Latest drone laws in Australia

Intro

The vast expanse of the Australian continent offers exciting avenues for aerial photography and drone flying.

However, there are strict Australia drone safety guidelines governing these UAV flights.

I’m here to offer you an insight into the drone laws and regulations in Australia so you can enjoy stress-free flying. Read on and learn how to fly within the legal guidelines in Australia.

Overview of Drone Regulations

The drone laws in Australia are governed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

While these rules apply nationally, each state and territory also has its own regulations that users must comply with. 

You can read more about state-specific rules here.

Below is an overview of the nationally applicable drone flying rules:

  1.  No licensing or registration requirements for drones weighing less than 25 kilograms and operating for recreational purposes.

  2.  If your drone is being used for commercial purposes, as part of your job, or weighs more than 25 kilograms then a remote Pilot License (RePL) and flight authorizations may be required.

  3.  No age limits to fly a drone for recreation or sport. But for commercial/professional purposes you need to be at least 16 years of age to register the drone.

  4.  Night flying is prohibited.

  5.  Flying beyond visual line of sight i.e. through fog/smoke, behind obstacles where you cannot see the drone is prohibited.

Drone Registration Australia

Drones weighing less than 25 kilograms and flown for recreational purposes or sports do not need any registration in Australia.

However, if you are using your drone for commercial purposes then drone flight regulations Australia stipulate a Remote Pilot Licence (RePL) or Remote Operator’s Certificate (ReOC) as a mandatory requirement. 

To apply for ReOC you need to log into the myCASA portal, download and complete the form, and submit required documents.

You will receive the certificate once the fee is paid and the document assessment is complete.

Restricted Areas and No-Fly Zones

The Civil Aviation Authority of Australia has made it easy to figure out the No-fly zones Australia by introducing apps.

These verified drone safety apps feature location-based maps that can also help you in aerial navigation in unknown areas.

The apps have both web-based and mobile versions. You can check out the list of approved apps here.

The drone operation rules Australia prohibit flying:

–       Above crowded and populous areas.

–       Near emergency operations like natural disasters, traffic accidents, rescue missions, etc.

–       In restricted and protected airspace.

–       In the open skies closer than 5.5 km to a controlled airport.

–       Higher than 400ft and closer than 30m to people.

Penalties for Violating Drone Laws

If you are found breaking the Australia drone regulations, expect heavy fines! Anyone can report the violation to CASA. 

A fine of up to $1565 can be levied per offence. This can go up to $37,901 if you are found interfering with a drone or your drone becomes a hazard to any other aircraft.

The Australian aviation authority, CASA, holds the right to withdraw, restrict or cancel your accreditation, licence, certificate, or registration.

For serious violations, Australia drone penalties include jail time of up to 2 years.

Conclusion

With no registration and complex pilot license requirements, flying drones in Australia is easy and fun. But the rules and regulations pertaining to flying must definitely be adhered to!

And if you want to learn more about drone laws in different countries such as Canada then make sure to read this guide here.

Hope you found this guide to the drone laws Australia useful and are all geared up for a responsible flying session in this beautiful country.

FAQs

If you are flying for sports or fun and your drone weighs less than 25 kg then no registration is required.

Yes. No-fly zones exist in the country. For guidance on where you can and cannot fly download any of the CASA verified apps.

Penalties may include fines, certification cancellation/restriction, and jail time.

No. special authorizations are required to fly near restricted areas.

Author
Diptesh Das

Diptesh Das is your friendly ‘content maniac’ and drone enthusiastic! Being passionate about content writing. He is a firm believer of the power of words and thereby ended up leveraging them to create an impact by sharing his drone knowledge and experiences.

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