CASA has published stronger and clearer safety rules for drones.
The new rules will better protect people and aircraft from drones and have been developed in response to community concerns about drone safety and the rapid increase in the number of drone operators.
Among other things, the rules provide that drones must not be flown:
- above 120 metres (400 feet) at any time
- over or within 30 metres of other people, unless the other person is essential to controlling or navigating the drone
- within 5.5 kilometres of a controlled aerodrome (usually those with a control tower) at any time
- within 5.5 kilometres of any uncontrolled aerodrome or landing site which is being used by manned aircraft, including helicopters
- at night, in cloud, fog or in designated restricted areas.
These new interim measures make it clear that operating drones near public safety or emergency operations is not permitted. CASA has also launched a new website called droneflyer.com.au that explains key safety rules for recreational drone flyers, using easy-to-understand language and clear and simple information graphics.
Droneflyer.com.au complements CASA’s Can I fly there? free mobile app, which provides recreational and sub-2 kg drone operators with practical information about where they can and can’t operate. For example, the whole of Sydney Harbour is a no-fly zone for drones.
The updated app will be available next week.
The new rules don’t apply to holders of remote pilot licences (RePL) who operate according to a remotely piloted aircraft certificate (ReOC) or have an authorisation from CASA. Model aircraft operating under CASA approvals are also exempt.