Drones at school

This information will help teachers, schools and universities understand what rules to follow when flying a drone at recognised educational institutions.

The requirements

Flying a drone or model aircraft for educational purposes at recognised educational institutions is considered 'flying for fun'. You do not need a licence or operator accreditation, or to register your drone.

However, if you get money for flying or are flying to promote or advertise your school, you’re flying commercially and extra rules apply:

If your drone is 2 kg or less, you must:

If your drone is more than 2 kg, you must:

If your school owns or leases the land where you plan to fly, and your drone is more than 2 kg but not more than 25 kg, you may be able to fly under the landholder excluded category. This allows you to carry out some commercial-like operations.

Tips for teachers and educators

Consider:

  • if there are other rules you need to follow from your education department
  • risk of potential harm to the department, school, staff, students or the public
  • school health and safety requirements
  • privacy and public liability insurance
  • local and state laws
  • property owner requirements.

Schools near an airport

If your school is within 5.5 km of a controlled airport, you must not fly a drone unless it is either:

  • 250 g or less (micro drone);
  • flown indoors and it can’t get out of the building; or
  • flown outside of the air traffic control tower hours if you’re flying outdoors.

If your drone weighs more than 250 g or you want to fly outdoors during air traffic control tower hours you will need additional permissions and approvals – fees apply.

You can check how close your school is to controlled airports by using of a CASA-verified drone safety app.

Drone registration and operator accreditation

In 2022, to keep flying for fun and education (if your drone is more than 250 g), you will need to:

  • register your drone
  • get an operator accreditation.

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