Drone Laws in Australia
A list of drone regulations and links for drone pilots in Australia.
Australia Regional Governing Body
Australia Drone Regulations Summary
What’s cool about Australia is that they’re one of the first countries in the world to regulate remotely piloted aircraft, with the first operational regulation set back in 2002.
For UAS rules and regulations in Australia, we look to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, or CASA, which regulates all RPA, or remotely piloted aircraft in the country.
Commercial Unmanned Flight – remotely piloted aircraft UNDER 2kgs
From 29 September 2016, the new category of excluded remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) came into effect, with reduced regulatory requirements to fly very small RPAs commercially. Operations under 2kg (excluded) will not need an RPA operator’s certificate (ReOC), or a remote pilot license (RePL).
Those operating in the excluded RPA category will have to notify CASA at least five business days before their first commercial flight and agree to operate by the standard operating conditions and the guidance in advisory circular (AC) 101-10.
Under the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) weighing 2kg or less must fly:
- less than 400 feet (121m) in a controlled airspace (generally meaning any populated area)
- only in good weather conditions; not into a cloud or at night.
- more than 10m horizontally and 30 feet (9 metres) vertically of a person (except people
- operating the drone) or boat or building
- at a height far enough over a large group of people that if the drone failed or any of its components fall, they will not land on people
- clear of prohibited or restricted areas (such as an aerodrome or restricted military areas)
For more information, visit the Civil Aviation Safety Authority website.
Commercial Unmanned Flight – remotely piloted aircraft OVER 2kgs
If you want to fly a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) commercially in Australia, outside the excluded category, then you need to be licensed and/or certified by CASA.
This authorization comes in the form of a remote pilot license (RePL), allowing individuals to fly for operators, who in turn need to hold an RPA operator’s certificate (ReOC).
For detailed information or for certification, visit the Civil Aviation Safety Authority website.
Drone Training Schools in Australia
It’s best to sync up with a CASA-approved RPAS training school. You can search for one of those here: https://www.casa.gov.au/uas-operator-certificate-holders
They offer drone pilot training packages and can help you navigate this certification process.
Different programs take different amounts of time, but you should be able to get this done in two weeks or less, and spend no more than a few thousand dollars.