CAA: Drone guidelines being finalised

2014-06-02 08:07

This is what the CAA's non-regulation of drones has put a stop to!

2014-06-02 07:01

The CAA says the guidelines for the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems or Drones are "not out yet" but watching this video it is clear to see - the sooner it can make a call on this - the better.WATCH

Cape Town - The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu says guidelines for the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are "not out yet" and that the "responsible department" is still working on it.

But in the bio of this video, entitled Drone Tourists have more fun, the YouTube user says, "This 'drone' is not evil. First Person Views shared with surfers, kids, teachers, joggers and tourists on the ground were fun for everyone. The 'drone' is an r/c model airplane with on-board cameras - for added fun! Everybody loves it. Sometimes a toy is just a toy..."

Watch the video here - it is clear the sooner the CAA can make a call on this, the better.

The regulator announced at the beginning of April 2014 that anybody caught using drones would be subject to a R50k fine and a prison sentence of up to 10 years. Current civil aviation legislation does not provide for certification, registration and/or operation of UAS in the South African civil aviation airspace. 

The SACAA said in a statement it has "not given any concession or approval to any organisation, individual, institution or government entity to operate UAS within the civil aviation airspace" and would not confirm if it would do so under special circumstances - at least not before the guidelines have been finalised.

But the non-regulation is having a massive impact on a number of industries in South Africa. 

"Being involved with commercial aviation I am aware commercial pilots are concerned with Bird Strikes and not these so called civilian “Drones” so one has to make a very clear distinction about what constitutes a drone," said Glen Thomas, Senior Adminstaror at First Person View South Africa.

"South African Model Aircraft Association, which represents Radio Controlled flying clubs in South Africa have members with aircraft which have wingspans in excess of 8m’s and can easily fly to a height of 1 000m’s and there has been no concern expressed in this regard. 

"The 'aircraft' in question is in fact a toy, no bigger then 400mm in diameter and is flown within a 30m radius of the flyer. if the aircraft was to get further then 100m from the operator they would not be able to see it and these toys are not exactly cheap. So why would the CAA want to regulate toys?" 

The initial deadline for the guidelines was given as "the end of the second quarter for 2014", effectively the end of June, so until then filmmakers, journalists, enthusiastic tourists will just have to toe the line.

"Those that are flying any type of unmanned aircraft are doing so illegally; and as the regulator we cannot condone any form of blatant disregard of applicable rules,” said Poppy Khoza, Director of Civil Aviation.

In the video above, the YouTube user used a model aircraft, adapted with a camera. CAA Rules for the Operation of model aircraft are detailed as follows, however multi-rotors and UAV's are not "model aircraft".

94.06.11   Exemptions
Model aircraft are exempted from these regulations –
except from regulation 94.05.1; and
provided that no model aircraft shall be flown –
higher than 150 feet above the surface; or
from or above a public road;
unless –
with the prior approval of the Commissioner and on conditions determined by him or her; or
in airspace specifically approved for the purpose b

- News24 Travel

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Read more on:    cape town  |  johanneburg  |  durban  |  air travel  |  travel south africa  |  drones

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