How to drone it like it’s hot in Queensland
There’s a buzz in the air as the big wigs at CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) have relaxed the rules for drone hobbyists in Australia!
Our minds are humming with the possibilities of all the hot spots around Queensland we can now see from a bird’s-eye view. But as they say, with great power comes great responsibility, so let’s take a quick squiz at how you can safely and legally take to the skies.
If you’ve gone out and bought yourself a shiny new toy and are busy sorting through the manual, figuring out the ‘how-to’, we’re gonna make things really easy for you and break down the ‘where-to’ with the do’s and don’ts for using your drone in Queensland.
If your drone (UAV or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to CASA) weighs less than a 2L bottle of Maleny Dairies milk (2kg), you now have the green light to fly commercially without an RPA operator’s certificate (ReOC), or a remote pilot licence (RePL). You will just need to stick to the same regulations as the hobbyists plus register your plan with CASA, so here is a checklist for you to tick off.
8 drone rules you need to know
• When the sun goes down, so should your drone, flying is only allowed during daylight hours.
• If you can’t physically see your drone with your own eyes, you can’t fly it. That means maintaining an actual line of sight to the drone, not just through the control panel viewfinder.
• If you’re in a controlled airspace (which means all cities and most major towns in Queensland) you cannot fly higher than 400ft/120m (just under double the height of the Story Bridge in Brisbane).
• Speaking of the Story Bridge, you must not fly over populous areas and keep at a safe distance, staying at least 30m away from people (including cars and boats etc). Basically, if your drone konks out, it can’t crash land on anyone, so that means no roads, busy beaches, sports games etc.
• Don’t play the fool and cause a hazard or distraction to any other aircraft or motor vehicles.
• Stay well away from any airfield, including small aerodromes for light aircraft (5.5km is the minimum distance you’re allowed to fly from an airfield). If you do see an aircraft nearby, you must land your drone immediately.
• If you do want to fly for any commercial gain, you need an Aviation Reference Number and should notify CASA five business days prior to lift-off.
• Do a little more homework and check out the detailed guidelines over at www.casa.gov.au/RPA.
Ok, so now that school is out, we bet you’re itching to fly!
Here are some of the hottest places to take your drone for a spin
Do you even drone, bruh? Where do you take your drone for a spin? Let us know in the comments below.
Psst. Don’t forget to tag your drone pics and vids on Instagram with #thisisqueensland so we can check them out and maybe feature them. Fly safe!