Legal Drone operations

A RPL is one of the requirements to fly commercially, however one still need an RPAS Operators Certificate (ROC) for commercial, corporate and non-profit operations.

0
2473

The global drone industry is booming and policy makers are having a tough time keeping up. However, in South Africa we have clear, established drone laws since 2015. Drones, UAVs, UAS, RPAs, or whatever you may call them, they are set to become a defining feature of this century.
Many are already in operation in South Africa and that is likely to grow further as it is safer and more cost effective than some industry solutions.
RPA’s can create 3D models of construction areas, calculate volumes, measure surfaces and create progress reports to mention but a few.
In 2018 Salaria, who is owned and run by Mr PC Annandale and Ms Ina Annandale, became one of only 22 companies in South Africa to receive their ROC.
“After a 2-year process and a few hundred thousand rand later, we finally managed to obtain our ROC (RPAS Operators Certificate), it has been a tough journey, but well worth it. We realized early on, that if you want to operate in the Secunda area, you will need an ROC.” said Ina Annandale.
Unfortunately, in South Africa there is still some confusion regarding the laws that govern South African RPAS operations.
Mrs Dale McErlean Director at Ntsu Aviation Solutions, who was responsible for the accreditation of RPAS operators and issuing of RPAS operators certificates at the SACAA until January 2018, gave us some insights into the matter.
“The long and the short of it, should one wish to fly for commercial, corporate or non-profit purposes, you need to have a valid RPL (“Drone Pilots License”) and fly under a company with a current ROC (operators certificate).
Having an RPL alone, does not make you legal. A RPL is one of the requirements to fly commercially, however one still need an RPAS Operators Certificate (ROC) for commercial, corporate and non-profit operations.
For all private operations, one is required to comply with Subpart 5 of Part 101, with the stated exceptions. All flights are limited to R-VLOS and the maximum take-off mass of the RPA may not exceed 7kgs. One may not fly within 10kms of an aerodrome (heliport, private airstrip, registered airfield, major airport), within controlled, restricted or prohibited airspace, above or adjacent to a National Key Point, police station, crime scene, court of law or strategic installation.
In addition, private operations shall remain away from people, buildings/structures and public roads. For all operations, adequate safety provisions are required to be in place to protect other airspace users and people and property on the ground.” Said Mrs D McErlean.”
“We are both excited and humbled by receiving our ROC, but we could not have done it without the support and guidance of family, friends and role models like Mr Jason English, Robbie Kuhn, Christoff Legrance and Elmarie van Huyssteen who have been a great source of inspiration to us.” said Mr PC Annandale
If you need any further information on the regulations you can visit www.caa.co.za and search for the heading Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here