Calls for tighter drone regulations after Heathrow accident

In the United Kingdom, there are moves to tighten drone regulations, including a call to register drone users. This after a drone struck a British Airways plane at Heathrow Airport, the nations busiest airport. In Africa, South Africa became the first country to implement drone regulations. For example, in South Africa drones aren’t allowed to fly more than 400 feet or 120 meters above the ground, or within in 10 kilometre radius of an aerodrome.


In Africa, drones are increasingly seen as a viable option for delivering essential medicine in isolated or distress areas; or to combat poaching (e.g. Rhino). Ethiopia is employing drones to flight tsetse flies that is having a negative effect on its livestock population. The drone project is carried out by Spanish drone maker Embention, in conjunction with the Ethiopian government.

Drones aren’t just limited to the skies. Dronescan a South African startup, focuses on improved invetory management. The startup developed drones with barcode scanning capability for high shelves in warehouses.

South African regulations don’t allow for the transportation of cargo or to make deliveries. Internationally, companies such as Amazon and Domino’s Pizza have tested drone deliveries. Amazon is currently running pilots in the Nederlands, after a United States ban. Australia Post announced this week, a successful field-trial for home deliveries of small packages.