To fly in some locations or under certain conditions, you must apply for additional approvals or permissions. Only chief remote pilots of a remotely piloted aircraft operator's certificate (ReOC) holder can apply.
To apply for a flight authorisation, you must:
Apply for additional approvals
You must apply for approval to fly:
- above 120 m (400 ft) above ground level (AGL) in controlled airspace
- above 120 m (400 ft) AGL in non-controlled airspace
- within 5.5 km (3 nm) of a controlled aerodrome, including military controlled aerodromes
- above 120 m (400 ft) AGL within 5.5 km (3 nm) of a controlled aerodrome
- over a movement area of a controlled aerodrome
- in the approach or departure path of a runway of a controlled aerodrome.
These approvals take a minimum 28 days to process from the date of payment.
Apply for additional permissions
You must apply for permission to fly:
- over a movement area of a non-controlled aerodrome
- above 120 m (400 ft) AGL within 5.5 km (3 nm) of a non-controlled aerodrome.
These permissions take a minimum 28 days to process from the date of payment.
Flying indoors within 5.5 km (3 NM) of a controlled airport
To apply to fly indoors within 5.5 km (3 NM) of a controlled airport, you must submit your updated Operations Manual and Library to us with procedures. On approval, we will send you a letter granting you permission. The permission ceases if you no longer hold a ReOC or the procedures for indoor operations are removed from your manual.
Apply for beyond visual line-of-sight approvals
You must apply for approval to fly:
If this is your first BVLOS application, you may wish to arrange a pre-application meeting with us to discuss the general application process.
For EVLOS approval applications, you can use the EVLOS templated procedures and incorporate it as an annex to your operations manual:
Apply to fly in Sydney Harbour and surrounding areas
You must apply for permission to fly in Sydney Harbour and surrounding areas. It is restricted airspace (R405A/B) due to helicopters and seaplanes that have permission to fly there.
Apply to fly a drone light display
To apply to conduct a drone display or swarm, you must submit a RPAS multi-purpose form and supporting documents, including information about where you plan to train and fly. You must consider:
- the location of nearby public areas and available buffers
- road or maritime exclusion zones and closures required
- weather planning and effects
- proximity to airports and air traffic
- GPS availability and signal strength
- electronic or physical barriers to stop drones escaping the programmed area
- relevant stakeholders.
Once you have lodged your application, an RPAS inspector will:
- conduct a technical desktop review
- issue approval to carry out training and testing
- conduct a technical onsite assessment
- confirm the outcome of your application.
These approvals can take up to 3 months to process from the date of payment.
For detailed guidance materials on the application and assessment process, or for more information on how to run a drone light display, submit a request through our online drone enquiries form.
Renew approvals and permissions
To renew any expiring flight authorisations you must submit a new application at least 28 days prior to the expiry date.
Automated airspace approvals trial
We are undertaking a trial to digitally authorise requests to fly within 5.5 km (3 nm) of a controlled airport at 3 selected trial sites.
Have a question? Need help? Try asking our virtual assistant in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.
You can also contact us through our online enquiry form.