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Aerial Survey - UAV Drone Law in South Africa

In July 2015, the Minister of Transport, Ms Dipuo Peters, signed and introduced new rules and regulations regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s), popularly known as drones.

This article is an attempt to make the new regulations simpler to understand and easier to remember.

For your convenience we have collected 14 of the most important specifics that you need to know about UAV laws in accordance with part 101 of Civil Aviation regulations.

UAV_drone Aerial Surveying Equipment 

14 UAV regulations you need to know

  1. These regulations apply to toy aircraft, unmanned free balloons and other types of aircraft which cannot be managed on a real-time basis during flight.
  2. You need to have a valid Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved remote pilot licence as well as a letter of approval to operate your UAV.
  3. The letter of approval is only valid for 12 months.
  4. UAV’s cannot fly more than 120m above the ground, nor within 10km of an airfield.
  5. UAV’s cannot be flown within 50m above or near to a person or crowd of people, free-standing structure or building – without prior South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) approval.
  6. Additionally, UAV’s cannot be flown adjacent to or above the following buildings:
    1. a crime scene
    2. a court of law
    3. national key points
    4. a nuclear power plant
    5. a prison
    6. a police station
  7. It prohibited to use a public road for take-off or landing of a UAV.
  8. You may not fly a UAV in adverse weather conditions – visual contact must be maintained with the RPA operator and your UAV – except in cases where it has been approved for use beyond the visual line of sight or night operations.
  9. UAV’s must give way to all manned aircrafts – avoiding passing over, under or in front of a manned aircraft, unless your UAV is well clear and you have taken into account the effect of the aircraft’s wake turbulence.
  10. Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) pilots are required to tune into the air traffic services for the controlled airspace they will be flying their UAV in – conveying all co-ordinates to said traffic controllers.
  11. All UAV flight activity must be recorded in a logbook.
  12. UAV’s cannot be used to transport goods or make deliveries.
  13. UAV’s cannot tow another aircraft, perform aerial or aerobatic displays or be flown in formation.
  14. All incidents involving a UAV must be reported, specifically in cases where the is any injury to a person; damage to property; or destruction of the UAV beyond repair.

Allen Associates – Drone Aerial Surveying South Africa

While you do not need to have the following documents when buying your drone, it is important that you understand the requirements as stipulated in the SACAA regulations.

For more information and the full details of the CAA Aviation regulations related to RPAS Part 101 please click here.

For more information on our UAV products please contact us.






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