Flying your drone in land down under follows the same basic rules like any where else in the world. The Civil Aviation Safety Association (CASA) implementing rules aimed and designed to safeguard other people in the air and on the ground. For recreational drone users, the basics of those rules can be summarized as:
- You must not fly above 120 meters in all locations
- You must not fly your drone in the area of a public safety or emergency operation, for example a bush fire, police, or search and rescue operation
- You must not fly within 30 meters of people, unless the other person is essential to controlling or navigating the drone
- You must operate only one drone at a time
If your drone weighs more than 100 grams:
- You must not fly within 5.5 kilometers of a controlled aerodrome (usually those that have a control tower) at any time
- You must not begin flying within 5.5 kilometers of a non-controlled aerodrome if there is a manned aircraft operating to, or from, the aerodrome
- You must safely maneuver your drone away from the path of a manned aircraft and
- land as soon as safely possible if you become aware that a manned aircraft is operating to or from the non-controlled aerodrome or helicopter landing site
- You must not fly at night or through cloud or fog
- When flying you must be able to see your drone with your own eyes (not just on your app screen, first person view goggles or binoculars)
- You must not fly over people
- You must not fly in designated restricted areas.
You must also make sure to respect the privacy of other people by not flying near homes and backyards. You must also be not fly a drone during any emergency situations, such as brush fires, police investigations or accidents as you might be a hindrance or detriment to their current operation.
Fines usually go for about $8500 per offence with possibility of incurring heftier fines depending on the case and if you’ve caused any bodily injuries to anyone.
If you’re flying your drone for commercial use then you must acquire a Remote Pilot License for CASA. This usually costs about $5,000 to $10,000.
You may fly your drone without a license though if private landholder flying in your property. If this is the case allowed to carry out "a range of activities" on your own land without the need for approvals or licenses from CASA as long as the UAV does not exceed 25 kg and your are not monetarily compensated.