Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) officially launched its drone registration and pilot accreditation requirements for commercial drone pilots. You have until January 28, 2021, if you want to legally fly drones for business in Australia.

If you are caught without a registered drone, you will be subject to a fine of up to AUD$11,100. You will also receive a maximum fine of AUD$11,100 if you aren’t accredited, totaling a maximum fine of AUD$22,200.

If you are flying or planning to fly commercially and use your drone in the following ways, it likely means you are flying commercially and will have to register your drone and become an accredited pilot.

  • Selling photos or videos are taken from a drone
  • Inspecting industrial equipment, construction sites, or infrastructure
  • Monitoring, surveillance or security services
  • Research and development
  • Any drone activities on behalf of your employer or business

If your drone fits into one of the following groups, this means you will need to register your drone and become an accredited pilot as well.

  • 250 g or less (micro RPA)
  • More than 250 g but no more than 2 kg (very small RPA)
  • More than 2kg but no more than 25 kg and you only fly it over your own land (small RPA).

Drone registration

If you are flying commercially or its a part of your job, you need to register your drone before the January 28, 2021 deadline. If you aren’t planning to fly your drone or are flying for fun you don’t need to register it. As the registration came into effect recently, CASA is allowing pilots to register their drones for free until June 30, 2021. The registration lasts for 12 months.

Pilot accreditation

To fly a drone commercially, you are also required to become an accredited pilot. You do not need to become accredited if you currently hold a remote pilot license (RePL) or are flying for fun. This will last for three years and is a short free online test.

How to register and become accredited?

Registering your drone and becoming an accredited pilot is easy. Head over to the myCASA website, create an account or log in, and hit the RPA operator accreditation button to begin the process. To be accredited, you will need the following:

  • To be 16 or older (an accredited is required to watch you while flying)
  • Proof of identity, such as an Australian passport, Australian birth or citizenship certificate, or ImmiCard
  • myCASA account
  • An aviation reference number (ARN)
  • Make, model, serial number, weight, and type of drone
  • Download and/or print your certificate of registration from myCASA.

Photo: CASA

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