CASA and Airservices Australia are trialling digital airspace authorisations for remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC) holders to fly within 5.5 KM (3 NM) of a controlled airport.
Chief remote pilots can apply using a CASA-verified drone safety app to fly near 1 of 3 selected trial sites:
- Adelaide Airport (YPAD)
- Canberra Airport (YSCB)
- Perth Airport (YPPH).
It’s free to take part in the trial and any authorisations issued will be free of charge, with no limit on the number issued. We will automatically approve requests that meet the criteria, saving operators time and money.
Only organisations that hold an active ReOC can take part in the trial.
The chief remote pilot must submit the request for flights:
- within 5.5 KM (3 NM) of Adelaide (YPAD), Canberra (YSCB) and Perth (YPPH) airports
- for a registered drone with a maximum take-off weight of less than 25 kg
- only during daylight hours
- no longer than one calendar day in duration
- a maximum of 30 days in advance.
Remote pilots operating under the authorised ReOC can carry out the approved flights, provided the remote pilot holds a valid:
- remote pilot licence (RePL)
- aviation radio qualification (such as an aeronautical radio operator certificate).
Flight authorisations in the trial are subject to the conditions listed in section 6 of the area approval instrument below.
If your flight is not authorised in the trial, or is not at a trial site, you must:
- apply for a flight authorisation
- pay the related fee
- wait a minimum 21 days for it to be processed.
How it works
We will check requests against CASA and Airservices data to decide whether the operation can be automatically authorised.
If approved, you will be notified in near real-time in the CASA-verified drone safety app.
If a new area approval instrument is issued during the trial, we will notify you:
- your existing airspace authorisation is no longer valid
- must submit a new request.
For approved flights in the trial, you do not need to:
- tell the air traffic control tower before your flight
- submit a notice to airmen (NOTAM).
How to take part
To take part in the trial, you must sign-up using a participating CASA-verified drone safety app:
CASA-verified drone safety app providers may impose additional conditions to participate in the trial. For example, completing a non-disclosure agreement.
Airspace authorisations issued during the trial are in line with CASA instrument ‘Area approval and direction for operation of RPA within 3NM of controlled aerodromes using CASA-verified drone safety app’.
Instruments will be updated throughout the trial. You must make sure you use the latest version for your flight:
- CASA 97-21 – Area approval and Direction for operation of RPA within 3 NM of controlled aerodromes using CASA-verified drone safety app – Canberra (YSCB) Adelaide (YPAD) and Perth (YPPH)
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