OUR 2 CENTS ON THE “NEW DRONE REGULATIONS” FOR SOUTH AFRICA
All commercial drones do in fact have to be registered with the CAA under the new regulations. Hobby drones (under 7kg) do not need to be registered, and the hobby pilot does not need to have any RPL (remote pilots licence).
Drones may not be flown directly overhead any person or group, or within a lateral distance of 50m from any person. The same restriction applies to the flying of a drone within 50m of a building or structure.
* Drones may not use a public road as a place of landing or take-off, except if the device is being used for law enforcement operations. Then reasonable care must be taken to keep people and property in the area safe, said Khoza.
* The device must also be in a fit-to-fly condition before it can be used, and the pilot must have a valid remote pilot licence. To qualify, operators need to be older than 18 and hold at least a Class 4 medical certificate for beyond visual line of sight operations. They would also need to be able to be proficient in English.
* The SACAA said a drone pilot would be expected to do a pre-flight inspection before each take-off and to maintain radio contact with the air traffic services unit within the area.
* Drones may also not be towed to another aircraft, perform aerial acrobatic displays or be flown in formation. They may also not be used to carry cargo or release, dispense, drop or deliver objects, said Khoza.
* The SACAA said drones would have to give way to manned aircraft and avoid any obstruction of these craft’s flight path.