New aviation regulations for drones on the cards

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) will be introducing new regulations  to help regulate remotely unpiloted aircraft systems, aka drones.

The regulations have recently been signed by the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, and will be published and implementable by 1 July, according to SACAA Director Poppy Khoza in a media statement today, 17 May 2015.

Speaking at the media briefing in Midrand, Khoza said  SACAA and the Department of Transport plus key industry role players collectively worked to develop the new regulations. “In developing the regulations, the SACAA sourced and received valuable input from relevant state entities as well as industry role players including operators, manufactures and other airspace users,” she said.

Khoza said South Africa’s aviation safety and security setting is highly regarded throughout the world. The rating by the International Civil Aviation Organisation for South Africa is above the 80% world average.

In drawing up the regulations, the SACAA took into account the national safety and security needs into account, she said. The aviation authority also took an international position and customized it into the local regulations, taking into account, the country’s unique conditions and the views of stakeholders and airspace users.

“We are not claiming  these new regulations are static. Given the rapid pace of technological development in this area, we treat the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) regulatory framework as continual work in progress and hence we will continue to engage with industry to refine the regulations when, where and as deemed necessary,” Khoza said.

She urged all operators and airspace users to observe and comply with the new regulations,  adding that in aviation there is absolutely no room for errors…. “as errors usually result in the loss of lives.”

She said the aviation authority will conduct national industry workshops to discuss the implementation of the regulations. The new regulations can be found from Tuesday on www.caa.co.za.

Source: SAnews.gov.za

(edited)

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