Drone activity around Sydney Airport

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), in partnership with Airservices Australia and Sydney Airport, has detected an increased number of drones being operated in controlled airspace near Sydney Airport.

A woman holding a phone displaying a drone safety app's map screen

To ensure the safety of those on the ground and in the sky, CASA has developed rules and regulations prohibiting drones weighing more than 250g from being flown within 5.5 km of a controlled airport without an exemption.

All drones, regardless of how much they weigh are also prohibited from flying over or in the departure or approach path – the airspace where traditional aircraft take off and land – of a controlled airport.

CASA Manager Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Operations, Scott Duffy says there has been a continuing rise in drone activity and noncompliance with drone safety rules around Sydney Airport.

'Our reports show higher instances of drones being flown on the weekends within 5.5 km of Sydney Airport compared to weekdays and the most popular time to fly is 4 pm and 5 pm,' he says.

'As drones continue to soar in popularity, it is important users inform themselves on where they can and can’t operate their drone, if they need to be licensed and the dangers of flying drones near airports.'

As part of an ongoing national drone safety education campaign, CASA is raising awareness and understanding of safe flying in the Sydney region by working with local councils, tourism centres and community groups.

'We’d like to encourage users to find out where they can safely fly by using one of the CASA-verified drone safety apps available now through the Know Your Drone website,' says Mr Duffy.

CASA-verified drone safety apps and web applications give location-based information with easy-to-use maps about where you can and can't fly your drone according to CASA’s drone safety rules.

'Drone operators are also encouraged to test their knowledge of the drone safety rules by visiting our Know Your Drone website and taking the quiz.' For more information about drone safety, visit knowyourdrone.gov.au.


Media contact

CASA Media
0419 296 446
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