Since September 29th, 2016, Drone Laws in Australia have been established for recreational use.The full rules are contained in Part 101 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.
Drone Laws in Australia are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority, or CASA who also regulate the laws for other RPA, otherwise known as remotely piloted aircrafts.
DOWNLOAD – Australia’s RPAS Flying Your Drone For Fun Brochure
- 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 the permission 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 rules 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.
Tips for Recreational Drone Users
- Fly your drone during daylight and in good weather.
- Keep your drone where you can see it with your own eyes – not through an on-board camera, monitor or smartphone.
- Make sure your drone is safe for flight before take-off. Ask yourself, for example: Are the batteries fully charged? Is it too cold to fly?
- Respect the privacy of others. Avoid flying over private property or taking photos or videos without permission.
Resources and Links
Access frequently asked questions, advisory information, RPA related websites and ‘Flight Safety Australia’ magazine articles online.
- Remotely piloted aircraft system resources and links.
- CASA Sport aviation website.
- The Model Aeronautical Association of Australia is recognised as a self-administering sport aviation organisation and has established model aircraft fields and experienced advisors who can help you with questions about model aircraft.
- The Australian Miniature Aerosports Society is also a national aero model organisation for model aviation in Australia.
CASA has a pretty cool video that sums up all the rules and regulations so you have have fun and be safe while flying your drone in Australia.