If you want to fly your drone or model aircraft for fun in Australia, you can do so without our approval - providing you follow some simple safety rules.
These rules detailed in Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 101 cover all recreational unmanned flight, including model aircraft, remote controlled aeroplanes and helicopters, blimps, rockets, kites, pyrotechnics and of course the ever-growing drone sector.
FOLLOW THESE RULES WHEN FLYING:
- You should only fly in visual line-of-sight, in day visual meteorological conditions (VMC). What does that mean?
- No night flying (generally).
- No flying in or through cloud or fog.
- Be able to see the aircraft with your own eyes (rather than through first-person-view [FPV, binoculars, telescopes]) at all times, (unless you operate under the procedures of an approved model flying association. Contact the MAAA for more information about flying FPV).
- You must not fly closer than 30 metres to other people.
- You must not fly over populous areas where - if your drone was to fail - it could hit someone. This could include beaches, parks, or sports ovals where there is a game in progress..
- In controlled airspace, which covers most Australian cities, you must not fly higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above the ground.
- You must not fly in a way that creates a hazard to other aircraft, so you should keep at least 5.5 km away from airfields, aerodromes and helicopter landing sites.
- You must not fly your RPA in or over prohibited / restricted area, unless you have thepermission of the authority controlling the area.
- In restricted airspace, aircraft movements are reduced to those with certain specified permissions. Examples of restricted airspace include airspace around military installations or military controlled aerodromes, over Sydney Harbour, high-density flying operations or at an air show or other large public event. Restricted airspace may also be imposed by police for safety or security reasons near bushfires or major crime scenes. It is illegal to fly your RPA in these areas without permission.
Operations within the 3nm (5.5km) radius of an aerodrome or helicopter landing site are possible and lawful providing you comply with the Standard Operating Conditions listed above and ensure that you do not operate:
- on the approach and departure path, or
- within the movement area, or
- create a hazard to aircraft that may be using those areas.
Commercial (Drone less than 2kg or 4.4lbs)
If you are operating a very small drone (100g - <2kg) commercially then you will need to have a Aviation Reference Number (ARN) and notify the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) at least five business days before the first commercial flight. Austrialia requires commercial pilots to also comply with the standard operating conditions noted in the regulations.
*15 Days Preflight is Required to have completion of ARN and CASA Notification for Drone Commercial Flights.
To purchase the Australian Drone Commercial Package: