SACAA Regulation News

Progress thus far (November 2015):
  • 140 RPAS registered. Unmannedtech 6 RPAS Registered
  • 15 RPL licenses issued (48 applications). MR J HL Bonthuys Unmannedtech as Instructor and RPL Holder Mr. Ross Cameron RPL Holder 2 others in Progress
  • 35 RLA applications received, 2 issued, 14 in final stages. Unmannedtech in final stage.
  • 1 RMT application received.
  • 84 ROC applications received, 70 pre-app meetings, 8 prospective operators in Phase 3, and 3 in phase 4, 3 issued. Unmannedtech in final stage.
  • 10 RTO applications received, 2 already gone through phase 2, 1 issued.
  • 12 ASL applicants Gazetted, 6 issued. Unmannedtech to receive ASL in December.
  • New Drone Regulations for South Africa:
    New rules for drones in South Africa include (basic overview):

    • Do not fly more than 400 feet above the ground (about a 40 story building).
    • Do not fly more than 500 meters away from the pilot (line of sight).
    • Do not fly closer than 10km from an airport (any registered aerodrome, airstrip, helipad, etc).
    • Do not fly closer than 50m from people.
    • Do not fly closer than 50m from buildings.
    • Do not fly closer than 50m from roads.
    • Do not fly any drone more than 7kg for hobby use (up to 20kg for commercial use).

    Commercial Drone Pilots:

    Commercial RPAS operations require all of the following:

    • RPL -Remote Pilots Licence (incl.: Aviation Medical Certificate , English Language Proficiency Certificate , RPL pilot training).
    • Restricted Radio Licence.
    • RPL - RPAS Letter of Approval (incl.: Flight Manual , Technical Specifications , Maintenance Program , Safety Case).
    • ROC - Remote Operator Certificate (Operations Manual , Security Manual , Safety Management System , Quality Management System).
    • Air Service Licence (from the Air Services Council - Department of Transport).
    • The drone must be registered (with SACAA).
    • For night flying the RPA (drone) must be approved for night flights, including strobe lights and navigation lights.
    • Must have a transponder and special approval from SACAA to fly in controlled airspace.
    • Must have handheld Fire Extinguisher and a First Aid Kit.
    • Listed approvals in the Ops Spec (Operational Specifications): The commercial operator may have special approval to operate drones closer than 50m from people, buildings and roads, or within 10km

    Fines and Enforcement of Illegal Drone Operators
    To date there has been no report in the media of any drone operators being fined by the SACAA as yet. However the SACAA has been active in stopping operations, and issuing warning letters.
    The SACAA has indicated they will follow their standard enforcement procedures, which include fines of up to R50 000 or prison sentence.

    Drone Laws in Neighbouring Countries
    Various other southern African countries have indicated that they will be setting up a legal system for drone operators in the near future, and some already have setup a system.

    CAA of Botswana
    New regulations for operating drones in Botswana became effective from 2 July 2015, through an AIC.
    All drones must be registered with the CAAB (Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana), including those used for private use!
    Link to the Regulations for drones in Botswana: http://www.caab.co.bw/tempx/REMOTELY%20CONTROLLED%20AIRCRAFT%20A2%20Poster.pdf 

    DCA of Namibia
    The DCA (Directorate of Civil Aviation) is in the process of creating new regulations for operating drones in Namibian airspace. 
    In the interim, the DCA of Namibia has developed an application form for people who want to operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) which has to be completed and returned to the DCA for assessment and approval. The purpose of the form is to determine where the RPA will be operated, aircraft type, aircraft maximum flight altitude and description of intended use. 

    Kenya CAA
    The KCAA (Kenya Civil Aviation Authority)  is in the process of creating new regulations for operating drones in Kenyan airspace.
    Hobby drones are banned in Kenya, and tourists are routinely stopped at the airport and prevented from bringing drones into the country.


    Tanzania CAA
    The TCAA (Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority) is in the process of creating new regulations for operating drones in Tanzania airspace.
    Hobby drones are banned in Tanzanian national parks, including Serengeti and Ngorongoro park, and tourists are routinely stopped at the airport and prevented from bringing drones into the country.
    from airports, within controlled airspace, etc..
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