Drone Law in South Africa?
So, a question we get often is why do I need a CAA licensed drone operator with a ROC when I can just do it myself. Good question. Lets have a deeper look into this to understand it better.
The current Drone laws in South Africa covering RPAS Drone UAV usage limits the use of drones especially for commercial use.
So happy snapper drones can fly without licensed BUT can’t do anything for reward, they also must follow some of the basic drone laws that dictate where they can fly for safety and privacy reasons.
Civil Aviation Regulation 101 states: (the source of Drone Law in South Africa)
(a) The RPAS may only be used for an individual’s personal and private purposes where there is no commercial outcome, interest or gain;
(b) The pilot must observe all statutory requirements relating to liability, privacy and any other laws enforceable by any other authorities.
For all other use (commercial)–a RPA must be registered and may only be operated in terms of Part 101 of the South African Civil Aviation Regulations.
It goes on further to explain where a recreational or licensed operator may fly:
Unless approved by the SACAA, DO NOT fly/operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft or toy aircraft:
• Near manned aircraft
• 10 km or closer to an aerodrome (airport, helipad, airfield, remember every hospital has a helipad.)
• Weighing more than 7 kg
• In controlled airspace (airport)
• In restricted airspace (harbors, power plants, prisons, police station, courts of law, key points etc)
• In prohibited airspace.
• Within 50m of people or buildings
As you can see the laws are limiting, annoying BUT responsible as none of us want to wake up to a drone looking into our window.
The reality is base don the above to get legal drone footage or use you will require operating with a legal drone operator who has a value ROC and licensed with CAA.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR DRONE OPERATOR IS LEGAL?
It’s quite simple to determine this. Simply ask them to show you the following documents:
1. CAA issued ROC (remote operating Certificate) stating their office address on it.
2. Dept Transport issued ASL (Air Services License)
3. CAA Issued RLA (remote letter of approval) for the drone.
4. CAA approved OP Spec
5. Copy of Legal Operators Operations manual on site
6. Proof of insurance of aircraft and public liability cover
7. Registered aircraft (ZT-xxx) displayed on aircraft
8. ICASA issued Radio station license for the aircraft being used
All of these are legal requirements to be with any legal drone operation.
An operator saying they have applied for their ROC is still an illegal operator until the day he has been approved by CAA and can supply all the above documents.
So many then say they will just take the risk and use illegals. Would you employee illegal staff, and pay for illegal services? This places you at risk.
Illegal drone operators are not insured, if they say they are they are simply lying to you to get your business as no insurance company will insure illegal operations.
Working with legal drone companies you can be assured of quality and accountability and reducing your risk an exposure many times over.
Contact Purple Turtle UAV and drone services today to find out how we can help you with legal above board accountable drone services.