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Drones at school - information for teachers, schools and universities
Flying a drone or 'model aircraft' for educational purposes at recognised educational institutions, including schools or universities is generally considered 'flying for fun'.
However, if you receive money for flying or are flying to promote or advertise your school, you are flying commercially and will need to be licenced and certified to fly.
Tips for teachers and educators
- Follow the drone safety rules when flying for fun.
- Download a CASA-verified drone safety app to check where you can and can't fly.
- Make sure students flying under your supervision follow the rules at all times.
- Anyone flying a drone commercially will need to comply with our rules for commercial operators and hold a remote pilot licence.
Flying over your school's land
If your school owns or leases the land where you plan to fly, you may be able to operate under the landholder excluded category.
These rules may allow you to carry out some commercial-like operations, such as flying for promotion or financial reward.
Schools located within 5.5 km of an airport
You cannot fly a drone for educational purposes if your school is located within 5.5 km of an airport unless:
- it is under 100 g (considered a micro drone)
- it is being flown indoors.
If your school is closer than 5.5 km to an airport and you'd still like to fly a drone, you'll need to apply for a remotely piloted aircraft operator's certificate and remote pilot licence. You can check your school's proximity to airports using a CASA-verified safety app.
Registration and accreditation
From 2022, drones weighing more than 250 g being flown for educational purposes will need to be registered and drone flyers will need to be accredited.
More information for teachers and educators will be available in 2021.
Check state, local and education department rules
We recommend you check with your relevant education department to see if there are any additional guidelines you need to follow.
You may be required to consider:
- risk of potential harm to the department, school, staff, students or members of the public
- school health and safety requirements
- privacy insurance
- local and state laws
- property owner requirements.
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