FAQ

1. Could you describe the steps a person would have to take to get a drone licence (RPL) in South Africa?
Firstly it is compulsory that applicants be over 18 years of age, and have passed the following:
  • Class 4 Aviation Medical
  • English Language Proficiency
  • Restricted Radio Telephony Licence (Aeronautical), bear in mind that SACAA now no longer require an ‘online radio telephony test’ for VLOS and EVLOS. BVLOS is a rating that carries the burden of responsibility to be handled by the Director of Civil Aviation as it is only with the express permission of the Director that this rating can be permitted

There are 2 parts to getting your RPL:

1. Theory Training is ONLY 7 days!!! (Monday – Sunday)

A person holding an NPL, PPL or CPL, can however complete the course in as little as 3 Days!!!

AND

2. Practical Training

**UPON COMPLETION OF THE THEORY COURSE AND SUCCESSFUL PRACTICAL TRAINING AND ASSESMENT, THE CHIEF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR (CFI) WILL WRITE A LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION TO THE DESIGNATED FLIGHT EXAMINER (DFE), RECOMMENDING THAT THE STUDENT BE CHECKED OUT.

AFTER A SUCCESSFUL CHECKOUT WITH THE DESIGNATED FLIGHT EXAMINER, PROWINGS TRAINING WILL ASSIST AND GUIDE THE STUDENTS WITH THE SUBMISSION OF THEIR RPL APPLICATION FORM TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY (SACAA).

2. Do you need any experience flying - drones or otherwise - to get a licence?
There are many people out there who have been flying drones for many years. However, it is not necessary to have any experience. We have people coming in at varying levels of experience namely:
  • Beginners learning to fly for the first time
  • Experienced operators. We are taking on experienced operators as a priority as some are using drones for their livelihoods (It is highly recommended that experienced operators take at least 1 practice session to understand the RPAS flying requirements).
3. Do you need to have your own drone to get a licence?
No. However it would be beneficial to have your own drone for familiarisation and self practice.
4. Where am I allowed to fly my drone and where am I not allowed to fly my drone?
No RPA shall be flown:
  • within a lateral distance of 50m from people, property or public roads
  • within a 10km radius of an airfield, airport or aerodrome
  • No higher than 400 feet above ground level
Unless explicit permission has been obtained from the Director of the SACAA and the landowners as the circumstances may dictate.
5. Is the South African licence valid in any other countries or would it help someone get a licence in another country?
South Africa is a member state of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), and is currently the FIRST country to pass RPAS legislation CARs 101 and CATs 101. We are currently communicating with other member states to ascertain if they are willing to recognize South African issued RPL’s in their home countries

6. Abbreviations
  • AIC- Aviation Information Circular
  • AIP- Aviation Information Publication
  • ATPL- Airline Transport Licence
  • BVLOS-Beyond Visual Line Of Sight
  • CARs 101- Civil Aviation Regulations
  • CATs 101- Civil Aviation Technical Standards
  • Checkout- Practical Exam/ Skills Test performed by DFE
  • CPL- Commercial Pilot Licence
  • DFE- Designated Flight Examiner
  • EVLOS- Extended Visual Line Of Sight
  • Fixed Wing- Drone that looks like a mini plane
  • Helicopter- Drone that looks like a mini helicopter
  • ICAO- International Civil Aviation Organisation
  • Multi Rotor- Drone that is also called the quadcopter, as the name suggests, there are 4 propellers or more arranged in a cross type configuration
  • NPL- National Pilot Licence
  • PPL- Private Pilot Licence
  • ROC- Remote Operators Certificate
  • RPA-Remotely Piloted Aircraft
  • RPAS- Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems
  • RPL- Remote Pilots Licence
  • SACAA- South African Civil Aviation Authority
  • TGM- Technical Guidance Maintenance
  • VLOS- Visual Line Of Sight
Mobile: +27 64 505 6469