Drone Laws in South Africa
Drone regulations and links for people flying drones in South Africa.
South Africa Drone Regulations
According to South Africa’s national aviation authority, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) flying a drone is legal in South Africa, but we recommend being aware of and compliant with the drone regulations listed below before doing so.
If you’d like to contact SACAA directly before you travel with any questions you might have, here is their contact information: +27 011 545 1000 / ClientCare@caa.co.za
Why fly a drone in South Africa? To get great aerial shots like these!
General Rules for Flying a Drone in South Africa
Based on our research and interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in South Africa.
- Drones may not be flown 10 kilometers (6 miles) or closer to an airport without special permission from the SACAA.
- Drones weighing more than 7 kilograms (15.4 pounds) may not be flown.
- Drones may not be flown within 50 meters (164 feet) of people or private property (without permission from the property owner).
- Drone pilots must maintain a visual line of contact with their drones at all times while in flight.
- Drones may only be flown during daylight hours.
- And according to the SANPark website, “The use of drones inside (and over) our national parks is strictly prohibited.”
Traveling with a Drone to South Africa
The SACAA does not make any provisions for foreign operators at this time. This means that foreigners may not legally bring nor operate a RPAS/drone in South African airspace, regardless of the weight and size of the RPAS/drone. If you do, it may be considered illegal by local authorities.
For more information on South Africa’s drone laws, see this page on the SACAA website.
Know something we don’t about drone laws in South Africa? Send us an email at support[at]uavcoach[dot]com. We are not international aviation attorneys and do our best to keep this page up-to-date for drone pilots, but the reality is that given the pace of the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) industry and how governments are responding, drone regulations in South Africa can change throughout the year, and those changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.
Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in South Africa? Here you go: