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Aircraft / Drones

Drones & Unmanned aircraft

If you plan operating a drone/UAV at AfrikaBurn, please read the info on this page thoroughly, and register your UAV. To use any radio controlled flying device, or if planning to operate a UAV – with or without a mounted camera – you must apply for an allocation number, which will be given to you on registration below.

Drones at the Burn

Legislation governing the use of RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) or ‘drones’ in South Africa was introduced in July last year. These new laws are progressive and in line with RPAS usage globally, and aim to ensure safe operation of drones, protecting both manned aircraft in the sky and general public on the ground.

Although almost anything goes in the desert, AfrikaBurn does take place in SA, so it’s necessary to comply with the regulations. As drones are becoming more and more available – and easier to fly – the skies are filling up with novice pilots. We can all appreciate the fact that a drone in the wrong hands can compromise people’s safety and privacy.

We’ve therefore taken the decision to align our policy on drones with that of the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority). This will protect everyone concerned from any unwanted incidents. The main regulation that will effect any potential operators at the Burn is as follows:

No Person may operate an RPA (drone) within 50m of any person unless they have written permission (from each person) to do so. In addition, the operator will have to ensure that access to the operational area in controlled to avoid any unauthorized persons entering the area in which the RPA is flying.

So… we’ll still have 2 categories for people who want to bring their drones (or any radio controlled aircraft to the Burn):

Class 1

This is a purely recreational class of pilots who just want to fly. A dedicated area has been allocated for this purpose. The only restrictions in this area except that you must stay in the area! We have increased the size of the area from last year to accommodate a greater number of users.

Class 2

This class will be restricted and enforced. Only Class 2 operators will be able to fly around the campsites or inside the Binnekring. In accordance with the new laws, Class 2 pilots will have to have proof of the following;

•    Valid RPL (Remote Pilots License)
•    Valid 3rd Party Liability insurance
•    Registered and airworthy RPA
•    Remote Operators Certificate from the CAA
•    Operate according to their Company’s Operations Manual, as approved by the CAA.  This includes getting permission from every person who will be involved in the flight operation. And ensuring the flight operation area is secured from unauthorized access.
•    Ensure the safety of General Public at all times

We’re aware that very few people will be able to meet these requirements this year. This is why we’ve increased the area allocated to recreational pilots who still want to fly. If you’re bringing a drone, please comply with the new policy, as we want to keep our event as safe as possible for everyone involved.

For info on any other aircraft other than drones (including planes, gliders, hot air balloons, paragliders or any other craft that carries passengers etc), please go here:

Flying in or using airspace / other aircraft

Once you’ve filled in the form below, you’ll also receive the map for your allocated airspace area with altitude information.

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