New South African UAV industry group launched


The South African Federation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SAFU), a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, industry association was launched in Johannesburg last week.

SAFU was officially launched at Kyalami on 20 June with the aim of advancing the interests of member companies and the UAV industry as a whole.

It says it was established with the purpose of creating a link between regulatory authorities, such as the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), and its members with the intention of growing and shaping the future of the UAV industry. “It is the intention of the federation to create a platform where its members share challenges and deliberate on proposed solutions prior to approaching SACAA or any other government department.”

SAFU intends to actively participate in public educational and awareness campaigns, organised and driven by the SACAA or any other government department of interest. “We will proactively, through any avenue available to us, develop educational and awareness material to educate the industry and public about drone regulations and improve the general understanding and knowledge of society with regards to Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” SAFU states.

SAFU’s aim is to be the preferred industry representative body supporting the South African UAV industry. It aims to provide a platform to unite the industry and provide solutions to challenges impeding the advancement of the industry. This includes guiding the SACAA on regulations. It also aims to discourage acts which may jeopardize aviation safety.

SAFU was founded by NTSU Aviation Solutions and is chaired by NTSU’s Sam Twala. Associate members include Rocketmine, UAV and Drone Solutions, Compact Aerial Services, FC Hamman Films, Skyhook, Salaria, and Scarab Drones.

This is the second major South African UAV industry group to be created, following the establishment of CUAASA (Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa).