One of the prime goals of the PDASA is to maintain a database of approved and non-approved areas for drone flying in South Africa. Current and commercially available maps are often outdated and misleading and do not properly represent all the protected airspace in South Africa. Beyond the usual list of aerodromes and national parks there is also a large amount of unmarked protected airspace not shown on conventional maps. These areas need to be marked on an official map for the safety of all concerned.
Since we are still in the early stages of implementing this map and there is a lot of work that goes into putting it together, the map is still a work in progress and by no means official or complete.
If you have suggestions or updates for protected airspace please contact us.
Danger Areas: All the areas marked on the map are potential danger areas from manned aircraft, avoid these areas because there may be low flying aircraft. Probably the most dangerous of these areas are paragliding and hang-gliding areas, stay well clear of them, the risk of serious injury or death is very high.
Right of way: Manned aircraft always
Environmentally Protected Areas: South Africa has more than 1500 environmentally protected areas and it is always best to ask first before taking a drone into these areas. SanParks controls our 22 National Parks and they have strict controls in place when it comes to drones and only allows fully registered RPAS pilots to operate subject to certain fees and conditions.
Private operations of RPAS shall be conducted only in *R-VLOS with a Class 1A or 1B RPA.(less than 7kg weight).
Restricted visual line-of-sight* – means an operation within 500 meters of the pilot and below the height of the highest obstacle within 300 meters of the aircraft. The remote pilot must maintain direct visual contact with the aircraft at all times to manage its flight and meet separation and collision avoidance responsibilities.
(Simplified, this means don’t fly higher than anything within 300 meters from the drone, and also try not to fly more than 500 meters away from yourself.)
As per the law:
no drones may be flown:
(a)higher than 400 ft(122 meters) above the surface(ground level)
(b)within a radius of 10 km from an aerodrome:
(c)within restricted or prohibited airspace(as marked on the map); or
(d)near to or above a nuclear power plant, prison, police station, crime scene,court of law, national key point or strategic installation.
Do not fly above or within 50 meters of people unless the people are under your supervision
Do not fly within 50 meters of buildings or property unless you have permission to do so.
Do not fly within 50 meters of a public road unless the road has been closed to traffic and reasonable care has been taken to ensure the safety of road users and pedestrians in the event of loss of control of the drone.