To fly beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS), you must apply for an approval.
To apply for a BVLOS flight authorisation, you must:
- fill out Application for RPA flight authorisation (area approval / permission) form 101-09
- include supporting documents and risk assessments
- pay the estimated fee following review of your application, additional fees may apply if an RPAS Inspector must travel to complete the assessment
- complete a flight assessment (if this is your first BVLOS application).
The supervising remote pilot of a BVLOS operation must have passed either an:
- aeronautical knowledge examination (within the meaning of CASR Part 61) for the grant of an instrument rating under CASR Part 61 (ie IREX)
- aviation licence theory examination before 1 September 2014 that is taken to be an equivalent examination
- examination approved by CASA.
BVLOS standard scenarios
We have developed a suite of standard scenarios that may be used to apply for BVLOS operations with the following characteristics:
- near a vertical object over a controlled ground environment that only involves active participants (AU-STS 1)
- near a vertical object over a sparsely populated ground environment (AU-STS 2)
- in a remote area within three nautical miles of a registered or certified non-controlled aerodrome (AU-STS 4)
- below 400 feet AGL in remote Australian airspace, that is defined by CASA as locations with very low population density and low risk of aircraft encounters (AU-STS 6)
- above 400 feet AGL and up to 5000 feet AMSL in remote Australian airspace, that is defined by CASA as locations with very low population density and low risk of aircraft encounters (AU-STS 7).
Apply using a standard scenario
For applications that meet the operational characteristics of one of the scenarios you may apply using the standard scenario applicant response:
- AU-STS 1: Applicant response - BVLOS operations near a vertical object(s) with a controlled ground environment
- AU-STS 2: Applicant response - BVLOS operations near a vertical object(s) with a sparsely populated ground environment
- AU-STS 4: Applicant response - BVLOS operations in a remote area within 3 NM of a registered or certified non-controlled aerodrome
- AU-STS 6: Applicant response - BVLOS operations in remote Australian airspace (below 400 ft AGL)
- AU-STS 7: Applicant response - BVLOS operations in remote Australian airspace (400 ft AGL to 5000 ft AMSL)
To assist you when completing your application please refer to:
BVLOS application using a specific operations risk assessment
For operations that don’t meet the characteristics of a standard scenario, a specific operations risk assessment (SORA) will be required.
SORA was developed by the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) and was adopted by CASA in 2017.
Apply using a specific operations risk assessment
Submitted applications must be based on the JARUS SORA package available at JAR doc 06 SORA (package) (jarus-rpas.org).
In particular, you should familiarise yourself with the following JARUS documents:
- JARUS guidelines on Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA)
- JARUS guidelines on SORA Annex A
If this is your first JARUS SORA application, you may wish to arrange a pre-application meeting to discuss the application process. This can be requested through the enquiry form.
Renew approvals and permissions
To renew any expiring flight authorisation you must submit a new application.
Have a question? Need help? You can contact us through our online enquiry form.
Subscribe to our mailing list to keep up to date with the latest drone information and updates.