Woman pilot gets Africa's first drone licence

Johannesburg - A female pilot has been awarded the first drone licence on the continent, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) said on Sunday.

“The licence was issued on July 10 to Ms Nicole Swart, making her the first person to receive such a licence in South Africa, the continent, and most parts of the world,” spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu said in a statement.

Swart, 23, is a holder of the highest pilot’s licence, the airline transport pilot’s licence. When not flying remotely piloted aircraft or a traditional manned aircraft, she works as a testing standards officer, aviation personnel standards, at the SACAA.

Many countries were still formulating regulations for the administration of drones, or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in aviation jargon. They are controlled either from the ground or by another aircraft.

SACAA is currently processing approximately 10 drone pilot licences and 15 operator ones, following regulations for drones that came into effect at the beginning of the month.

Swart could use her licence to fly a drone for corporate, commercial, or leisure purposes.

“It was important for me to get an RPAS pilot’s licence, as I believe technology is advancing rapidly and in the near future this mode of transport will be as common and necessary as cellular phones are in this era,” Swart said in the statement.

“I therefore wanted to ensure that when that time comes, I am already a step ahead.”

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 2310 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
48% - 9929 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
37% - 7674 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 764 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.66
-1.7%
Rand - Pound
20.08
-1.2%
Rand - Euro
16.97
-1.7%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.56
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-1.0%
Gold
1,765.22
-0.6%
Silver
19.84
-1.5%
Palladium
2,140.01
-0.9%
Platinum
930.01
-0.9%
Brent Crude
92.34
-3.0%
Top 40
64,168
-0.9%
All Share
70,967
-0.8%
Resource 10
63,227
-3.4%
Industrial 25
87,430
+0.4%
Financial 15
16,160
-0.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE