More and more people in Australia are buying and using drones - both for personal and commercial use. As these figures continue to rise, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has decided to implement some new regulations. The hope is that these regulations allow for safer airways and more responsible drone piloting.
So, what is happening?
CASA is working towards bring rules for registration and accreditation to the Australian drone-flying population. However, as of right now, there aren’t any rules in place. You do not have to register a drone now, but you will need to when these rules are finalised and enforced.
It seems a bit confusing, so we’ve answered a few burning questions you probably have:
Do I have to register a drone if I’m flying it for fun?
If your drone weighs over 250g, then you will need to register it when registration opens. If yours weighs less than this - or is only flown inside - then you don’t need to register it.
Right now, you don’t have to do anything. Still, it can help if you check out the Know Your Drone section on the CASA website. This will brush up your drone safety knowledge, which will assist you when accreditation and registration opens.
What if I’m flying my drone for commercial use?
Commercial use refers to any drones that are used for business purposes. This could include a photographer capturing footage with a drone, or a farmer using drones to spray things on crops. For the most part, you will need a remote pilot licence (RePL) to operate a commercial drone. If you do, you won’t need to get accredited, but you will need to register your drone.
This holds true for any drones operating under the ‘excluded category’ as well. This typically includes commercial drones under 2kg or ones flown over your own land. You don’t technically need a license for these drones, but you will need to register them, and you will have to get accredited if you don’t have a licence.
What is accreditation?
Essentially, it’s a new rule by CASA that will show you know the basics of drone safety. Getting accredited will be easy as you typically just complete an online quiz and watch a safety video. Again, if you already possess a RePL, you don’t need to get accredited as well.
How do you register?
Registration will be very straightforward and can be handled via the CASA website. You need the following:
- An ARN (aviation reference number - you can apply for one here)
- Details of your drone (including weight, serial number, model, make, etc.)
- A myCASA account
- A credit/debit card to make your payment
It’s also worth noting that you have to be over 16 to register your drone!
- All drones will need to be registered once registration officially opens
- The only exceptions are personal drones under 250g, and ones flown indoors
- If you don’t have a RePL, you need to get accredited as well
Hopefully, this clears everything up, and we will keep you updated on any news relating to these new rules.