Setback for New UAV regulations

New UAV regulations a potential setback for local industry:

New rules in South Africa for the regulation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be formally put into effect on 1 July 2015 by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). According to the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of South Africa (CUAASA), an aviation industry organisation, the new regulations may impede a number of local sectors, including the production industry where drones are often used to capture aerial footage.

Aerial Picture SA
Photo Source : Aerial Picture SA

At a workshop aimed at informing members about the new regulations, which ran from 10 to 13 June in Centurion, CUAASA explained a number of implications. According to a report by Defence Web on the event, CUAASA said, “SACAA has given notice that – based on their interpretation of the legislation – they intend to subject drone license applicants to the same rigorous process as commercial freight and passenger airlines at the Air Services Licensing Council. This is untenable and unreasonable – akin to subjecting a model boat to a warship review.”

The report includes further comment from CUAASA which stated, “Moreover they will not recognise, or make a ‘grandfather clause’ allowance for pilots with years of experience who will simply be lumped together with novice applicants who have never flown before. That is not say that licensing must be a ‘free for all’. Technical standards and testing for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) pilots are essential. The immediate problem however is that no such standards exist and, as a consequence, no pilots will be able to apply to fly RPAS when the Amendment comes into effect on 1 July.”

These regulations could further impact job creation and according to economist Doctor Roelof Botha, who conducted an economic impact assessment using CUAASA and its members, could result in approximately 2 022 less jobs and the loss of millions of Rands in taxes.

Source : Defenceweb

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