Drone Laws in Australia: Do You Need a License for Recreational and Commercial Use?

This complete article will guide you through the rules you need to follow when you fly your drone in Australia.
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Last updatedLast updated: February 17, 2023
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Drones are no longer just employed by certain organizations to accomplish tasks that fall within their scope; they are now available to nearly everyone for professional and recreational purposes. Drone regulations in Australia governing the use of this equipment have needed to be created as a result of this progress, and as new technology is implemented, these laws need to evolve.

As technology develops and more individuals become interested in using drones for recreational purposes, drone laws in Australia are continuously changing. States have different drone laws, and regions have their own set of regulations. This article highlights the many rules ranging from the weight of the drone to its height, etc. It is important that anyone who intends to use a drone in Australia be aware of these rules.

Australia Drone Regulations

The first thing you need to know about Australian drone laws is that there is an agency in charge of unmanned aircraft.

It is important that, as you operate this device, you do so within the bounds of the legal jurisdiction of the state Trusted Source The Concept of Jurisdiction in International Law In this chapter, the concept of jurisdiction as exercised by States (or regional organizations such as the European Union) is concerned. unijuris.sites.uu.nl in which you are flying it. There are both general rules and those that are peculiar to either work or leisure. We will expand on some of these things as we go along.

General Rules for Flying a Drone in Australia

Drone Laws in Australia: Do You Need a License for Recreational and Commercial Use?First, you need to ensure that you are operating a functioning drone. If you haven’t chosen your drone for capturing magnificent views on your trip to Australia, you can check our reviews of the best drones under $600or if you have a flexible budget, you can even look through the best drones under $2000. After you have landed the best drones, there are general drone laws, even about Victoria, Australia, that apply to a drone pilot in whatever space you are in: public and private. Some of these general rules are

  • You must only fly a drone at a time.
  • You must only fly during the daytime, and you must not fly in clouds or fog.
  • You must only fly your drone within your line of sight. This means that you must be able to see it with your eyes and not use technology like screens and other devices.
  • Your drone’s highest altitude is 120 meters (400 feet).
  • You cannot operate your unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over or close to an area where public safety is at risk or where emergency activities are taking place (without prior approval). This could apply to car accidents, law enforcement activities, fires, related firefighting efforts, and search and rescue missions.
  • Do not fly your drone over or above people. This could apply to public spaces like beaches, parks, fields, and stadiums.
  • You must respect people’s privacy. Do not record or take pictures of individuals without their permission, as you may be breaking the law.
  • You must fly your drone at least 30 meters away from other people.
  • You must stay at least 5.5 kilometers away from regulated aerodromes if you have a drone like DJI Mavic Air 2 that weighs more than 250 grams.
  • You must not fly your drone in a way that harms other people’s property.
  • If you are flying your drone for anything related to commercial work, you have to register your drone and get a license and accreditation. It is a must that you have a remote pilot license (RePL) Trusted Source Remote pilot licence Anyone can apply for a remote pilot licence (RePL), but you only need one if you want to be a remote pilot for an individual or business that holds a remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC). www.casa.gov.au .
  • To fly a drone for commercial use, you must be 16 years or above.

Commercial vs Recreational Drone Rules in Australia

Questions Commercial Drone Rules in Australia Recreational Drone Rules in Australia

Is it allowed in Australia?

Flying drones for commercial use is only allowed when you have registered your drone and have gotten your license; you also have to abide by the rules. There is no need for a license to fly a drone for recreational use. However, the recreational drone laws in Australia require that your drone be registered, and you must inform them on their online site before flying.

Maximum Height

You must not fly above 120 meters (400 feet) above ground level You must not fly your drone above 120 meters, that is 400 feet above the ground level

Maximum Distance

The distance between your drone in transit and the people must not be less or closer than 30 meters You must fly your drone at a distance of at least 30 meters away from people.

Maximum Take-Off Weight

You do not need a permit if your drone weighs between 2kg to 100kg, but you must register your drone and inform the CASA by filling out a form online before flying it. For 250 and above, you must not be less than 5.5 kilometers away from airports and people, and you are only permitted to fly it above your land as long as you have a RePL Australian drone laws require that when a drone weighs over 250g, you must fly it not less than 5.5 kilometers away from airports. This means that the distance between your drone and the airport should not be less or closer than 5.5 kilometers

Competence Statement / License

According to Australian license law, you can only be issued a license when CASA has confirmed that you are properly informed of the rules, registered, and that you understand how to fly a drone safely You do not need a license to fly a drone for recreational purposes, but it is required that you abide by the rules and also register your drone with CASA before flying it.

Day Times

The only time you are allowed to fly your drone is during the day. But even at that, do not fly through a cloud or smoke. You must only fly your drone during the day to avoid accidents

Labelling Requirements

All drones for commercial use must be registered and accredited, but it is not a must to have a label on it

 It is not a must for your drone to have a label, but it must be registered and accredited.

Drone Liability Insurance

Drone liability insurance covers your drone, including accidents and damages while in transit or storage, depending on what you chose when you were registering for the insurance. Drone liability insurance is not a must, but it is safe to be registered. Drone liability insurance covers your drone, including accidents and damages while in transit or storage, depending on what you chose when you were registering for the insurance.

