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Aircraft / Drones

Drones & Unmanned aircraft

If you plan operating a drone/UAV at AfrikaBurn, please read the following info thoroughly:

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). Please below for info on both classes of aircraft:

Class 1

No recreational drones or model aircraft will be able to fly at AfrikaBurn 2017.

This is because the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has recently adopted new regulations for operating RPAS (drones) in South Africa, stipulated in CAA Part 101.

The new law stipulates that no hobby RPAS/UAV/Drone (including any unmanned RC devices) may fly within a 10km radius of any active airstrip.

This unfortunately means that the Tankwa Town Recreational Zone for hobby drone flying will not be active this year due to proximity to the Tankwa Town International Airport.

Class 2

The only exception will be for fully licensed drone operators in possession of ALL of the following documents:

  • ROC (RPAS Operating Certificate) and Ops Spec (list of the types of operation that  have been approved for this company to perform).
  • ASL (Air Service Licence)
  • Certificate of Registration of aircraft (drone)
  • RPL (RPAS Pilot Licence)
  • RLA (RPAS Letter of Approval)

As Tankwa Town still falls within the borders of South Africa, we are obliged to comply with it’s airspace laws. Heavy fines and/or prison sentences may be imposed on offenders.

If you comply with the list of licensing requirements above, and plan to bring a licensed drone to AfrikaBurn 2017, please email airstrip@afrikaburn.com

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