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Pilot Licensing and Instructor Rating

​Prior to making any application with SACAA, you will be required to obtain  aviation training at an approved training organisation (ATO).   

Prior Requirements

Pilot Licences

The following requirements are compulsory. 

  1. An applicant should not be less than 18 years of age
  2. Applicants must hold  current medical assessments
  3. An ATO for training must be identified
  4. Foreign theoretical training will be approved and validated (ASK)
  5. Only successful completion will be accepted
  6. Applicants must pass the RPL practical assessment
  7. Applicants must also pass Radiotelephony Examination
  8. Achieved English Language Proficiency (ELP) level 4 or higher.
  9. All applications must be submitted to the SACAA.

* See Part 101 Civil Aviation Regulations (CARs) and Civil Aviation Technical Standards (CATS) for complete list of requirements 

Instructor Ratings

  1. Remote Pilots will apply to the SACAA for Instructor Ratings.  
  2. Remote Pilot Instructors will apply to the SACAA for Designation as Remote Pilot Examiners.


Prior learning will be recognised and applies to and including the following:

A person who holds or has held:

1.    A Pilot Licence.

2.    A military qualification equivalent to a licence and rating; or

3.    An air traffic control licence, or a military qualification equivalent to an air traffic control licence.

4.    Commercial air unmanned aircraft operations experience 

    • Prior to making any application with SACAA, you will be required to obtain aviation training at an approved training organisation (ATO). 
    • The RPAS training course is provided by SACAA approved training organisations that have basic RPAS Training on their Operators Certificate.
    • People with no aviation experience through to experienced aviators have the option of gaining a Remote Pilot Licence (RPL) that is focused entirely on the operation of a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS


* RPAS training in South Africa is still in its infancy, as it is globally. The South African Civil Aviation Authority  is working closely with industry to develop the training standards, syllabus and resources necessary for the industry to expand and grow professionally. 

Upon completion

The course is competency based and comprises of a combination of theory and practical training. Upon successful completion of the course, the provider will apply to SACAA for a Remote Pilot Licence (RPL). 

Technical Guidance Material

View the TGM for Personnel Licensing by clicking here. 

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