10 things you didn’t know about drones

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By Bryan Verpoort, ITOO Special Risks.

Drones are all the rage right now and are employed to monitor wildlife, deliver pizza, inspect machinery and dropping aid for needy communities, among other things. But before you go off and invest in a drone for your business, first consider that you will need to be licensed, approved and registered with the Civil Aviation Authority before you can take to the skies.

Here are some other facts and stats that you probably didn’t know about drones:

 1. Market size

The emerging global market for business services using drones is valued at more than $127 billion! This is the value of current business services and labour that will most likely be outsourced to drones.

 2. Approvals

Commercial drone operators must be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority and hold a valid remote pilot’s licence as well as a remote operator’s certificate. This is also a condition for insurance – ITOO will not grant insurance to any company that does not meet this requirement.

 3. The drone zone

Drones may not fly more than 120m above the ground, nor within 10km of an aerodrome. They are also prohibited from flying above or near crowds of people.

 4. Toys and balloons

The same rules that govern recreational drones also apply to toy aircraft and unmanned balloons.

 5. Weight restrictions

Drones for commercial use cannot weigh more than 20 kg, while a drone used for recreational or personal use cannot exceed 7 kg in weight.

 6. Not in public, please

You may not use a public road for take-off or landing of a drone.

 7. Maintain line of sight

Your drone should never leave your sight. If darkness or bad weather clouds visibility, your drone must remain grounded.

 8. Yield to manned aircraft

Drones must give way to all manned aircraft. Drone pilots must monitor air traffic and record flight activity in a logbook.

 9. No acrobatics, please

You may not use your drone to transport cargo, tow another aircraft, or perform aerial or acrobatic displays. Flying drones in formation or in a swarm is also prohibited.

 10. Report all incidents

All incidents involving your drone must be reported to the police, especially if someone gets injured or if property, including the drone itself, gets damaged.