What Are the Drone Laws in Australia?

Last updated November 1st, 2019
A drone shot of Sydney harbour and the opera house

Flying a drone is legal in Australia, but there are rules you should abide by in order not to run into trouble with the authorities.

If you are thinking of travelling all the way down south to fly your drone, you could channel any questions you have directly to Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Use the CASA contact form or their number: +61 131 757.

Licensing Requirements for Flying a Drone in Australia

If your drone happens to weigh less than 2kg and you use it for commercial purposes, you would be flying it under what is known as the ‘excluded’ category.

What this means is that you need to notify the CASA before you fly your drone and operate within the standard operating conditions.

Flying commercially outside of the standard operating conditions would require you to get a remote pilot’s license (RePL) and fly with a certified operator.

Here is an outline of the process for flying under standard operating procedure:

  1. Apply for an aviation reference number
  2. Inform CASA before you fly
  3. Fly within the standard operating conditions

You can learn more about the requirements for getting a commercial license by checking out the CASA website.

General Drone Laws for Flying a Drone in Australia

Here are the most important laws that you should keep in mind when flying your drone in Australia:

  • You must fly your drone only during the day and keep it within your direct line of sight at all times.
  • You must fly your drone at least 30 meters away from uninvolved persons.
  • You are not allowed to fly your drone more than 120 meters (400ft) above the ground.
  • You cannot fly your drone over or near emergency rescue situations or areas affecting public safety, without prior approval. Emergency situations could include: search and rescue, police operations, firefighting efforts, car crashes, and so on.
  • You must only fly one drone at a time.
  • You must not fly over people. This prohibits you from flying your drone over beaches, parks, events, or sport ovals while a game is in progress.
  • If your drone weighs more than 100g, you cannot fly it within 5.5km of a controlled aerodrome.
  • Respect personal privacy always. Recording or photographing people without their consent may breach state laws.

The Australian CASA also provides an official drone safety app to help drone pilots know where they can and cannot fly their drones recreationally and commercially.

These drone laws are liable to change as regulators keep up with the drone industry as it evolves.

You can find out more about Australia’s drone regulations by accessing this section of the CASA website.

These laws are offered here as advice only and whilst we believe they are correct at the time of writing, we are neither drone regulators nor drone lawyers. This post should not be taken as legal advice.

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