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Flying at night
To fly a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) or drone at night, you must be working under a remotely piloted aircraft operator's certificate (ReOC) and hold a remote pilot licence (RePL).
CASA Instrument 01/17 allows ReOC holders and their authorised pilots to fly at night.
All night flights must stay in visual line-of-sight (VLOS), and must not fly higher than 400 ft (120 m) above ground level (AGL).
Conditions of flying at night
To fly at night, you must:
- train and test pilots to safely fly at night
- keep records for any training and testing completed by pilots
- conduct a risk assessment and mitigation
- document how you'll comply with these conditions.
Documenting your procedures
You can update your existing operations manual and documentation by:
- using the new templates
- updating your documents to include the required practices and procedures.
Option 1: use the current CASA templates
- RPAS sample operations manual (docx 564.8 KB)
- RPAS operations procedures (Library) (docx 87.18 KB)
- Approval instrument CASA 01/17 – include a copy in your practices and procedures.
Option 2: update your existing documents
- Update your operations manual and library so they align with the new templates.
- Insert a copy of CASA Instrument 01/17 into your documented practices and procedures. If you're using the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Sample Operations Manual, include the Instrument in Appendix 2 (Permissions, Exemptions and Approvals).
- Include any other CASA communications that approve you to operate under this instrument.
Insert the appropriate compliance statement into your Operations Manual in section 0.3 'Compliance requirement'.
If using Option 1:
'For [ABC's]* night operations, the company is utilising the latest Operations and Procedures Manual (dated 06 February 2017) in conjunction with CASA 01/17 to conduct night operations.
If using Option 2:
'For [ABC's]* night operations, the company has extracted the approved practices and procedures from the sample Operations and Procedures manual (dated 06 February 2017). Practices and Procedures have been incorporated into this currently approved document suite in conjunction with the CASA 01/17 Instrument for 'operation of a RPA at night'.'
*Insert RPA operator name as appropriate.
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