The Australian Government’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) launched a dedicated website today, called DroneFlyer, to help people new to flying drones the rules of the game. It is a really nice and user-friendly website with easy-to-understand information for anybody getting into drones, whether you are an 8-year-old who got a drone for his birthday or you are thinking about starting a career as a commercial drone pilot.
The website explains the main rules both in text and in a video. There is also a link to the ‘Can I fly there?’ drone safety app, which is available for Android and iOS devices, as well as a web-based HTML5 version. Further down on the site they have links to additional information such as: tips and tricks, environmental laws prohibiting drones, battery safety, 12 ways your drone can get you in trouble, report unsafe flying, and a safe-flying quiz.
Australia shows best practice?
Recently, DJI used the Australian way of managing drones as a best practice example. Google chose to go “Down Under” to test their new drone delivery system. I think the Aussies are on to something here. Maybe the American FAA should take notice?
Drone safety video
Fly commercially without a license
Btw – in Australia, you can fly a drone under 2 kilograms (4.5 Lbs) commercially without a license. That means that you can fly a DJI Mavic Pro or a Phantom 4 Pro commercially in Australia. That’s nice! FAA, are you paying attention?
The Australian rules to flying drones safely
- You must only fly during the day and keep your drone within visual line-of-sight. This means being able to see the aircraft with your own eyes (rather than through a device) at all times.
- You must not fly your drone higher than 120 metres (400ft) above the ground.
- You must keep your drone at least 30 metres away from other people.
- You must not fly your RPA over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway (without prior approval). This could include situations such as a car crash, police operations, a fire and associated firefighting efforts, and search and rescue.
- You must only fly one RPA at a time.
- You must not fly over or above people. This could include beaches, parks, events, or sport ovals where there is a game in progress.
- If your drone weighs more than 100g, you must keep at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes. Flying within 5.5km of a non-controlled aerodrome or helicopter landing site (HLS) is possible, but only if no manned aircraft are operating to or from the aerodrome. If you become aware of manned aircraft operating to or from the aerodrome/HLS, you must maneuvre away from the aircraft and land as soon as safely possible.
- Remember, you must not operate your drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person or property.
- Respect personal privacy don’t record or photograph people without their consent—this may breach state laws.
What do you think about what the Aussies are doing? What rules or ideas do you think we should adopt in Europe or in the United States? Let us know below.