Write-up By: Graham van der Merwe, Outdoorphoto

The DJI Spark in action. Credit: DJI
The DJI Spark in motion. Credit score: DJI    

These times a wedding day movie isn’t full with no an aerial shot of the venue, but drone traveling isn’t reserved for industrial applications. The regular joe can roam the skies with toy drones like the DJI Spark, but what are the guidelines?

If you are only fascinated in traveling your interest drone for private use (no industrial desire, final result or achieve), you will not need to have to sign-up the drone or acquire any licences, but the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) Remotely Piloted Aircraft Process (RPAS) (Component 101) Regulations still apply.

Get to know the basic principles:

What? You’re permitted to fly a drone that weighs up to 7 kg, which should not be a challenge as interest drones only weigh up to about 1.five kg. Unsurprisingly, the drone might not carry any passengers or transport cargo.

How higher and how considerably? You might fly in Limited Visible Line of Sight (R-VLOS) only, which suggests that you must constantly preserve a direct line of sight with the drone.

●  Max top: The drone might not exceed 192 m (400 ft) or the highest impediment inside 300 m of the pilot, whichever is the lessen of the two.

●  Max length: The drone might fly up to 500 m away from the pilot whilst sustaining a direct line of sight.


Apart from not remaining permitted to fly at evening, be sure to maintain an eye out for terrible weather this sort of as powerful winds, rain or fog – enable your common sense guidebook you. And in situation you ended up questioning, you are not permitted to drink and travel/fly.

Where by?

This is wherever it receives challenging. In a nutshell, you must maintain more than 50 m from folks, roads and structures. Steer very clear from (and inside ten km from) airports/aerodromes and regard other people’s privateness by not traveling into or in excess of their properties with no permission – be aware that it might represent trespassing.

There are quite a few more No Fly Zones (NFZ) in South Africa that you need to have to acquire be aware of. Do oneself a favour and seem these up – it is much better remaining risk-free than sorry. The NFZs contain prisons, law enforcement stations, criminal offense scenes, courts of regulation, nuclear energy crops, and National Essential Factors or Strategic installations like the Union Buildings Presidency in Pretoria.

Other prohibited air spaces contain restricted (Significantly), danger (Fad) and environmental (FAP) areas this sort of as SAN Parks. Safari-goers might not work their drones inside 457 m earlier mentioned the floor in any of South Africa’s National Parks. This is since some sightseers use their drones to disturb or chase wild animals. Only drones employed for wildlife conservation and study applications are permitted, issue to distinctive permission.

And no issue how fantastic it appears to be, recall that you are unable to fly your drone in a swarm like Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl drone show. Any interest drone pilot who fails to adhere to these rules might get a ten-year jail sentence or a good of up to R50 000, or the two. 

Graham van der Merwe is a digital sales expert at Outdoorphoto . His main focus is to meet enterprise ambitions by means of strategic promoting campaigns.

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