View single post by DJP
 Posted: Thu Oct 4th, 2018 09:18 am
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Joined: Sun Nov 30th, 2008
Location: Elgin, South Africa
Posts: 2923
As far as I understand a drone is not a model aircraft.

The 2009 Civil Aviation Act[ 3] forms the basis for regulating RPAS. Based on the regulatory authority accorded to it under the Act (see Part III, below), the Ministry of Transportation and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have recently developed regulations, technical standards, technical guidance material, and circulars to govern RPAS.

Regulations governing RPAS were issued by the Minister of Transportation on May 27, 2015.[ 4] These regulations, which were issued as an amendment to the 2011 Civil Aviation Regulations,[ 5] now constitute part 101 of such Regulations, and are (when referenced separately) known as the Eighth Amendment of the Civil Aviation Regulations, 2015.[ 6] Under section 163 of the Act and part 11 of the 2011 Regulations, the Director of Civil Aviation also recently issued technical standards on RPAS known as the South Africa Civil Aviation Technical Standards (SA-CATS).[ 7] Both took effect on July 1, 2015.[ 8] In addition, the Director has issued a number of aeronautical information circulars (AICs) applicable to RPAS.[ 9] Further, the CAA issued technical guidance material, the Technical Guidance Material for RPAS−Part 101, in September 2015.[10]

A. Application
The Civil Aviation Regulations apply to what are known as Class-1 and Class-2 RPA and to owners, operators, pilots and those who maintain such RPA.[11] An RPA is “an unmanned aircraft which is piloted from a remote pilot station, excluding model aircraft[12] and toy aircraft.”[13] These classes of RPA are defined in the SA-CATS, including in terms of their weight. Class-1 and Class-2 RPAs are further divided into subclasses: Class-1A (less than 1.5 kilograms/3.3 pounds), Class-1B (less than 7 kilograms/15.4 pounds), and Class-1C and Class 2A (less than 20 kilograms/44 pounds).[14] The application of the Regulations does not extend to

autonomous unmanned aircraft,[15] unmanned free balloons and their operations, or other types of aircraft that cannot be managed on a real-time basis during flight;

aircraft operated in terms of Part 94 of the Civil Aviation Regulations (which addresses the Operation of “Non-type Certificated Aircraft”[16]);

model aircraft; and

toy aircraft.[17]

Under the Regulations, different uses of RPA are permitted. RPA may be used for private, commercial, corporate, and nonprofit purposes.[18]

B. Private RPA Operations
A private operation is “the use of an RPA for an individual’s personal and private purpose where there is no commercial outcome, interest or gain.”[19]

Private operations are subject to specific restrictions. They may only be conducted with a Class-1A RPA (less than 1.5 kilograms in weight) or Class-1B RPA (less than 7 kilograms in weight), both of which cannot be flown more than 400 feet above the ground.[20] All private operations must be conducted only in restricted visual line of sight (R-VLOS), specifically, “within 500 meters of the remote pilot and below the height of the highest obstacle within 300 meters of the RPA, in which the remote pilot maintains direct unaided visual contact with the RPA to manage its flight and meet separation and collision avoidance responsibilities.”[21] In addition, RPA may only be operated over property owned by the operator or other property with the permission of the owner.[22]

The Regulations also impose restrictions on certain uses of RPA. An RPA may not tow another aircraft, perform aerial or aerobatic displays, or be flown in formation or swarm.[23] It may not be flown within a 10 kilometer (about 6.2 mile) radius of an airfield, within restricted or prohibited airspace, or above or near a sensitive area, including a nuclear power plant, correctional institution, police station, crime scene, or court.[24] An RPA may not be operated directly overhead of any person or within a lateral distance of 50 meters (164 feet) from any person.[25] It may not be used for the purpose of releasing, dispensing, dropping, delivering or deploying of an object or substance.[26] It may only be used in daylight and under clear weather conditions.[27]
Private RPA operations are exempt from various rules applicable to other forms of RPA operations. For instance, rules on the need for approval and registration of an RPA before operation, personnel licensing requirements, and RPA operator certificate and maintenance requirements do not apply to private operations of RPA (for more on these requirements, see Part II(C), below).[28] They are also exempt from rules governing the conveyance of dangerous goods and safety considerations (for instance, ensuring that an RPA is in a “fit-to-fly condition”).[29] They are further exempt from regulations on the manner in which flight time is recorded and reported, and on the use of flight logbooks, power reserves, first-aid kits, and hand-held fire extinguishers.[30]