Aurecon can now legally operate drones over South African territory

12 February 2019 3 min. read
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Award-winning infrastructure and engineering consultancy Aurecon has been given the green light to kickstart its operations in South Africa, having received a Remote Operating Certificate (ROC) from the South African Civil Aviation Authority. The certificate allows it to operate drones in South African airspace.

The firm is now a registered drone operator and is the first engineering firm in the country to receive certification. Over the next year, the firm will develop and initiate a range of different projects in relation to drones, a number of which will be based on images captured by drones.

“Our team will be using the captured imagery from our drone operations to create everything from 3D models that inform design decisions to time-lapse videos showing the progress of projects and project milestones,” explained Richard Matchett, Digital Practice Leader for Aurecon in South Africa.

The drones will lend their capabilities to projects in the domain of civil engineering and infrastructure, specifically projects that deal with the treatment of water or the installation of plants. With the new capacity, Aurecon will also be able to capitalise on the digital mining sector that is expanding at a rapid rate across South Africa.

Aurecon can now legally operate drones over South African territory

Mining companies are looking to cope with the relatively low revenues and market capitalisation by enhancing their operations through the latest technology. Given the utility of drones in quarry sites and the mapping of mines, Aurecon will be able to support a number of these companies with this transition.

In order to comply with safety and administrative regulations, Aurecon has established a team of inspectors titled the Drone Operations Management Team that will evaluate the firm’s drone sites and towers. The team will also oversee the use of drones in the recording and accumulation of aerial images.

“We have been looking forward to this milestone ever since the legislation came into effect in 2015.  At that stage we had already recognised the value that this technology would bring to our profession. Now that we have obtained the ROC, we are ready to leverage the technology alongside our traditional engineering activities to gather richer, more comprehensive data from our projects. I would like to congratulate our team on successfully completing this serious undertaking,” said Matchett.

Aurecon is among the most prominent firms in South Africa. The firm was named South Africa’s 10th best engineering company to work for, and has also received a number of prestigious titles with respect to its environmental sustainability practices.