Drone-flying in South Africa is governed by the South African Civil Aviation Authority which has set out regulations for remotely piloted aircraft (RPAS).
The regulations set out the requirements for flying a drone in the country, as well as the areas where you are prohibited from flying and the dangers of flying in certain zones.
As per the regulations, the SACAA prohibits flying a Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or toy aircraft 50 metres or closer from:
- Any person or group of persons (like a sports field, road races, schools, social events, etc.)
- Any property without permission from the property owner.
Unless authorised by the SACAA, you also can’t fly/operate a remotely piloted aircraft or toy aircraft:
- near a manned aircraft,
- 10 km or closer to an aerodrome (airport, helipad, airfield),
- that weighs more than 7 kg,
- in controlled airspace,
- in restricted airspace, or
- in prohibited airspace.
No Fly Zones
South Africa also has a number of specific no-fly zones.
- military zones;
- a nuclear power plant;
- a prison;
- a police station;
- a crime scene;
- a court of law;
- national key points;
- national parks and protected/conservation areas.
The Western Cape Government also recently published a detailed interactive map showing which areas are designated no-fly zones in South Africa.