Aerial drone imaging specifics
The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) views any flying drone as an aircraft which must abide by the same law as manned aircraft. Commercial drone operators must go through certification and exams. The first step would be getting your Remote Pilot’s License (RPL), second would be your Air Service License (ASL) from the Department of Transport and then the Remote Operator’s Certificate (ROC) from the SACAA. Only once you have these certificates and suitable insurance may you operate commercially.
Advantages of photogrammetric surveys
Aerial imagery provides a permanent record of the conditions as they existed at the time the photograph was taken.
Photos can be used to convey information to the general public or state or municipal agencies.
Small-scale images and/or mosaics can provide a broad overview of a project, identifying both topographic and cultural features.
Terrain data and mapping features can be extracted from stereo image models with little effort and at a low cost.
Mapping and digital terrain modelling and contours of large areas can be accomplished quicker and at a lower cost when compared to ground survey methods.
Photogrammetry can be used in locations that are difficult or impossible to access from the ground.
An experienced survey crew can quickly target and control a proposed project scheduled for photogrammetric mapping.
HOBBY | TOY FLIGHTS Restrictions
No flying within 10km of an airport, airstrip or helipad
Only in daylight and clear weather
Maximum drone weight of 7kg Operation must be within 500m from pilot
Operation may not be within 50m of a person, a building or a public road (50m lateral no-fly zone)
The drone must remain below the height of the highest object within 300m of the drone, while maintaining visual sight as well as separation and avoidance responsibilities
Area of flight may be subject to municipal or other statutory controls.
Injury to public and property Possible “fly-away” could impact air traffic in the vicinity
Collision with air traffic, especially emergency services operating at low level
Falling foul of privacy and other laws
Lift-off! VPM uses a Trimble UX5 purpose-built aerial mapping platform.