Drone laws are confusing, especially if you are a first-time flyer or are visiting a country. These are made even more confusing by the lack of information provided if you aren’t sure where to look. Australia doesn’t require any paperwork for a recreational pilot to start flying, but there are a few rules you need to follow.
The following questions we have answered are only for recreational flights. If you are flying for a reward or receive a reward after a flight, you will have to comply with the commercial flight rules.
Can I lawfully fly my drone in Australia?
Yes. You are able to fly your drone within Australia recreationally, with the only requirement being that you fly the drones in line with the rules put in place by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
Where can I fly my drone legally?
You can fly your drone around Australia without any having to notify anyone while flying within open airspace and complying with the rules set out by CASA. As a recreational flyer, you can fly almost anywhere except within 5.5km of an airport. If you want to fly within 5.5km of an airport, you must have a commercial drone pilot license. In some locations such as local parks or public areas, you are required to let the council know of your flight to ensure there are no mix-ups with law enforcement.
Are there laws about places I cannot fly in Australia?
Yes. There a few areas where you aren’t able to fly above, including private property, event venues that are operating, prisons, government properties, national parks, and marine parks.
For the normal flight zones and airport zones, you can download an app to check if you are good to fly in a specific location. For this, we recommend OpenSky created by Wing Aviation and CASA. Enter any location, and tells you exactly what you need to know about any restrictions.
What rules/laws do I have to follow when I fly my drone in Australia?
No matter where you are flying in Australia, there are simple rules you must follow to ensure a safe flight for you, the drone, and the public.
- Fly no more than 120 meters above the ground
- Fly at least 30 meters away from people
- Only fly one drone at a time
- Fly within visual line of sight
- Do not fly over other people
- Do not fly within 5.5km of a controlled airspace
Do I have to take a test to fly a drone?
You are not currently required to take a test to fly a drone recreationally. This will be changing in the next few years, when you will be required to watch a video a complete a quiz.
Do I have to register my drone with CASA?
At this point, you do not have to register your drone with CASA as long as you are flying recreationally with no intentions of making money off the drone flights. This will be changing in the next few years, with all drones that weigh over 250 grams needing to be registered to fly.
How do I request permission to fly my drone near airports?
Flying recreationally, there is currently no way to request permission to fly within 5.5km of an airport. For that, you are required to get your full drone pilots license. However, if your drone weighs under 100 grams, you are able to fly within the restricted area.
Related: Where can I fly my drone legally in the United States?
Have a country you want us to take a look at next? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: Christian Langenhan/Unsplash