South Africa is one of a number of countries currently presenting draft regulations on remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) at the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Montreal headquarters.
The three day symposium started on Monday and is being attended by representatives of civil aviation authorities, international organisations and the civil aviation industry, including RPAS manufacturers and operators, as well as academia and research organisations.
South Africa, represented by an RPAS delegation from the SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), will use the symposium to showcase its work on regulations for unmanned aircraft. Importantly it will also speak to implementation of the regulations.
“This is a milestone for South Africa as a state and is set to position us as thought leaders in the area of RPAS. Given the comprehensiveness of the current draft regulations, it is anticipated the rest of the world will focus on South Africa for benchmarking purposes.
“Notwithstanding the commitment of SACAA in addressing the need for RPAS regulation, the use of this type of aircraft remains illegal in South African skies. Any operator who ignores this warning will face the full might of the law,” the authority said in a statement adding it is “entrusted with regulating civil aviation safety and security as well as facilitating industry development”.
Other countries presenting at the ICAO symposium include the Czech Republic, Canada, France, the United States and the United Kingdom.