local drone ecosystems to develop community- and data-driven drone regulations, understand their current applications, identify challenges, gather insights from other countries, and develop informed solutions.

As this white paper highlights, there is no universal solution to drone regulation. Instead, adaptable approaches that consider the specific contexts of each country's drone ecosystems are necessary. It serves as a guide and a call to action. As drones continue to play an essential role in various social good applications, it is imperative for local ecosystems to overcome regulatory barriers – collaboratively. 

We invite you to dive into this insightful study and join the conversation. If you are interested in bringing this approach to your country, contact us at

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