New Australian Drone Registration Laws

The new drone registration laws are not as onerous as they may seem, even for recreational drone users.

For a small annual fee (likely to be less than $20) drone users will register with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), this will include the details of their drone, including make and serial number. Drones under 250 grams won't be included in the registration laws.

Part of the registration requirements will mean carrying out an online educational course, including videos and a quiz. There are plenty of resources available on drone laws and safe operation of drones. A good place to start is the CASA DroneFlyer website. 

Ultimately, the objective is to make Australia a safer place for operating drones, particularly given the rapid growth in drones in our community. It is also likely to provide the broader community with a little more confidence and hopefully less anxiety that this new technology has tended to bring. Of course it should deter negative use of drones. 

If you're new to the drone world, remember the basic rules:

  • 120 metres above ground level is strictly the maximum height you are allowed fly. Your drone should have this as the default limit. If you don't need to fly this high, adjust the limit to a lower height and always keep an eye on your altitude when flying.
  • stay away from airports and emergencies, such as bushfires and accidents. You must keep a distance of about 6km (3 nautical miles) away. Make sure you load "Can I Fly There" APP onto your phone, an excellent CASA resource. This will give  you up to date information on no fly zones and the confidence you can fly legally in your chosen spot.
  • You must keep your drone in your line of sight - not only is this a legal requirement, but in our experience it can also save you from an expensive crash.
  • Don't fly over large crowds and keep at least 30 metres (horizontally) away from people.
  • Finally, remember you are flying an aircraft in airspace with piloted aircraft. If you hear or see any manned aircraft, land immediately.

Check out CASA's DroneFlyer website, @CASABriefing on Twitter or the CASA Facebook page for lots more information and the complete regulations.

Drone flying is fun. It's worth understanding how your drone works, not only to keep it safe but it's pretty interesting too! Who knows you might even get interested enough to build your own drone, even a racing quad!  A whole new world.....