Although the new regulations for operating drones commercially in South Africa only took effect on 1 July 2015, a number of drone operators have begun to comply with the regulations.

For example, it is possible to achieve a number of the requirements of the regulations, including the following.

Some Drone Operators Already Have Achieved the Following:

  • Restricted Radio Licence (also known as Restricted Certificate of Radiotelephony – Aeronautical).  Online theory exam at CAA as well as a practical exam with a certified examiner.
  • Aviation Medical Certificate (or complete the Medical self assessment form supplied after 1 July)
  • English Language Proficiency Certificate.
  • RPL pilot training (practical and theory training for RPAS in line with Part 101).
  • Prepared documents to be ready to submit as soon as it is possible to do so (see below).
  • RPAS Flight Manual.
  • RPAS Maintenance program (manufacturer).
  • RPAS technical description.
  • Operations Manual (generated by the operator).
  • Security Manual.
  • SMS – Safety Management System.
  • QMS – Quality Management System.
  • Flight Manual.
  • Criminal record checks and background checks of all staff.

After the draft regulations are adopted, drone operators will be able to progress further.

  • RPL – Remote Pilot Licence.  Will be a single online exam at CAA and a skills test (practical flying test).
  • RPA registration (will be a registration number starting with ZT…)
  • ROC – RPAS Operating Certificate.
  • RLA – RPA Letter of Approval.
  • Permission for Aerial Work from Air Services Council.

This article applies to commercial drone operations only.

For Hobby Regulations click here

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