Flying safely in Australia is important when operating a drone

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Precision Autonomy aims to put ethical and moral boundaries around the integration of autonomous technology into society. We do this through our Risk Management Framework, designed to inform those responsible for bringing autonomous tech into the mainstream: insurers, financiers, drone professionals, and of course, regulators.

The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has clear guidelines for drone safety & is among the world leaders in aviation regulation. In light of the recent drone incident at Gatwick Airport, here, with the help of CASA, is our guide to flying safely in Australia:

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Understanding the Rules

All drone pilots are required to operate under Part F of Section 101 of CASA’s guidelines as follows:

  • You must only fly during the day and within Visual Line-Of-Sight
  • You must not fly your drone higher than 120 metres (400ft) above the ground
  • You must keep your drone at least 30m away from other people
  • You must not fly your RPA over or near an area where emergency operations are underway
  • You must fly only 1 RPA at a time
  • You must not fly over or above people.
  • If your drone is above 100g, you must not fly within 5.5km of a controlled aerodrome. The only exception is if no manned aircraft is operating to or from the aerodrome
  • You must respect personal privacy – no recording/photography without consent

Breaking these rules can result in heavy fines, and even jail time.


Get Educated

The best way to become a better, safer pilot, is to take a Remote Pilot’s License training course. Becoming licensed and certified gives you a greater understanding of the operating environment, and lends credibility within the industry. Getting a license from a CASA certified training organisation ensures that standards are met & the individual pilot has demonstrated aviation knowledge and can operate a drone safely.

If you are a licensed operator & you want to operate commercially, you have two options – operating a drone within CASA’s sub-2kg category gives licensed operators the ability to fly commercially within standard operating guidelines only. For more complex operations, companies must gain an RPA Operator’s Certificate (ReOC). Licensed operators and businesses are insurable, and can gain access to excluded operations, such as flying at night, in an over a populated area, and with a fleet.


Get Insured

Closing the safety loop requires protecting the individual, the business, and the drone itself, from damage and liability. All the training in the world does not guarantee that something won’t go wrong, or that the vehicle will not malfunction. Insurance protects the individual, the business, and the community from operations gone wrong.

For Commercial Operators, with licensed pilots and an active ReOC, drone insurance is a very important factor in ensuring safe and profitable enterprise. Precision Autonomy offers Pay-As-You-Fly Drone Insurance via our app to ReOC holders in Australia, underwritten by QBE.

Flying Safely: An Industry-Wide Challenge

The safe adoption of drones will continue to be an integral factor in economical and societal progression. It’s up to the industry as a whole, led by CASA, as well as the thousands of operators and support companies, to bring about a culture of safe flying. Do your part by understanding the rules, getting educated, and protecting yourself.

Want to know more about flying safely, or get covered? Visit us at for monthly safety and regulation updates. Sign up for Pay-As-You-Fly Insurance here.

Want more information from the source? Visit CASA at for drone safety rules.

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