Safer skies for Gold Coast beaches

Type
Media release
Date

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is running a safety education campaign on the Gold Coast to promote the importance of drone operators sharing the skies with helicopters and planes.

A surf life saver standing on the beach piloting a drone

The campaign urges drone operators to use a CASA-verified drone safety app before launching their drone on the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast airspace has a high volume of traffic, particularly along the scenic coastline.

CASA-verified apps show nearby helicopter landing sites, airports and restricted airspace so users can enhance their situational awareness and can keep clear of other aircraft operating in the area.

Damien Boyer, head of uncrewed aviation for Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) says 'to ensure the safety of both drone operations and crewed aircraft it's crucial to maintain awareness of the airspace and adhere to CASA regulations.'

SLSQ drone operations span over 10 locations along Queensland beaches and play a crucial role in beach safety, assisting lifeguards and lifesavers in surveillance, hazard detection, and response efforts.

'We also monitor shark movements, sizes, and numbers, providing valuable data to support lifesavers in keeping Queensland beaches safe,' says Damien.

'It's essential for drone operators to be vigilant. If they see the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter or any other crewed aircraft, they must land their drone promptly and safely to avoid any interference or potential collision.

'By staying vigilant and following safety protocols, SLSQ effectively leverage drone technology to enhance beach safety without compromising airspace integrity.

CASA has also partnered with local authorities for the installation of permanent drone safety signage to remind drone operators that rules apply in the area they intend to fly.

Heath Macdonald, RPAS team leader says 'we appreciate the support authorities are providing to promote safe drone flying. It's incredibly important that drone operators understand the safety rules and fly their drones responsibly to keep themselves and others safe.'

'The mix of light plane and helicopter sightseeing, emergency services, flight training and recreational and commercial drone flights means we all need to be vigilant and adhere to the rules to avoid the risk of collision,' Mr Macdonald said.

The Know Your Drone. Share the Skies. Fly Safe. campaign by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority highlights the importance of sharing of airspace and maintaining situational awareness of other airspace users.

The campaign is running across digital video and social media platforms. Digital billboards on the Gold Coast Highway and bus stops near the beach almost remind operators of their responsibilities when flying in the area.

CASA regulates Australian aviation safety, including monitoring and regulating safe and legal drone operations in Australian airspace.

For more information about what you can and can't do with a drone, visit CASA's dedicated drone website at knowyourdrone.gov.au.

Media contact

CASA Media
Mobile:
1300 773 806
Reference number:
MR1842

Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//about-us/news-media-releases-and-speeches/safer-skies-gold-coast-beaches
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