RocketDNA obtains licence to operate DJI Dock in South Africa

Remember how, just a few days ago, we were patting RocketDNA on the back for obtaining the regulatory authority to operate the DJI Dock in Australia?

Well; the drone services company will be rocking that drone-in-a-box baby right in South Africa, after their application for remote docking station operations was approved by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).

Although listed on the Australian stock exchange, RocketDNA’s original DNA roots are in South Africa, where they started out as Rocketmine in 2013, before expanding into Ghana and Australia.

And their latest achievement with the South African aviation regulator is no mean feat as it could spawn the onset of further approvals for drone fights beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight.

RocketDNA is pleased to announce the approval from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to operate remote autonomous (automated) drone docking solutions,” the company announced.

“SACAA is the national regulator in South Africa who maintains oversight and provides approval within the civil aviation industry, including commercial drone operations.

“Approval was received from SACAA for Remote Docking Station Operations using the autonomous Hextronics Global Drone Station, which includes Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight.

“RocketDNA is the first company in South Africa to receive approval for the Remote UAS Docking Stations.”

And we congratulate the company for that.

In explaining the approval process, RocketDNA said it had to satisfy SACAA with several process that included a demonstration at RocketDNA’s remote operating centre in Johannesburg and an assessment of processes including the company operations manual.

The licence will allow for RocketDNA to provide its South African clients with automated operational workflows using a combination of drone technology and Artificial Intelligence.

The company says it has already developed three X-Bot (drone-in-a-box) branded product offerings that comprise InspectBot (where a drone will be deployed from the docking station fast automated visual inspections, enabling people to be removed from hazardous environments); PatrolBot (where clients will their perimeter with automated surveillance solutions, protecting themselves and their assets at all times of the day); and SurveyBot, in which drones will conduct frequent scheduled survey flight missions across clients’ operations and collecting measurable in fast and accurate ways.

“Following our very recent approval for our ‘drone-in-a-box’ solution in Australia, we are very pleased to have attained the equivalent in South Africa, where we have a significant footprint of tier-1 and tier-2 customers and expect customer demand for the solution,” said RocketDNA CEO Christopher Clark.

“The process has been arduous. However, it now uniquely positions the business in many ways. We expect similar use cases to Australia in mining and uniquely in South Africa, providing security intelligence for mines against theft who we already service in South Africa using traditional drones, as well as the agriculture sector.

“There is also a huge opportunity to develop new autonomous drone-based use cases around safer and more sustainable work environments, keeping people out of dangerous environments through monitoring intelligence which spans multiple existing and new verticals.

“The culmination of this technology now at a lower price point and in a packaged solution by us into an attractive commercial model, where we lease the system to customers, including hardware, software and maintenance, is expected to open up significant opportunities for us to scale the business now that the SACAA approvals have been received.”


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