Commercial Regulations

How to Operate Drones Commercially in South Africa

Although the new regulations for operating drones commercially in South Africa only took effect on 1 July 2015, a number of drone operators have begun to comply with the regulations.

For example, it is possible to achieve a number of the requirements of the regulations, including the following.

Commercial, Corporate and Non-Profit Operations Checklist:

 These operators should be fully licensed. However, Corporate and Non-Profit operators do not need to have a Air Service License (ASL).

Commercial Operations Checklist:

  • Must have a ASL.

  • Must have a valid ROC.

  • Must have a SACAA approved Ops Spec (Rating) for type of operation being Executed:

    • BVLOS Operations

    • Use a public road as a place of landing and Take-off

    • Operations in controlled airspace

    • Operations in Restricted or Prohibited airspace

    • Release, dispense, drop, deliver or deploy objects or substance from RPA

    • Operate near Prisons, Police Stations, Crime Scenes or National Key Points

    • Operate within 10km of an Aerodrome

    • Operate closer than 50m from any people

    • Operate closer than 50m from any structure

    • Operate closer than 50m from any public road

  • Must have an RLA for RPAS being operated

  • Must have a FOM

  • Must have an RPL

  • Must have VHF Radio to listen out for other air traffic

  • Must have a Restricted Radio License

  • Must have First aid kit & Fire extinguisher on hand/ within 300m of RPAS Operation

  • Landowner of site or permission letter from the landowner

Definitions & Acronyms:

ASL -  Air Service License

BVLOS -  Beyond Visual Line Of Site

RLA - RPA Letter of Approval

FOM - Field Operations Manual

RPL - Remote Pilot License

VHF Radio - Very High Frequency Air-band Radio

Private & Hobbyist Regulations click here.

No part of this website should be taken as legal advice!

For more info send an email to: shaun @ for updated Regulations