Drone Law Australia

Flying Drones Legally & Safely in Australia

CASA has produced an infographic to make Pilots aware of the rules - the document below is produced by CASA - FLYING WITH CONTROL:

Drone users in Australia is increasing and it is becoming very important that pilots are aware of the CASA regulations. CASA is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority which sets the rules regarding use of Drones and other aircrafts. Breaching CASA's regulation is illegal and every drone users must make sure that they are aware of the rules. 

(Note: these are general rules and may change - you should refer to CASA website for details)

Drones can cause serious injury and even death if the pilot is negligent. Don
t turn your excitement to tragedy by ignoring the Law. Flying drone is exciting but it can be dangerous as well if you are not taking safety precautions. These are the general rules pilots must adhere to:

  • You DO NOT need a Licence to operate a Drone for Non Commercial Purposes but there are rules that you must follow.
  • DO NOT fly drone closer than 30 meters from people, cars, boats, etc. that are NOT in your property. Make sure you keep 30 meter distance at all times. 
  • DO NOT fly over populous area and over people.
  • DO NOT operate drone within 5.5km of Aerodrome, Airfields, Airports sites of helicopter and plane landing. Note that it is your responsibility to find out where these sites are as court will not consider IGNORANCE as a defence. Remember that it’s not only the airport that Aircraft land and take off - they can take off and land from Hospitals, Police Station etc. and it is up to you to find this out.
  • DO NOT fly drones during night - Fly them during day light and in Good weather. Pilots must be in Visible Line of Sight of the Drones at all times. If you cannot see the drone you are flying - you are breaking the law.
  • DO NOT fly above 400ft from the ground.
  • You may not Fly FPV
  • You should always AVOID Bushfire areas - Drones may blow up mid air - collide with Firefighting Aircraft causing accidents. Never attempt to fly drone near scene of Accidents, Fire, Rescue mission etc or you risk landing into hot water.

Using Drones for Commercial Purpose in Australia - Flying Drones Without a Licence

It has always been a requirement that Commerical Drone Operators obtain a RPA Licence in Australia. Flying drones for commercial gains without a licence is illegal. The good news is that CASA is relaxing the rules to allow commercial operators to fly drones without a licence for business purpose. You do not need a licence to fly drone for Recreational Purposes.

The proposed rules are set to be applicable from 2016. Under the new rules commercial operators will NOT need to obtain a licence to operate small drones for business purposes. According to CASA's risk assessment Drones under the weight of 2 kg and with lower kinetic energy minimal risk to Aviation and therefore it will be legal to fly these drones without a licence.

Drones Like Phantom Quads and Waterproof SplashDrones are consumer drones and new rules will make it legal to fly these drones for commercial purpose without a licence.

There are certain rules that every drone user must follow - breaching Drone safety rules can lead to prosecution. If you are intending to use these drones for commercial purpose - its extremely important for businesses to understand and follow all the regulations to avoid legal action.
(You should check with CASA for latest regulation - these laws are not effective as of December 15)
Vies Drone Flying Rules