But what are the rules?
While drones might not be part of every Australian household (just yet), the Techrevive team are big fans and like all new drone owners we needed to check out the new rules for flying these amazing little tech toys. So, where do you begin?
Thankfully, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have put together an easy to follow set of 12 key rules that all beginner drone pilots need to know.
1. You must not fly your drone higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level. (That’s about the same width as the playing surface at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong)
2. You must keep your drone at least 30 metres away from other people.
3. You must only fly one drone at a time. (Multi-tasking here is not a great idea!)
4. You must keep your drone within visual line-of-sight. This means always being able to see the drone with your own eyes (rather than through a device, screen or goggles).
5. You must not fly over or above people or in a currently populated area. This could include beaches, parks, events, or sport ovals where there is a game in progress.
6. Respect personal privacy. Don’t record or photograph people without their consent — this may breach other laws. (Legal action is not something you want to get mixed up in!)
7. If your drone weighs more than 100 grams, you must fly at least 5.5 kilometres away from a controlled airport, which generally have a control tower at them.
8. You must not operate your drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person or property.
9. You must only fly during the day and you must not fly through cloud or fog.
10. You must not fly your drone over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway. This could include situations such as a car crash, police operations, a fire or firefighting efforts or search and rescue.
11. If you’re near a helicopter landing site or smaller aerodrome without a control tower, you can fly your drone within 5.5 kilometres. If you become aware of manned aircraft nearby, you will have to manoeuvre away and land your drone as quickly and safely as possible.
12. It is illegal to fly for money or reward unless you have a remote pilot licence (RePL) or you’re flying in the excluded category (sub-2 kilogram or private landholder). The CASA website also has some great videos, guides, newsletters to sign up to and even a quick quiz to test your knowledge of the rules before you get started.
Mandatory drone registration is about to become a reality in Australia, and this will enable CASA to ensure people are flying their drone responsibly in Australian airspace.
While we will all be expert flyers in no time, accidents do tend to happen and if your drone skills aren’t quite what you thought they were, you might find yourself with a damaged unit. Thankfully Techrevive can assist with repairs and get you back in the skies a.s.a.p. Contact the team on (03) 5273 0261 or pop into Techrevive at 78A Garden Street, East Geelong.