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Drones in Australia, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have gained significant popularity in recent years for recreational, commercial, and professional use. As with any emerging technology, regulations and laws are necessary to ensure safety and privacy. In Australia, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) oversees the regulations governing drones.

Are Drones Legal in Australia?

Yes, drones are legal in Australia, but their use is subject to specific rules and regulations. The CASA has established a set of guidelines to ensure the safe and responsible operation of drones. These regulations apply to both recreational and commercial drone operators.

 

Recreational Drone Use

 

For recreational use, drones are classified as either “very small” or “small” depending on their weight. Very small drones (weighing less than 100 grams) can be operated without a license, but they must be flown in accordance with the standard operating conditions set by CASA. Small drones (weighing between 100 grams and 2 kilograms) require registration with CASA and must also comply with the operating conditions.

 

Operating Conditions

 

The standard operating conditions for recreational drone use in Australia include:

 

  • Fly only during daylight hours and keep the drone within visual line-of-sight at all times.
  • Do not fly higher than 120 meters (400 feet) above ground level.
  • Keep a minimum distance of 30 meters from people not involved in the drone’s operation. Keep your drone away from the populous areas, events or sports ovals, areas affecting public safety
  • Do not fly in prohibited areas, such as near controlled airports, helipads, or emergency operations.
  • Respect the privacy of others and avoid capturing images or videos without their consent. It is important to ensure you do not record or photograph people without their express consent.

Commercial Drone Use

 

Commercial drone operators in Australia must obtain a Remote Pilot License (RePL) from CASA. This license requires completing a training course and passing an examination. Additionally, commercial drone operators need to register their drones with CASA and obtain appropriate insurance coverage.

Are Drone Jammers Legal in Australia?

Drone jammers, also known as drone signal blockers or anti-drone systems, are devices used to disrupt or disable drone communication and control signals. In Australia, the use of drone jammers is strictly prohibited for individuals and unauthorised entities.

 

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) regulates the use of radiofrequency jamming devices, including those used for jamming drones. ACMA states that operating, possessing, or supplying a jamming device without appropriate authorisation is illegal and can result in significant penalties and legal consequences.

The restriction on drone jammers is in place to prevent interference with legitimate drone operations, ensure public safety, and protect the integrity of critical infrastructure. Only authorised government entities and certain law enforcement agencies are permitted to use drone jammers in specific circumstances.

 

Drones are legal in Australia, but their operation is subject to regulations set by CASA. Recreational drone operators must comply with operating conditions, while commercial operators require a Remote Pilot License. It is important to adhere to these regulations to ensure the safety of airspace, respect the privacy of individuals, and avoid legal repercussions. Additionally, the use of drone jammers is strictly prohibited for individuals and unauthorised entities, and only authorised government agencies are allowed to use them in specific situations.

 

For further information regarding drone laws in Australia, contact criminal lawyers Newcastle for your free 15 minutes consultation.

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