Damian Ehrke


Drone Pilot Training & Qualification – EU & International Harmonization is a Must

UDH Group, South Africa

Bio Data 

Damian Ehrke started his aviation career in early 2012 as a fixed wing commercial pilot and has spent the last 7 years expanding on his skills and knowledge of the industry, specifically in the training sector. Over the years he has trained in both the manned and unmanned space and more recently was a fundamental part of the team that became the first training organisation to be approved for BVLOS training in South Africa; this has lead to him also becoming the first BVLOS-rated pilot in the country.


South Africa has been conducting RPL training since July 2015. I am a director of one of the first ATOs that received approval to conduct training towards the RPL, and have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience of the shortcomings of the current system in South Africa, in addition to keeping a close eye on international standards and best practices. The RPL as required by the SACAA currently by legislation is vastly irrelevant to operations being conducted in South Africa, and it would be my opinion, that a competency based approach, similar to the that of FAAs part 107 would be far more suited to international harmonisation and for the EU to adopt. In addition, the RPL, as at currently stands in SACAA regulations far from the requirements of the RPL envisioned by ICAO.

Photo coming soon

Scroll Up