The Table Mountain National Park has condemned the continued use of drones for recreational purposes on the national park and have reminded the public that the area is considered a no-fly zone. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
The Table Mountain National Park has condemned the continued use of drones for recreational purposes on the national park and have reminded the public that the area is considered a no-fly zone. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Table Mountain area is a no-fly zone for drones, says SANParks

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Feb 8, 2021

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Cape Town - The Table Mountain National Park has condemned the continued use of drones for recreational purposes on the national park and have reminded the public that the area is considered a no-fly zone.

SANParks spokesperson, Lauren Clayton said this had especially been noted at Lions Head summit.

“Table Mountain National Park is disappointed at the disregard for park rules concerning the use of aerial vehicles/drones, specifically along the Lions Head summit. We have come across many social media posts of park visitors making use of drones illegally for either game viewing, filming, photography.

According to the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA): The Protected Areas Act, it is illegal to fly below 2 500 feet above the highest point of any national park, with any aircraft/ drone without the permission from the management authority of the park.

National parks are protected areas with restricted airspace, which make them a no-fly zone for all unauthorized aircraft systems, including drones, said Clayton.

“Aside from the illegal use within the park, drones pose a huge risk to the aerial support services (helicopters and its pilots) that are being used in active fire suppression along the slopes of Table Mountain.”

Standalone image taken from Signal Hill. National parks are protected areas with restricted airspace, which make them a no-fly zone for all unauthorized aircraft systems, including drones, said Clayton. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

One of the founding members of Friends of Table Mountain, Nicky Schmidt said improved signage had been requested by the User Conflict Task Team, of which she is a member, for SANParks to address.

“We see more and more people using the park and with that an increasing issue of people going where they shouldn't, littering, creating graffiti and noise pollution. Drones would be part of the same issue. It’s either a lack of awareness and/or a disregard for the natural environment. It’s part of the ongoing complexity of managing a national park surrounded by a growing city.”

SANParks urged individuals to report such incidents to it’s Emergency Call Centre on 0861 106 417 or alternatively 021 422 1601 (Kloofnek office).

Cape Argus

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