Your guide to drone flying
IF you've requested a drone on your Christmas wish list to Santa this year, here's some top tips you'll want to follow before sending it into the air.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is responsible to regulating and overseeing drone safety in Australia and have important rules and guidelines to follow.
There are certain areas you can not fly a drone and a number of distances from people, planes and animals put in place for safety reasons.
CASA drone flying rules:
- You must only fly during the day and keep your drone within visual line-of-sight.
- Do not fly your drone higher than 120m above the ground.
- If your drone weighs more than 100g, you must keep at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes.
- Keep your drone at least 30m away from other people.
- You must not fly over or above people. This could include beaches, parks, events or sport ovals where a game is in progress.
- Respect personal privacy, don't record or photograph people without their consent.
- You must not fly your Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway (without prior approval). This could include situations such as a car crash, police operations, a fire and associated firefighting efforts, and search and rescue.
- Flying commercially or for economic gain is illegal, unless you have your remote pilot licence or are flying in the sub-2kg category.
There area state-based environmental laws prohibiting drones from flying within 300m of marine mammals, such as whales and dolphins. Fines for breaching these rules can range from $300 to $110,000.
With the Coffs Harbour Airport close to the heart of the city, it's important to double check your distance before sending your drone up.
This can be done through the App Can I Fly There? or by visiting droneflyer.gov.au