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Flying drones/remotely piloted aircraft in Australia
Australia's safety laws for drones, or more technically correct, remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), as defined in the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 101, vary whether you are flying commercially or recreationally/for fun.
When flying for money, or any form of economic gain, you need to have an RPA operator’s certificate (ReOC), or if you're flying an RPA weighing less than two kilograms, simply notify us.
When flying for fun and not commercially, or for any form of economic gain, then the regulations are less restrictive and allow you to fly an RPA without needing to be certified, providing you follow some simple safety rules.
Check out our information sheet on the basic rules for flying RPAs.
Holders of UAV operator’s certificate (UOC) can continue to operate as per their certificate and will only be issued a ReOC if the certificate is varied or renewed.
Part 101 Amendments - Cutting red tape for remotely piloted aircraft
CASA is pleased to announce amendments to Part 101 came into effect on 29 September 2016, reducing the cost and legal requirements for lower-risk remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operations. Learn more about the amendments to Part 101.
Do you want to fly commercially, or for fun?
Flying over your own land?
CASA created an excluded category of remotely piloted aircraft, allowing private landowners to carry out some commercial-like operations on their own land with:
- a small RPA (2-25kg) without needing an RPA operator's certificate (ReOC) or a remote pilot licence (RePL)
- a medium RPA (25-150kg) without needing a ReOC. (You will require a RePL).
You can find more information on flying over your own property on our website.
Gaining your remote pilot licence (RePL) and RPA operator’s certificate (ReOC)
If you want to fly a RPA commercially in Australia, outside the excluded category, then you need a RePL and/or ReOC. ReOCs can be gained either through CASA or an industry delegate.
Remotely piloted aircraft eLearning module
- The remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) eLearning module is aimed at anyone wanting to operate an RPA recreationally or for commercial purposes in Australia. Whether you are flying for fun or for educational, business or research purposes, this module will help you understand the safety rules applying to how you use your RPA and its weight category.
Looking for a certified operator to do commercial work?
If you require paid commercial work to be done by an RPA, we recommend you use an operator who holds a ReOC.
Remotely piloted aircraft in emergency situations
Never fly a drone, model aircraft or multirotor in situations where emergency response aircraft might be nearby. While it might be tempting to record footage, you can pose a major safety risk to emergency personnel in the air and on the ground.
Report unsafe drone/RPA operations
You can notify CASA of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operations you believe may have breached civil aviation safety regulations online. Please note, safety breaches can only be investigated where there is sufficient evidence, such as photos or video recordings of the breach and the person controlling the drone/RPA at the time.
Privacy concerns and CASA's role
There are potential privacy issues in operating RPAs. However, CASA's role is restricted to aviation safety - privacy is not in our remit.
The principal area of the Australian Government concerned with privacy is the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. Some State and Territory anti-stalking laws may apply to the operation of surveillance drones in some circumstances.
Remotely piloted aircraft system resources and links
- Resources page including useful links, FAQs, eLearning and downloadable safety brochures
- Remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) frequently asked questions
- Advisory circulars providing detailed information on types of operations
- RPAS definitions and abbreviations
- RPAS Notification System