8 things you didn't know about flying a drone
THEY'RE tipped to be one of the most popular presents given this Christmas and what an exciting piece of technology they are.
Drones are fun for aviation enthusiasts and gadget lovers alike, but there are a few things to know before shooting one up into the sky.
1. Hospitals are drone free zones
Drone operators are not allowed to fly the gadget within 5km of any hospital.
This is due to the use of medical helicopters around the area, as they require safe passage over the busy holiday season.
2. You can not fly a drone higher than 120 metres
There is a limit to how high you can fly the drone so it doesn't interfere with other aircraft.
This limit is 120 metres in Australia and to fly any higher you will need approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
3. The drone must be kept at least 30 metres away from other people
To avoid hurting others, the drone must be kept at least 30 metres away from anyone who is not operating it.
It must also not be flown over extremely crowded areas, as it may be difficult to keep the safe distance and therefore poses a risk.
This includes at busy beaches, parks or sporting ovals.
4. You must be able to see the drone at all times
When flying the drone you must be able to see it with your own eyes, not with a telescope or binoculars.
This also rules out night flying, when it's much harder to keep eyes on the equipment.
5. Stay at least 5.5km from an airfield
If the drone weighs more than 100 grams it must be kept well away from an airfield will limit the risk it poses to other aircraft.
This is because it is prohibited to fly a drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person or piece of property.
Sometimes it is acceptable to fly the drone closer than this, as long as it is not in the approach or departure path.
It may also be acceptable if the airfield is not in use, but if the operator realises it is in use whilst flying the drone they must cease immediately.
6. Respect the privacy of others
Recreational drone users must respect the privacy of those around them by not taking photos or video footage of them without their consent.
CASA does not deal with privacy, rather this encroaches on state law as the person may face trespass or other charges depending on where it is flown and what footage is taken.
7. Only fly one drone at a time
This one is a bit of common sense, but just having one aircraft to take care of means the operator is much more likely to avoid mishaps.
8. Do not fly over emergency situations
A drone can not be flown over an area affecting public safety or where an emergency is taking place.
This could include situations such as a car crash, police operation, fire or search and rescue.
For more information about flying drones safely, visit casa.gov.au.