Change in Drone Laws in Australia

droneThe Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have announced Amendments to Part 101 to commence on 29 September 2016. CASA will be reducing the entry requirements for people wanting to fly a very small (under 2kg) remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) commercially.

The change entails that operators of very small (under 2kg) drones will not require an operator’s certificate. The operators certificate from September 29 will be called an RPA operator’s certificate (ReOC), or a remote pilot licence (RPL).


The change comes with some new restrictions surrounding the operation of very small drones, including:

  1. You must notify CASA five business days before flying

  2. Operate within the standard operation conditions

  • You must not operate your RPA in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, another person or property.
  • You must only fly during the day and keep your RPA within visual line-of sight.
    • This means being able to see the aircraft with your own eyes (rather than through first-person-view (FPV)) at all times.
  • You must not fly your RPA higher than 120 metres (400ft) AGL.
  • You must keep your RPA at least 30 metres away from other people.
  • You must keep your RPA at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes.
  • You must not fly your RPA over any area where, in the event of a loss of control or failure, you create an unreasonable hazard to the safety of people and property on the ground.
  • You must not fly your RPA 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 can only fly one RPA at a time.

The above operating conditions are a broad reflection of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 101 and do not encompass all the regulations you must follow.

Please also remember, insurance is available for the use of drones both privately and commercially and could be an important cover for you.

For more information surrounding these law changes and the regulations on drone flying, please visit the CASA website.

For LMI we will still be having our pilots undertake the course and licensing for flying for safety. Two members of staff will be completing the required training in November.

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