Getting your Drone License & the laws explained.

by David Davies

Over the next 10 years drones will become part of our everyday lives. From production, surveying, security and animal stock taking. There are certain laws setup by the CAA for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAS) You’ll either be operating under Hobby laws (Private use) or commercial laws.

Private use or Hobby laws can be termed as follows by the CAA: For private operation, RPAS may only be used for an individuals personal and private purposes where there is no commercial outcome, interest or gain.

Hobby laws/Private use Flight rules are as follows:
  • Aerodromes – Not allowed to fly 10Km within airport, Helipad or Airstrip.
  • Weather Conditions – Operate RPAS in daylight and clear weather conditions.
  • Intoxication – Do not operate RPAS while intoxicated.
  • Class of RPA – Class 1A or 1B (Mass <7KG)
  • RPA Vicinity – Do not operate within 50m or closer to any person, property or public road.

Rules of Flight for private/hobby use:

Restricted Visual Line-of-sight (R-VLOS) which means an operation within 500m of the remote pilot and below the height of the highest obstacle within 300m of the RPA, in which the remote pliot maintains direct unaided visual contact with the RPA to manage its flight and meet separation and collision avoidance responsibilities.

NOTE: Insurance companies will only insure your drone inflight if you have your RPL! For more information on drone insurance please contact us

Operating commercially


Getting your Remote Pilots License (RPL) does not entitle you to operate commercially just yet. It’s the first step forward in developing a licensed drone pilot with the right knowledge, flight skills and most importantly understanding the safety elements involved when flying within manned airspace.

The South African African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) views any drone flying in the sky as a aircraft and must abide by the same law as manned aircraft. As a commercial pilot, a commercial drone pilot must also go through their own certification and exams. The first step would be getting your Remote Pilots License (RPL), second would be your Air Service License (ASL) from the department of transport and then your Remote Operators Certificate (ROC) from the SACAA. Only once you have these certificates can you operate commercially.

For anyone even considering commercial drone work or needing inflight drone insurance your RPL is a must have!

Action Gear South Africa is proud to announce our exclusive partnership with the only CAA certfied drone school in South Africa. Offering part time courses in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Prowings is certainly the only drone school to get your certified RPL as quick as possiable!As partners of Prowings, Action Gear SA can offer you 10-20% off your RPL course. Please click here for the product page. For more information please phone us on 011 781 1323 or email to show interest.

To qualitfy for the Action Gear discount. Payment would be made to us using the product page portal. You may also pay using Discovery Miles or eBucks.

For information you can also phone Prowings Sandton. Please ask for Mugz who is extremely knowledgeable on RPL’s and dates available. Details below:

Miss Mugumo Kadengu (Mugz)
ProWings Training Public Relations Coordinator

Office: +27 11 100 5484

Cell: +27 76 801 8010