Nicole Swart, a South African female pilot, has become the first person across the African continent to get a license to fly a drone. Swart was awarded the license by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).
SACAA spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu said, “The license was issued on 10 July to Nicole Swart. It makes her the first person to receive such a license in South Africa, the continent and most parts of the world.”
Swart already holds the highest pilot’s license, the airline transport pilot’s license. When she is not flying a drone, or a conventional manned aircraft, she is working as a testing standards officer at the SACAA aviation personnel standards.
On her part, Swart said, “It was important for me to get a remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) pilot’s license, as I believe technology is advancing rapidly and in the near future this mode of transport will be as common and necessary as cellular phone are in the area. I, therefore, wanted to ensure that when that time comes, I am already a step ahead.”
Swart can now legally fly drones for commercial, corporate or leisure purposes.
This development comes as many countries are still working on coming up with Regulations for the Administration of Drones or RPAS as it is known in the aviation world.