Licensing Requirements for Flying a Drone in Australia

The licensing law states that to fly a drone for commercial purposes in Australia, you need to register your drone with CASA and get your license and accreditation. You must also be able to fly a drone safely and know the requirements of the Australian drone regulationsThis will be done by undergoing a certified training process, which may require you to watch a short video and thereafter reciprocate what you have learned from the video. Registration is free only for drones that weigh less than 500 grams.

More on Drone No-Fly Zones

Drone Laws in Australia: Do You Need a License for Recreational and Commercial Use?There are specific laws that guide no-fly zones Trusted Source Drone safety apps CASA-verified drone safety apps use location-based maps to show where you can and can’t fly your drone according to aviation legislation. www.casa.gov.au to avoid unnecessary trouble and accidents and also to safeguard the safety of lives and properties. Some of the laws are:

Populated areas

The eastern, northern, southern, and western Australia drone laws for populated areas state that you must not fly your drones over areas that are populated or filled with people; examples are beaches, parks, and places where events are happening. It can serve as a threat to the safety of the people and properties.

Emergency services operations

You must not fly your drones near emergency areas like police operations or areas where a search or rescue occurs.

At night or into clouds

You are not allowed to fly your drone at night or into the cloud, and you can only fly during the day to avoid an accident and damage.  It is also extremely important that, as you fly your drone, you keep it in sight.

Drone Etiquette

Drone Laws in Australia: Do You Need a License for Recreational and Commercial Use?Flying a drone is fun, but you should not get carried away. Instead, stay aware of your surroundings and people, so you don’t breach any rules, and don’t fly your drone to cause a nuisance to people or the environment. You also need to ensure that your drone is in good condition. You don’t have to spend a fortune; here is a compilation of the best drones under $150. But aside from that, you should know the basic drone etiquette, which includes:

Taking Unauthorised Videos or Photos

Australian drone laws do not permit you to take unauthorized videos and photos. Before you take photos of people, you should ask for their permission, and you are not allowed to take pictures of official or government buildings, churches, or cultural buildings.

Flying over Your Neighbour’s Property

The drone law does not permit flying over your neighbor’s property; this is to avoid your drone hitting them and causing unnecessary accidents. They might also file a report against you for invading their privacy and threatening their safety.

Flying near Animals or Pets

Flying near animals or pets that are not yours is not allowed; it may scare them and threaten their safety, especially if they are not used to seeing drones around them, so the drone law in Australia does not permit it.

Ignoring Pleas to Stop

Other rules to note Trusted Source Drone rules Australia’s recreational drone rules are designed to keep you and others safe, on the ground and in the air. www.casa.gov.au  include this. If you will be flying your drone outside your space into the neighborhood, you should ask if the people there are okay with it. Do not fly your drone if their response is negative or uncertain so that you won’t threaten their safety.

New law changes?

It is required that you stay updated on the new drone laws in Australia and any changes to the former law. The last update was done in 2021, and you will be notified if there is any change in the laws. These laws are made to ensure your safety, as well as others, while your drone is in the air or on the ground.

FAQ

Can I use a drone to spy on a neighbor?

No, you can’t use a drone to spy on your neighbor; invading his privacy is against the CASA law. CASA stands for Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and it is the federal agency that oversees aviation safety in Australia. Your neighbor has the right to file a complaint against you if he feels that his privacy has been invaded and his safety threatened.

Is FPV legal in Australia?

FPV is illegal in Australia. FPV means first-person view, which is done by mounting a camera on the drone as on the Ruko F11GIM drone, which helps the pilot see at a closer range and navigate like he is inside the drone.  However, FPV drone laws in Australia (state) say you are allowed to fly as long as it is indoors. You don’t need CASA approval to fly FPV indoors, but the Australian FPV drone law requires you to register your drone.

Can I travel with my drone to Australia?

Yes, you can travel with your drone to Australia, but you need to abide by the rules, know the local rules, learn the new rules, get an Australian drone license, and register your drone. Before taking pictures of people, remember to ask for their permission. Taking pictures of the sea and airport, government buildings, churches, and cultural sites may be illegal. Also, make sure your travel license covers drone accidents and damages.

What is the Remote Pilot License (RePL)?

The remote pilot License/certificate (RePL) shows that you are well-equipped with the knowledge of how to fly a drone safely and that you understand the rules and the requirements for flying a drone. A remote drone pilot license in Australia can only be issued to you if you have proven to meet the requirements.

Final thoughts

Drones are fun to fly around. The thrill of the machine following your every command, the ability to see much more than you can imagine, and the excitement you get when you feel like a spy. But whether or not you fly the drone for recreational purposes or work, there are rules to follow. Acts of disobedience can cause you to pay a fine, lose ownership of your drone, lose your drone license, or worse, and it can land you in jail. So familiarize yourself with these drone laws Australia again – checking through every subheading. We wish you the best of luck.

References

1.
The Concept of Jurisdiction in International Law
In this chapter, the concept of jurisdiction as exercised by States (or regional organizations such as the European Union) is concerned.
2.
Remote pilot licence
Anyone can apply for a remote pilot licence (RePL), but you only need one if you want to be a remote pilot for an individual or business that holds a remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC).
3.
Drone safety apps
CASA-verified drone safety apps use location-based maps to show where you can and can’t fly your drone according to aviation legislation.
4.
Drone rules
Australia’s recreational drone rules are designed to keep you and others safe, on the ground and in the air.
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