Wanna take your drone for a spin in foreign lands? Take note…

As a Drone Operator the skies are usually your limit. Due to Covid-19 we are on tenterhooks, positively trusting this will pass and that we can get back into full flight. As a pioneer for Drone Insurance in South Africa, Daniel Blomerus and the team of Unicorn Insurance Brokers provide clients with up to date advice on Drone Operations.

Whilst our ROC Operators  and hobbyist pilots are looking for ways to fly in South African Air space, we have seen a major influx for drone operations in Africa and across the World. Yes, are borders are still closed, but as we see it, our clients are looking to get all their ducks in a row and be ready to start new ventures as soon as possible.

Whether you are planning a vacation in Indonesia or a plant Inspection in Kenya, it is critical to take the rules and regulations set out by different countries into account.

Does the Country you are looking to fly in have any Drone Laws?

We all know South Africa has incredibly strict drone regulations, but that does not mean other countries are lax. It is important to research what you don’t know about the drone laws of the country you are about to visit. For all you know they might have drone laws that could either get you arrested or have your insurance not pay out in the event of an accident or theft. Do your research and contact the local CAA to find out more.

Most countries have a quick guideline to send out but there are many websites on google to give you more than enough info.

Do I need Third Party Insurance when operating in the specific countries airspace?

When researching a foreign countries UAV laws, don’t just take the first Website’s info as correct, especially when looking at operating commercially. Most of the Countries Civil Aviation Authority have strict rules that all commercial drone operations have to have Third Party Liability Insurance in place and provide proof of that to the local CAA in order for them to grant you permission.

For example, the Mozambique CAA requires you to have a minimum of $144,600 Third party liability and will not grant you approval with out confirmation send to them for any commercial activity. As a hobbyist pilot we would suggest you take Third party Liability even if your just flying on the beach, because accidents do happen and cut power lines can be a nightmare on that holiday vibe we all crave at the moment.

Airports and how close can I fly to them…

Don’t …. Just don’t ! Try and stay as far away from any airport, whether local, private or international. Most countries and also most drones have a strict no fly zone close to any airport. In South Africa it is a 10Km radius, Indonesia 15km, Botswana 3km and even Thailand has a 9km no fly zone around any airport or airfield. So to think all countries are the same or the DJI App is correct is not always the right way to look at – and also will hold no water in a court of law.

Will my Drone insurance cover me when I’m outside of the country:

Most Commercial insurers only allow you to fly in South Africa, but the ones that do such as ITOO Special risk offer you world wide cover with prior approval for countries outside of South Africa. We have clients that have flown in Fiji, Indonesia, Australia  and most of Africa. There are still countries where our insurers will not cover you.

I’m using my Drone for Fishing only, does this apply

Yes and no depending on that specific country, it is important to make sure you may fly in that specific nations airspace. Whether it is just taking a photo to see where the fish are, or sending your Drone to drop bait.

When going to an island…

Whether its for survey work or your overdue honeymoon. Island life could be more strict than you think for any drone or UAV work. In the Maldives you need to attain prior approval from their National Defence force. In Mauritius you need to receive prior approval from the Department of Civil Aviation for ANY commercial work.

Enjoy your Drone

As a self proclaimed “dronie” we are all about that perfect shot and we ask that you are safe while enjoying your Drone. Enjoy the freedom and always make sure before you start those engines.

Source: Unicorn Insurance

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