According to current Australian drone rules, a drone must always be kept within your visual line-of-sight, meaning your eyes must have a direct view to the drone, rather than using a screen or goggles.
When flying drones with goggles or a screen, your situational awareness is reduced as well as your field of view being limited to the camera's that mounted on the drone. The combination of both can increase the risk of colliding with trees, people, property, animals, or even other aircraft.
So, is there any way to fly FPV in Australia? Yes.
When it comes to flying indoors for sport or recreation no approval is needed, you can fly like normal. When it comes to the outdoors, there are three ways to legally fly FPV drones.
- The first way is to become a member of a model aircraft association that has approval to fly FPV drones and other aircraft. These associations can be found on the Model Aeronautical Association of Australia's (MAAA) website.
- If you don't want to fly recreationally at a model aircraft association or there isn't one nearby, you can apply to CASA for approval. This means you are required to submit an approval form and supply the correct documents, including but not limited to maps, aviation charts, and a stakeholder engagement.
- If you are looking to fly FPV commercially, you can apply to CASA for extended visual line of sight (EVLOS) approval. This does require the pilot to hold a RePL and be a part of a company that holds a ReOC.
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