South Africa grants its First Commercial Drone License

Rocketmine, a South African company specializing in aerial data solutions, recently announced that it has been approved as a commercial remote piloted aircraft systems operator — a first for the South African Civil Aviation Authority, according to MyBroadband.

“In May 2015‚ South Africa took the lead in the aviation industry when SACAA director Poppy Khoza announced that the commercial use of RPAS would be regulated from July 1‚ 2015. The need for regulation was prompted by a huge demand for the commercial use of drones in South Africa and subsequent safety concerns; the strict SACAA application process ensures that drone operators meet all standards for safety‚ security and privacy,” the company said in a statement.

RocketMine’s Chris Clark said: “There is no doubt that drones are set to revolutionise the way in which many key industries in South Africa conduct their business. Using drones to conduct operational duties has produced high-quality data in a fraction of the time and at a percentage of the costs. In the mining industry in particular‚ most high risk tasks conducted by our drones have eliminated the safety risk for mining staff.”

The company was a first mover in pushing for drone regulations, according to Albert Msithini with the South African Civil Aviation Authority. It was “among the first organisations that regularly engaged the SACAA with regards to development and promulgation of the (remote piloted aircraft systems) RPAS regulations.”

South Africa is one of a handful of countries that have introduced comprehensive regulations to guide drone operations, according to DefenceWeb.

In the first two months after South Africa’s new drone regulations were instituted, the aviation authority registered 118 drones, issued 10 remote pilot licences and received 10 applications for drone training organisations.

In September, Gauteng-based ProWings Training became the first flying school in South Africa approved as a commercial drone training organisation.

The first drone pilot’s license in South Africa, Africa and most of the world was issued to Nicole Swart July 10, DefenceWeb reported.

This article first appeared HERE

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