Rules governingthe commercial use of drones or remotely piloted aircraft – RPAs – have recently changed in Australia, enabling more people to get involvedin this fast-paced industry.
These new rulesremove some of the red tape and create an excluded categoryof low-risk operations, allowing you to fly commerciallywithout the need to be certified providing your droneweighs less than 2 kilograms.
But firstly, you have to obtainan Aviation Reference Number or ARN.
Plus supply informationabout your intended operations.
And this all can be easily donethrough the CASA website.
And it's a good idea to etchyour ARN number into your drone.
While there's noformal training required, you do need to knowhow to fly your drone safely.
So make sure you practise and developyour skills to a competent level before launching into the skies.
Remember, you're remotelypiloting an aircraft and sharing airspacewith other aircraft including low-flying helicoptersand aeroplanes.
So it's important you maintaingood situational awareness, protecting both people and property.
And where possible, have someone observingand keeping a good lookout.
And if you do seeanother aircraft nearby, land immediately.
To help make this happen, there's some standard operatingprocedures you must adhere to.
Always keep your drone withinyour direct unaided line of sight, flying only in daylight hours and not higher than 120 metres.
You must keep your drone at least 5.
5 kilometres away from controlled aerodromes, and steer clear of all public safetyand emergency situations like car crashes, firefighting efforts, police operations and surf rescue patrols.
Protecting the public on the ground means keeping your drone at least30 metres away from other people and not flying over areaswhere, if your drone was to fail, it could hit someone.
These populous areas include parks, beaches and sporting fields.
If you fail to adhereto these operating procedures, heavy fines can apply.
And if you want to fly commercially beyondthe standard operating conditions, you must be certified.
Being certified is a great way toestablish a career in the industry, with licence holders afforded manyadditional benefits and exemptions unlicensed operatorswon't likely get.
Details on gainingyour remote pilot licence, as well as more informationand guidance material on operatingin the excluded category, can be found at: And remember,your drone is your responsibility.