Flying a drone in Australia is an amazing experience with many areas that make for the perfect aerial shot, from the beaches to the bush. A crucial step before any flight is checking if you can fly or not.
Let's take a look at what you can do to ensure you are flying legally.
There are three main factors to consider when deciding on a location to fly. The drone itself, location, and the drone rules.
Taking a look at the drone first, if your drone weighs more than 250 grams you must fly at least 5.5km away from a controlled airport, which most of the time have a control tower at them. If you drone is more than 250 grams, it must also be registered before flying the first time.
As mentioned above some locations could be no-fly zones due to various reasons, such as being active airspace or an emergency area. To understand if the area you are wanting to fly in is safe to do so, CASA recommends that you use a drone safety app.
There are currently a number of these apps available and approved by CASA. The following is a list of them.
If you are using one of DJI's drones, you will be notified in the app if you are in a no-fly zone. The drone will not be allowed to take-off while in the area.
For all drones, the following rules must be followed:
- You must not fly your drone higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level.
- You must keep your drone at least 30 metres away from other people
- You must only fly one drone at a time
- You must keep your drone within visual line-of-sight. This means always being able to see the drone with your own eyes (rather than through a device, screen or goggles)
- You must not fly over or above people or in a populous area. This could include beaches, parks, events, or sport ovals where there is a game in progress
- Respect personal privacy. Don’t record or photograph people without their consent – this may breach other laws
- If your drone weighs more than 250 grams, you must fly at least 5.5 kilometres away from a controlled airport, which generally have a control tower at them
- Remember, you must not operate your drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person or property
- You must only fly during the day and you must not fly through cloud or fog
- You must not fly your drone over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway
- If you're near a helicopter landing site or smaller aerodrome without a control tower, you can fly your drone within 5.5 kilometres. If you become aware of manned aircraft nearby, you must manoeuvre away and land your drone as quickly and safely as possible
- If you intend to fly your drone for or at work (commercially), there are extra rules you must follow. You will also need to register your drone and get a licence or accreditation
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