Drone Laws in Australia
Drone regulations and links for people flying drones in Australia.
Australia Drone Regulations
According to Australia’s national aviation authority, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), flying a drone is legal in Australia, but we recommend being aware of and compliant with the drone regulations listed below before doing so.
If you’d like to contact Australia’s CASA before you travel with any questions you might have, here is their contact information: CASA Contact Form / +61 131 757
Why fly a drone in Australia? To get great aerial shots like these!
General Rules for Flying a Drone in Australia
Based on our research and interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Australia.
- You must only fly during the day and keep your drone within visual line-of-sight. This means being able to see the aircraft with your own eyes (rather than through a device) at all times.
- You must not fly your drone higher than 120 meters (400ft) above the ground.
- You must keep your drone at least 30 meters away from other people.
- You must not fly your UAV over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway (without prior approval). This could include situations such as a car crash, police operations, a fire and associated firefighting efforts, and search and rescue.
- You must only fly one UAV at a time.
- You must not fly over or above people. This could include beaches, parks, events, or sport ovals where there is a game in progress.
- If your drone weighs more than 250g, you must keep at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes.
- Respect personal privacy. Don’t record or photograph people without their consent—this may breach state laws.
For more information on Australia’s drone laws, see this page on the CASA website.
Know something we don’t about drone laws in Australia? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are not international aviation attorneys and do our best to keep this page up-to-date for drone pilots, but the reality is that given the pace of the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) industry and how governments are responding, drone regulations in Australia can change throughout the year, and those changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.
Licensing Requirements for Flying a Drone in Australia
If you fly a drone (remotely piloted aircraft) RPA under 2kg but for commercial reasons, you can fly your drone in what is called the ‘excluded’ category. This means you need to notify the CASA before you fly and operate within the standard operating conditions.
If you want to fly outside these operating conditions, you will need to be licensed (hold a remote pilot’s licence RePL) and fly with a certified operator to fly commercially.
Here is the process:
- Apply for an aviation reference number
- Tell us before you fly
- Fly within the standard operating conditions
- Download the OpenSky App
Learn more about licensing requirements for commercial operators on the CASA website.
Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in Australia? Here you go: