Drone Laws in Australia

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Commonwealth of Australia

Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia


UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Australia

The Australian agency responsible for drone safety, CASA, has provided a number of internet-accessible details on flying for fun or for work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the link above.

Are drones allowed in Australia?

According to CASA, drones are allowed in Australia for recreational and commercial use, subject to CASA regulations. Read on for details.


Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Australia

You must not fly your drone higher than 120 meters (400 feet) above ground level.

You must keep your drone at least 30 meters away from other people.

You must only fly one drone at a time.

You must keep your drone within the visual line of sight. This means always being able to see the drone with your own eyes (rather than through a device, screen, or goggles).

You must not fly over or above people or in a populous area. This could include beaches, parks, events, or sports ovals where there is a game in progress.

Respect personal privacy. Don’t record or photograph people without their consent — this may breach other laws.

If your drone weighs more than 100 grams, you must fly at least 5.5 kilometers away from a controlled airport, which generally has a control tower at them.

Remember, you must not operate your drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person, or property.

You must only fly during the day and you must not fly through clouds or fog.

You must not fly your drone over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway. This could include situations such as a car crash, police operations, fire or firefighting efforts or search and rescue.

If you’re near a helicopter landing site or smaller aerodrome without a control tower, you can fly your drone within 5.5 kilometers. If you become aware of manned aircraft nearby, you will have to maneuver away and land your drone as quickly and safely as possible.

If you intend to fly your drone for or at work (commercially), there are extra rules you must follow. You may need a remote pilot license (RePL) or fly in the excluded category


Notes for Commercial Drone Services operations in Australia

FLYING AN RPA WEIGHING LESS THAN 2KG

If your remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) weighs less than 2kg, you can fly it for or at work (commercially). You must follow the standard operating conditions, notify CASA of your intention to fly, and keep the required records. If you want to fly commercially outside of these rules, you’ll need to get a remote pilot license (RePL).

FLYING A SMALL (2-25KG) OR MEDIUM (25-150KG) RPA OVER YOUR OWN PROPERTY

You can fly commercially over your own land, provided you are the landowner or leaseholder and you own the RPA.
For small RPA (2-25kg), you must follow the standard operating conditions, and you must not accept payment or reward. You can also fly a medium (25-150kg) RPA over your own land, provided you hold a remote pilot license (RePL) and register the RPA with CASA.

GETTING A REMOTE PILOT LICENCE (RePL)

Before you can get your license, you’ll need to complete the required training through a certified training provider. For more information, go to casa.gov.au/drones

If you intend to fly your RPA for or at work (commercially), there are extra rules you must follow. You may also need to register your RPA and get a license or accreditation.

You must not fly your RPA higher than 120m (400ft) above ground level.

You must keep your RPA at least 30m away from other people.

If your RPA weighs more than 100g, you must fly at least 5.5kms away from a controlled airport, which generally has a control tower at them.

If you’re near a helicopter landing site or smaller aerodrome without a control tower, you can fly your RPA within 5.5kms. If you become aware of manned aircraft nearby, you will have to maneuver away and land your RPA as quickly and safely as possible.

You must not fly over or above people or in a populous area.

You must keep your RPA within the visual line of sight.

You must not fly your RPA over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway (without prior approval).

Remember, you must not operate your RPA in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person, or property.

Respect personal privacy. Don’t record or photograph people without their consent—this may breach other laws.

You must only fly one RPA at a time.

You must only fly during the day and you must not fly through clouds or fog.

For more information visit: https://casa.gov.au/drones


Useful published information on flying drones in Australia

Here is a useful introduction video provided by CASA…

NOTE: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model aircraft, toy aircraft, Remote controlled aircraft, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.


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Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone



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IMPORTANT NOTE

The content on this site is collated by volunteers from public general information. This material is not presented as legal advice of any kind, and we cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Do not substitute the information you find here for legal advice from a licensed attorney who is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction. When in doubt, contact the local aviation authority responsible for drone safety, utilize a licensed drone service operator, and/or consult a qualified attorney.

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