Big win for light-weight drone operators in a historic move by CASA
It has been a few months since the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) announced a change in drone laws, bringing in a wave of relief for commercial light-weight drone operators. As professionals who rely on drone technology for a number of our projects, there could not have been a better time for change. Starting September 29, 2016, drones weighing less than 2kg (maximum take-off weight) will no longer need any regulatory approvals to operate commercially.
Here’s a quick recap of what this decision will mean for us and the commercial drone fraternity at large:
- The regulation changes are aimed at cutting red tape while continuing to reinforce appropriate safety standards.
- Without the need for regulatory approvals, the move is all set to bring down regulatory costs. Big win!
- Commercial light-weight drone operators will no longer require an operator’s certificate and remote pilot license to operate commercially.
- Popular light-weight drones like DJI Phantom 2, 3 &4, Xiro Xplorer, Vision Drone, Parrot Bebpo2, 3DR Solo and Yuneec Typhoon are all covered under these new regulations.
- Based on these new rules, light-weight drone operators are expected to notify CASA about flying their aircraft and have to adhere to a set of standard operating conditions.
- These include, flying during the day within a 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.
- The regulation however deems it an offence for operators of very small drones for hire or reward, when CASA is not notified. It also empowers CASA to maintain a database of information that relates to these offences.
- Private landholders can carry out any number of activities on their property without seeking approvals from CASA and without an Unmanned Aircraft Operator’s Certificate for drones under 25kgs of weight. This is of course provided neither party receives money for the flight.
- For drones weighing 25kg and above, operators will require a remote pilot license for the aircraft being flown.
What can we say; we’re elated and welcome this move by CASA. Our light-weight drones have helped us achieve some extraordinary work in the past. Take a look at this video we created for the owners of Knockalong, powered by drone technology.
We’d really love to work with you on your next big project and have you witness the spectacular effects that drone captures bring with it. Have an idea? Get in touch today.