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Red tape cut for remotely piloted aircraft
Date of publication:
31 March 2016
Regulatory requirements for an important sector of the booming remotely piloted aircraft industry are being eased.
Commercial operators of very small remotely piloted aircraft will no longer need to obtain a number of regulatory approvals. This includes an operator’s certificate and a remote pilot licence.
The move will cut regulatory costs for operators by thousands of dollars, save time and reduce paperwork.
The changes, which take effect in late September 2016, apply to remotely piloted aircraft used in commercial operations weighing less than two kilograms maximum take-off weight.
These operators will simply need to notify the Civil Aviation Safety Authority that they intend to use very small remotely piloted aircraft for commercial flights according to a set of standard operating conditions.
These mandatory conditions include flying only in day visual line of sight, below 120 metres, keeping more than 30 metres away from other people, flying more than 5.5 kilometres from controlled aerodromes and not operating near emergency situations.
CASA will provide an easy-to-use online notification system.
The package of changes made to the regulations covering remotely piloted aircraft also permits private landholders to carry out a range of activities on their own land without the need for approvals from CASA.
This includes remotely piloted aircraft up to 25 kilograms in weight where no money is paid for flights.
CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore, said the changes to the remotely piloted aircraft regulations maintain appropriate safety standards while cutting red tape.
“While safety must always come first, CASA’s aim is to lighten the regulatory requirements where we can,” Mr Skidmore said.
“The amended regulations recognise the different safety risks posed by different types of remotely piloted aircraft.
“People intending to utilise the new very small category of commercial operations should understand this can only be done if the standard operating conditions are strictly followed and CASA is notified.
“Penalties can apply if these conditions are not met.”
The amended remotely piloted aircraft regulations take effect from 29 September 2016.
The explanatory statement for the changes.