Hunter’s drone needs no licence, permit to fly- lawyer
he drone that was flown by private investigator Vusi Hunter Shongwe with spy cameras landing himself in hot soup as he was arrested for flouting aviation laws, needs no licence or permit to fly.
This was yesterday an argument raised by Shongwe’s lawyer Derrick Jele from Robison Bertram Attorneys who argued that the drone in questions cannot fly above 30 metres of height, hence it is not a threat or danger to the type aircraft flying in Swazi air space.
The matter in which Shongwe allegedly contravened the Swaziland Civil Aviation Regulations is before High Court Judge Cyril Maphanga and the crown is represented by Macebo Nxumalo.
Jele made this submissions when
Tcross examining the crown’s witness in Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA) Flight Engineer Simon Kitibiwa who gave evidence in as far as the aviation regulations are concerned.
Jele who, during cross examination, produced two toys a remote controlled helicopter and a hand made kite, submitted that the two are also not part of the aircraft that needs a licence or permit to fly.
“A drone does not need a pilot certificate even a child can fly it and according to regulations that were crafted by Mandla Mamba who was once employed by SWACAA, the drone has not been classified under those aircraft that need certificates,” Jele told Kutibiwa.
Jele told the witness that a type certified aircraft has to have a pilot on board yet a pilotless one does not.
Jele put it to Kutibiwa that the SWACAA Advisory Circular on the regulations of drone was put in place in February 2017 yet Shongwe was arrested for violating same in 2012 where there was none in place.
Adding, Jele put it to the witness that to confirm same, SWACAA has just tabled the a Bill to regulate drones at the Attorney General’s Chambers who in turn will table it before Parliament before it is put into an Act.