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RPAS Private Operations


Private operation - means the use of an RPA for an individual's personal and private purposes where there is no commercial outcome, interest or gain; 

Restricted visual line-of-sight* - means an operation within 500 m of the remote pilot and below the height of the highest obstacle within 300 m of the RPA, which the remote pilot maintains direct unaided visual contact with the RPA to manage its flight and meet separation and collision avoidance responsibilities;  


  1.  It is the full responsibility of the remote pilot of the RPAS to fly his/her aircraft safely and not endanger safety of another aircraft, any person or property.
  2. The remote pilot must observe all statutory requirements relating to liability, privacy and any other laws enforceable by any other authorities. 

Limitations and restrictions
Please adhere to the following for the safe operation of RPAS: 

1.      Private operations of RPAS shall be conducted:

a.  only in R-VLOS
b.  with a Class 1A or 1B RPA (mass < 7 kg, Impact energy* < 15 kJ)
2.      Do not fly RPA:
a.  Near manned aircraft
b.  10 km or closer to an aerodrome (airport, helipad or airfield)
c.  In controlled, restricted or prohibited
3.      Do not fly RPA 50m or closer from:
a.  Any person or group of persons (like sport fields, road races, stadiums, schools, social events, etc.)
b.  Public road
c.  Any property without permission from property owner
4.    Only fly RPA in daylight and clear weather conditions


*Refer to Technical Guidance Material (TGM) for RPAS Part 101 for more information.   

NOTE: The Director of Civil Aviation has designated an external organisation to oversee the operations of recreational aviation. 

For more information on the operation of model aircraft, please contact the South African Model Aircraft Association (SAMAA),


View the latest SACAA promtional brochure and flyer regarding the operation of RPAS here.

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