South Africa Drone Regulations


South Africa Drone Regulations – Updated 5/21/2015

south africa drone regulationsWe have reached out to the Minister of Transportation in South Africa for additional information.  However, based upon a speech given by the Director of Civil Aviation, Ms Poppy Khoza, on May 17th about South Africa drone regulations:

  • No remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) shall be operated, unless such RPA has been issued with a letter of approval; which is valid for a period of 12 months.
  • No RPA shall be sold unless the seller has notified the buyer of the operational requirements as imposed by the SACAA.
  • No person shall operate an RPAS unless:
    • a. the RPA is in a fit-to-fly condition;
    • b. the pilot is the holder of a valid remote pilot licence;
    • c. the remotely piloted aircraft station is compatible and interoperable with the aircraft it is connected to in all phases of flight; and
    • d. the RPA is being controlled by only one piloted aircraft station at any given moment in time.
  • No RPA shall:
    • a. tow another aircraft;
    • b. perform aerial or aerobatic displays;
    • c. be flown in formation or swarm;
    • d. be flown adjacent to or above a nuclear power plant, prison, police station, crime scene, court of law, national key point or strategic installation.
  • No RPA shall be operated:
    • a. above 400ft above the surface; and
    • b. within a radius of 10 km from an aerodrome.
  • The new regulations further prohibit:
    • the flying of an RPA directly overhead any person or group of people or within a lateral distance of 50m from any person;
    • the flying of an RPA within a lateral distance of 50m from any structure or building;
    • the operating of an RPAS in weather conditions that do not allow unobstructed visual contact to be maintained with the RPA by the operator unless and other airspace users, unless in approved beyond visual line of sight or night operations;
    • the use a public road as a place of landing or take-off of an RPA, except when involved in civil defense or law-enforcement operations and provided that at all times reasonable care is taken to ensure the safety of persons and property; and
    • the flying of an RPAS in controlled airspace, except by the holder of an RPAS operators certificate and on condition that such operations have been duly approved.

We will keep you up to date on South Africa drone regulations.

Interested in reviewing regulations in other countries?  Stop by our global drone regulations guide.