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Australia's drone aviators told to put safety first

Thousands of Australians of all ages are expected to take to the skies this Christmas as brand new aviators.

The nation’s newest aviators will be flying drones – one of the hottest presents for Christmas 2015.

To make sure everyone flying a drone knows the safety rules the Civil Aviation Safety Authority is launching a new online video.

The video and supporting online advertising will run on social media sites, targeting people who fly or are likely to fly drones.

Key safety rules include always keeping your drone in sight and never flying at night, keeping at least 30 metres away from people, buildings and vehicles, not flying over crowds or groups of people and staying below 400 feet.

Very importantly no-one should fly a drome in a way that causes a hazard to other aircraft.  Drones must not be flown anywhere near aircraft and should be grounded immediately if there are aircraft nearby.

This means drones should not normally be flown anywhere near airports, helipads or any place an aircraft could be flying.  If seaplanes are operating stay away from the water.

CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore, says drones – properly known as remotely piloted aircraft - are great fun to fly as long as safety is not forgotten.

“I love flying and I want as many people as possible to enjoy the thrill of taking to the air, whether it is in an aircraft or piloting a drone,” Mr Skidmore says.

“But in all types of flying safety must always come first.

“Although recreational drones are small they can cause injuries to people and they can be a real risk to the safety of other aircraft.

“If everyone – from kids to adults – follows the simple safety rules they can have fun flying their drones while keeping everyone else safe.”

Watch the new drone safety video:

Find an easy to follow guide to the rules here:  drone safety rules

Media contact:
Peter Gibson
0419 296 446
peter.gibson@casa.gov.au
Ref: MR13915