Unmanned aircraft association promotes aviation sector collaboration

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The Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa (CUAASA) will be more active in collaborating with other aviation sector bodies and organisations, including the SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).

This was one recommendation made at the association’s recent annual meeting, held remotely due to national state of disaster regulations.

“Engagements” with the national civil aviation regulator saw outcomes regarding collaboration between CUAASA and industry bodies on address “sticking points” including aircraft registration and the appointment of Lobang Thabantso. He will co-chair the RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft systems) inter-departmental work group in the SACAA. This is, according to the unmanned aircraft association, an initiative to align and “smooth” internal components of the regulator.

CUAASA executive committee members are involved in more than 12 work streams involving RPAS/UAVs/drones.

They are UTM (unmanned aerial systems traffic management) for airspace integration to enable large scale adoption of drones into airspace; enforcement remains an issue with irresponsible drone use threatening the drone industry (licensed operators and future drone users); remote ID identification ties in with UTM and enforcement, where each drone whether private, corporate or commercial can be identified by law enforcement agencies and registration which could see all drones in a specified weight category registered, irrespective of  commercial or hobby use.

Other aviation associations and organisations CUAASA interacted with are CAASA (Commercial Aviation Association of SA) and AATOSA (referred to as ‘training organisations’).

CUAASA notes it will “need to reach out to co-affiliates in pursuing airspace integration and large scale adoption of RPAS”. It will also be an integral part of a civil aviation regulations committee workshop tasked to investigate drone and vertiports in relation to existing aerodrome regulations.