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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.
From 29 September 2016, if you are 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.
From 29 September 2016, if you are 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.
Holders of UAV operator’s certificate (UOC) can continue to operate as per their certificate and will only be issued a ReOC from 29 September 2016 if the certificate is varied or renewed.
Do you want to fly commercially, or for fun?
Flying over your own land?
As part of the amendments to Part 101 that came into effect on 29 September 2016, 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 an RePL).
You can find more information on flying over your own property on our website.
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.
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. An up-to-date list of certificate holders around Australia is available on our website.
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.
You can find more information on emergency situations and safety resources on our website.
Report unsafe drone/RPA operations
Complete the on-line unsafe drone operations complaint form to notify CASA of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operations you believe may have breached civil aviation safety regulations. 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.
Remotely piloted aircraft system resources and links
If you have any questions or RPA operational enquiries, please contact CASA's RPAS Office by: