Using of Drones during construction projects

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Francois Kloppers, Jul 6, 2017.

  1. Francois Kloppers

    Francois Kloppers New Member

    Good day

    I would really like some input regarding the following:

    The new trend of developers is to use drones to plot the property and to take photographs of the area that is developed or where there is construction in progress on the property.
    There is legislation in place for using drones for business purposes but what do we as safety practitioners need to do to ensure that the drone operator conduct safe actions on the construction sites and not cause the drone to collide with another plane or helicopter and cause the plane or helicopter to crash in the construction site or into nearby residential areas causing the death of a number of people.

    It will be really interesting to hear what you all have to say.
  2. Brian

    Brian Member

    Drone Safety and Security

    The minster of Civil Aviation - Msithini stated that the safety and security aspect of regulating the RPAS industry was a “thorn in the flesh” for the SACAA. “We know there will always be cowboys in the industry who break the rules, but we also know that the bulk of the professional industry wants to abide by the rules.”

    He added that safety and security were being taken “very seriously” by the SACAA and the South African State Security Agency.

    The most significant concern for the SACAA is the difficulty in monitoring RPAS in an airspace shared with manned aircraft, and in which a collision and potential loss-of-life could be a real possibility.

    In addition, because South Africa is a signatory to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which is an agency of the United Nations, the domestic aviation industry (including that of the RPAS) needs to abide by ICAO rules and recommendations.

    In this regard, Cole says South Africa needs to comply with all aspects of ICAO guidance, from technical guidance material to the Civil Aviation Act. This involves local operations, training organisations and maintenance organisations associated with and involved in RPAS having to take all the ICAO information and formulate local regulations and guidance.

    Therefore, taking into account the ICAO recommended practices and development plan for RPAS, the initial accommodation of RPASes into non segregated airspace is currently catered for. This falls into what is referred to as Block 0 of the ICAO RPAS development timeframe.

    Therefore safety practitioners will need to advise and ensure the compliance of all CAA laws and regulations related to drones, before they are used on site.

    Here are a few guidelines which the HSE practitioner will have to see to and ensure they are complied with, such as ensuring that the operator pilot is licensed etc. Because the OHS act must be read in conjunction with all other relevant laws, by-laws and regulations.


    "Remotely piloted aircraft" (RPAS) means an unmanned aircraft which is piloted from a remote pilot station, excluding model aircraft and toy aircraft.

    "Toy aircraft" means a product falling under the definition of aircraft which is designed or intended for use in play by children.

    "Model aircraft" means a non-human-carrying aircraft capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere and used exclusively for air display, recreational use, sport or competitions.

    Acceptable uses of RPAS

    For private use

    (a) The RPAS may only be used for an individual's personal and private purposes where there is no commercial outcome, interest or gain;

    (b) The pilot must observe all statutory requirements relating to liability, privacy and any other laws enforceable by any other authorities.

    For all other use –

    (a) An RPA must be registered and may only be operated in terms of Part 101 of the South African Civil Aviation Regulations.

    Dangers of negligent operation of an RPA:

    Collision with other aircraft, with possible fatal results

    (a) Collision with other aircraft, with possible fatal results

    (b) Injury to the public

    (c) Damage to people's property

    (d) Legal liability for breaking laws such as privacy by-laws and other laws enforceable by other authorities.

    Do's and Don'ts


    DO NOT, through act or omission, endanger the safety of another aircraft or person therein or any person or property through negligent flying/operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or toy aircraft.

    Do not fly/operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft or toy aircraft 50 m or closer from:
    1. Any person or group of persons (like sports field, road races, schools, social events, etc.)
    2. Any property without permission from the property owner.
    Unless approved by the SACAA, DO NOT fly/operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft or toy aircraft:
    1. Near manned aircraft
    2. 10 km or closer to an aerodrome (airport, helipad, airfield)
    3. Weighing more than 7 kg
    4. In controlled airspace
    5. In restricted airspace
    6. In prohibited airspace.
    Do not fly/operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or toy aircraft higher than 150 ft from the ground, unless approved by the Director of Civil Aviation of the SACAA.

    1. Fly/operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or toy aircraft in a safe manner, at all times.
    2. Remotely Piloted Aircraft or toy aircraft should remain within the visual line of sight at all times.
    3. Fly/operate RPA in daylight and clear weather conditions.
    4. Inspect your aircraft before each flight.
    NOTE: The Director of Civil Aviation has designated an external organization to oversee the operations of recreational aviation.

    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