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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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Here are some Frequently asked questions to help get you flying in the right direction.

I hold an RPL from another country, can I do familiarisation training to get an SACAA RPL?
  • No, unfortunately not.
  • However, foreign regulators may validate the South African RPL if they do not have current regulations governing the RPL Licence in their country.
Can I fly with my South African RPL in another country?
  • No, you would still need to fulfil all the legal requirements of that country.
  • There are certain proficiencies that you could validate.

Please check with us first as this is a case-by-case basis.

How long will my RPL be valid for?

24 months from the date of issue.

How many exams are in the RPL course and how much to do I need to pass the exam?
  • In the short course, there are 4 examinations for a single rating and 5 examination for the dual rating.
  • Long Course there are 7 examinations if you attend a single rating. With an additional rating you would need to write an additional subject.
  • A Single Rating mean that you select to either do the Multi-Rotor or the Aeroplane.
  • A Dual Rating means that you select both Multi-Rotor and Aeroplane.
  • The pass mark is 75% for each examination written
Is it difficult to pass the online restricted radio exam?

If you don’t study for the Restricted Radio exam, then the examination will probably be difficult to pass. If you use all the tools given to you in class, then you can pass the exam.

What is a restricted radio licence and why do I need one?
  • A restricted radio licence allows you to broadcast on frequency i.e talk to other people in the same airspace.
  • We have both manned and unmanned pilots operating in the same areas and need to know who to speak to each other with the correct phraseology and how to structure your radio calls.
  • The test is split into two parts:
    • Oral examination where the examiner examines your ability to structure your radio calls.
    • The online examination consisting on multiple choice questions and can be written at any approved online SACAA Test Centre.
Where can I do the aviation medical and how long is it valid for?

Please follow the link: https://bit.ly/2Qf1BoL  


  •  Your aviation medical can be done at any SACAA Approved Doctor.
  • Click on the link to find a Doctor close to your area.
  • You will need a Class 4 Aviation Medical Certificate
  • The validity of your aviation medical is dependent on your age:
    • Older the 40 Years of Age, your medical will be valid for 3 years
    • If you are younger than 40 years of age your medical will be valid for 5 years
Where am I allowed to fly my drone?

http://approveddronepilots.co.za/2017/09/22/south-africa-no-fly-zones/  – Map of no-fly zones SA.

Below are Do’s and Don’ts associated when flying a Drone:



Fly/operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or toy aircraft in a safe manner, at all times.
Remotely Piloted Aircraft or toy aircraft should remain within the visual line of sight at all times.
Fly/operate RPA in daylight and clear weather conditions.
Inspect your aircraft before each flight.



DO NOT, through act or omission, endanger the safety of another aircraft or person therein or any person or property through negligent flying/operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or toy aircraft.

Do not fly/operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or toy aircraft 50 m or closer from:

Any person or group of persons (like sports field, road races, schools, social events, etc.)
Any property without permission from the property owner.

Unless approved by the SACAA, DO NOT fly/operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft or toy aircraft:

  • Near manned aircraft
  • 10 km or closer to an aerodrome (airport, helipad, airfield)
  •  Weighing more than 7 kg 
  • In controlled airspace
  • In restricted airspace
  • In prohibited airspace.
  • Do not fly/operate Remotely Piloted
  • Aircraft, or toy aircraft higher than 150 ft from the ground, unless approved by the Director of Civil Aviation of the SACAA.


Can I Operate Commercially with an RPL?

You cannot operate commercially with your drone with just an RPL, you would need to gain and ROC, ASL and have SACAA Registered aircraft.

May I bring my own drone to train with?
  • No, unfortunately not. You need to fly a registered aircraft in order to obtain your licence.
  • All RPAS Training Academy aircraft are registered with the SACAA.
How long does the course take?

The Theory Course is 6 Days for the Long RPL Course and runs from Monday to Saturday. The Short Course runs with the long course (in conjunction), with the exception that the person does not have to attend the exempt subjects and examinations. Once the theory has been attended in full, the examinations may be written. The practical section of the course can be attended directly after the theory or when you are available. Once you have completed your practical and an instructor deems you fit to test, you will do an RPL Skills Test with a Designated Flight Examiner.

Which course should I enroll for?

RPAS Training Academy offers two variations of the RPL courses.



  • The Short course caters for a person who holds a current SACAA Pilot Licence. (PPL-CPL-ATPL).
  •  You will receive credits from the other SACAA Licence you hold, which will exempt you from some lectures and writing certain subjects.



  • The Standard RPL Course is for a person who does not hold any other SACAA Pilots Licence.
  • The person would need to attend all theory training needed to obtain the RPL Licence as per Part 101 of the regulation.
How long does the course take?

The RPL course may be completed in under 2 weeks depending on personal schedule.

How may I Insure my drone while it is in flight?

Drone insurance requires the pilot to hold an RPL, the drone to be registered with CAA and the flight to be conducted under an ROC.

Need more information?

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Sales  (+27) 67 425 4775

Office  (+27) 81 592 0658


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