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Drone safety review
Review of aviation safety regulation of remotely piloted aircraft systems
We’ve released our report from our review into remotely piloted aircraft systems regulation.
The review takes into account submissions to a discussion paper issued by us on drone safety regulation in August 2017.
The report has seven findings:
- We support mandatory RPA registration in Australia for RPA’s weighing more than 250 grams.
- We should develop a simple online course for recreational and excluded category RPA operators on safe RPA operations, followed by a quiz with a minimum pass mark.
- Our education and training framework around the issue of a remote pilot licence should continue.
- We should continue to support RPA manufacturers’ efforts to utilise geo-fencing technology to prevent RPA operations in areas where operations are not permitted, including at or near major airports and certain classes of restricted airspace.
- We should participate, where appropriate, in international forums to stay abreast of global trends and participate in trials of the technology where feasible.
- We should work with Airservices Australia to ensure the development of standard data on airspace.
- We should deliver a RPAS roadmap to articulate how to safely integrate RPAs into the Australian airspace system, including content on unmanned traffic management systems.
Terms of reference
To review the approaches undertaken by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to the regulation of RPA operations which are consistent with the primacy of air safety, and with particular reference to:
- The relative safety benefits and cost effectiveness of:
- introducing mandatory registration, education and training for all RPAS operators
- the deployment of geo-fencing capabilities for RPAS
- any other mechanisms to enhance aviation safety associated with RPAS operations in Australian airspace and managing the relevant risks.
- The effectiveness of CASA's operating model with respect to the regulation of RPAs to ensure it takes into account:
- technology growth of the RPAS community
- operational growth of the RPAS community
- developments in ICAO and other international aviation safety agencies.
This review will be informed by looking at the operation of the most recent CASR Part 101 amendments and take into account recommendations developed by the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standards subcommittee.
The outcome of the assessment will provide CASA with a firm basis on which to articulate and implement future aviation safety regulatory policy and the further development of regulations applying to RPAs.
As part of CASA's review of drone regulations, we have produced a discussion paper to engage the community and aviation industry on the issues and concerns that have been raised either directly with CASA or indirectly through a number of forums.
This discussion paper presents a range of safety related issues in a way that examines CASA's approach, associated risks and information about actions by other jurisdictions. It then poses a question to which you are asked to respond and assists by presenting additional information to consider when forming your response.
You can read the discussion paper and provide your responses through our consultation hub. The discussion paper is available for public comment until Friday 29 September 2017.
More information about Part 101 and flying drones in Australia can be found on the our website.
Drone fast facts
- There are 5,780 remote pilot licence holders around Australia.
- The 'Can I fly there?' app has been downloaded 72,00 times since it was launched in May 2017.
- A single post on Facebook promoting the 'Can I fly there?' app launch reached 587,638 people.
- Australia now has 1,106 drone operator certificate holders.
- Australia has 802 air operator's certificate holders (manned aircraft).
- CASA has a strong following of more than 51,000 people across its social media accounts.
- CASA's videos about drones have been viewed a total 1.2 million times across Facebook and YouTube.
- CASA's drone advertisement in cinemas reached an audience of 436,208 people over the months of June and July 2017.