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Drone safety rules
To keep you and others safe, you must follow the drone safety rules, also known as the 'standard operating conditions'.
Drones, also known as model aircraft or remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), are classified by size and type categories. The classification helps determine the regulatory requirements for their safe operation.
Additional flight permissions to fly outside of the drone safety rules are available for recreational drone and model aircraft operators and remotely piloted aircraft operator's certificate (ReOC) holders. Please note, CASA is required to charge fees to process an application and minimum processing timeframes apply.
It is against the law to fly a drone for commercial purposes (that is, for money or reward) unless you're flying an excluded category RPA or you hold or operate under a ReOC. If you’re only flying for fun, you don’t need a remote pilot licence (RePL). If the drone or model aircraft weighs more than 25 kg, you’ll need to apply for an approval to fly it.
Whilst there is no minimum age requirement to operate a drone for sport or recreation, there are age limits that apply to registering a drone and obtaining and RPA operator accreditation for commercial purposes.
The dos and don'ts of flying
- only fly one drone at a time
- always fly your drone within visual line-of-sight — this means:
- flying only during the day
- avoid flying in cloud, fog or heavy rain
- you can see your drone with your own eyes at all times — not by using binoculars or watching a video screen
- not flying behind trees, buildings or anything else that stops you seeing your drone at all times.
You must not fly your drone:
- higher than 120 m (400 ft) above ground level — that's about the height of a 35-storey building or length of a football field
- closer than 30 m to people — other than those helping to fly or navigate your drone
- over or above people at any time or height
- in a way that creates a hazard to another person, aircraft or property
- near emergency situations
- in prohibited or restricted airspace (use a CASA-verified drone safety app to help you)
- closer than 5.5 km to a controlled aerodrome or airfield (usually those with a control tower), if your drone weighs more than 250 g.
You may operate your drone within 5.5 km of a non-controlled aerodrome or helicopter landing site only if:
- there are no manned aircraft (one or more people inside) flying to or from the aerodrome
- you land as soon as safely possible if you see any manned aircraft flying to or from the aerodrome
- you stay outside the airfield boundary
Please note: these are a broad representation of the rules as detailed by the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 101.
You should read Advisory Circular AC 101-01 v3.0 (pdf 1.01 MB) — Remotely piloted aircraft systems — licensing and operations, to make sure you're following all the rules which apply to you.
Flying in public
Using a CASA-verified drone safety app is the easiest way to know where it's ok to fly.
You can also learn more about flying in public spaces including national parks and popular tourist spots.
Translated drone safety rules fact sheets — flying for fun
- Arabic drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 435.69 KB)
- Cantonese drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 161.5 KB)
- Filipino drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 102.05 KB)
- French drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 103.89 KB)
- German drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 103.58 KB)
- Greek drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 113.16 KB)
- Hindi drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 133.81 KB)
- Indonesian drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 103.14 KB)
- Italian drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 103.62 KB)
- Korean drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 135.86 KB)
- Macedonian drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 110.49 KB)
- Mandarin drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 155.6 KB)
- Persian drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 405.9 KB)
- Punjabi drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 133.08 KB)
- Sinhalese drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 119.7 KB)
- Spanish drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 104.71 KB)
- Tamil drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 131.19 KB)
- Turkish drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 103.67 KB)
- Urdu drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 427.59 KB)
- Vietnamese drone safety rules factsheet (pdf 113.92 KB)
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