Australia’s drone registration and pilot accreditation deadline is tomorrow, January 28, so we thought we would remind you to ensure those who are required to follow the new regulation have the chance to do so before receiving a large fine.

The deadline for drone registration was supposed to be last year, but due to COVID-19, the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) postponed it to January 28, 2021, which happens to be tomorrow.

If you are caught without your registration and accreditation papers, you can face a fine of up to AU$11,100. CASA has said that police will also be informed to check for the correct registration, so don’t be surprised to see police at some of the most popular drone areas worldwide.

Requirements

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 2 kg 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 it’s 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 requires 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: Harry Cunningham


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