Australian Rules and Regulations - CASA

Discussion in 'sUAV Rules & Regulations' started by Drone Runner, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. Drone Runner

    Drone Runner Active Member

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    I'd like to just put this up somewhere as I'm still seeing far too many Facebook idiots telling others what they can and can't do. One particular Facebook group here is quite toxic.

    The rules are here: Flying drones or model aircraft recreationally | Civil Aviation Safety Authority
    And I'll paste them below:
    You should only fly in visual line-of-sight, in day visual meteorological conditions (VMC). What does that mean?
    No night flying (generally).
    No flying in or through cloud or fog, and you should.
    Be able to see the aircraft with your own eyes (rather than through first-person-view [FPV, binoculars, telescopes]) at all times, (unless you operate under the procedures of an approved model flying association. Contact the MAAA for more information about flying FPV).
    You must not fly closer than 30 metres to vehicles, boats, buildings or people.
    You must not fly over populous areas such as beaches, heavily populated parks, or sports ovals while they are in use.
    In controlled airspace, which covers most Australian cities, you must not fly higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above the ground.
    You must not fly in a way that creates a hazard to other aircraft, so you should keep at least 5.5 km away from airfields, aerodromes and helicopter landing sites.
    Operations within the 3nm (5.5km) radius of an aerodrome or helicopter landing site are possible and lawful providing you comply with the Standard Operating Conditions listed above and ensure that you do not operate:

    on the approach and departure path, or
    within the movement area, or
    create a hazard to aircraft that may be using those areas.

    Please note that flying within 5.5km of a helipad or aerodrome is perfectly legal (with restrictions) and ignorance and spouting off if you see someone doing something that you have been told on Facebook is wrong will get you punched in the face.


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  2. JimA

    JimA Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for posting this! I am still hopeful to receive my mavic (though only slightly hopeful) before I come visit the land of Oz in 2 weeks ! Ugh I really hope I get this bad boy in time.


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  3. Drone Runner

    Drone Runner Active Member

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    The Mavic is the perfect "tourist" drone and I wish I had it when I went to Japan (which has pretty strict laws) a few months ago. Hopefully DJI starts the machine and these beautiful birds will be everywhere soon


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  4. flumpet

    flumpet Well-Known Member

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    Greetings. I'm heading to Sydney soon and would like to ask where is a good place to fly. I will be staying in the city in Hilton Sydney but i know flying in the city area is a no no.
    So i'm just wondering if there is some sort of way where i can take a train or public transport, arrive at a nice location, fly and head back within a day. I dont have a long stay in Sydney and would like to make the best use of my time.
     
  5. Drone Runner

    Drone Runner Active Member

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    I've never been in Sydney so as for good places to fly, some of the other members may have some better advice. A quick look on youtube shows that Vaucluse is a popular and scenic spot for drones. If you're after a bit more heads up as to where heliports and aerodromes are (opposed to the DJI NFZ which just shows airports) download the "Safe to Fly?" App by wickED. Just remember to keep clear of any aircraft and at least 30 metres from people, vehicles and buildings and you'll find the actual restrictions are a lot less restrictive than most would have you believe.
     
    #5 Drone Runner, Nov 9, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
  6. wombat

    wombat Well-Known Member

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    Drone Runner, thanks for that app downloading now, just some info I clicked on the link you supplied and it would not open in FF but it did in IE
     
  7. flumpet

    flumpet Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for recommending the app. I just checked the area in Sydney and I guess I'll just leave my Mavic at home. It's blanketed with so many overlapping NFZs.
     
  8. rt60

    rt60 Member

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    "so you should keep at least 5.5 km away from airfields, aerodromes and helicopter landing sites.
    Operations within the 3nm (5.5km) radius of an aerodrome or helicopter landing site are possible and lawful providing you comply with the Standard Operating Conditions listed above"

    This is confusing/contradictory. Does this mean you should only generally keep away from aerodromes and heliports but you don't have to if you do avoid departure and approach paths and helipads being used?

    Like previously mentioned, most of the Sydney coastline has a helipad of some sort (many rarely used) at frequent intervals.
    You don't have to wait too long though before a joyflight heli or sea plane buzz along the coastline, above 400f.
    Many potentially spectacular spots to fly around Sydney to the north south east and west within an easy day's trip.
     
  9. Drone Runner

    Drone Runner Active Member

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    Note the way all of the other rules say "must not" where the 5.5km rule says "should". Basically it's not against the rules (within all the other restrictions) but it's not advised. Check the map and make sure you don't fly anywhere near either end of the runway about 7km's. Aircraft are "supposed" to remain over 500 feet over populated/suburban areas but you'll find a few who don't. Especially helicopters. You'll hear them coming so as long as you're in visual line of sight you'll have plenty of time to get out of the way.


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    #9 Drone Runner, Nov 10, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  10. rt60

    rt60 Member

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    Then if you look at the rules for Commercial unmanned flight - remotely piloted aircraft under 2kg, it states,
    • You must keep your RPA at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes.
    • Operations within the 3nm radius of an uncontrolled aerodrome or helicopter landing site are possible and lawful providing you do not operate on:
      • the approach and departure path or
      • within the movement area or
      • create a hazard to aircraft that may be using those areas.
    The difference here is that it's referring to controlled aerodromes whereas the flying recreationally rules are just referring to aerodromes.
    So is a controlled aerodrome one with a control tower and all others including say hospital helipads uncontrolled?
    Still some inconsistency with these rules (and even using nm and km together) which makes it difficult to be sure of what you can and can't actually do.
     
  11. Drone Runner

    Drone Runner Active Member

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    By definition, controlled airspace is just the 5.5km from a tower. In Brisbane that's the international airport and Archerfield from 7-7. BTW the rules for commercial flight are different from hobby flight. Hence the must not fly within 5.5km from controlled aerodromes for commercial work.


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  12. Syme

    Syme New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I live on the Gold Coast and am about to purchase the DJI Mavic Drone.

    Now, as discussed here on the forum, I still cannot wrap my head around the law concerning flying within a controlled airspace.

    The new laws state as on the CASA Safety Information Booklet:

    "If you are within a controlled airspace, which covers most Australian cities, you must not fly higher then 120m."

    Yet further down the Booklet is states:

    "You should not fly within 5.5km of an airfield."

    Now, I understand both statements yet they, in my head contradict each other.

    The No fly zone on the "Done Complier Personal" App, pretty much shows you can't fly a drone from Kingscliff right up to Woongoolba.

    If someone could help me clarify the laws.

    Can I still fly my drone on the Gold Coast (heavily restricted airspace) as long as I keep it under 120m?

    Or, can I simply not fly a drone here at all?

    I have called CASA twice now and left messages for a call back but no one returns the calls.

    Thanks heaps if you can help me to understand.
     
  13. wombat

    wombat Well-Known Member

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    I cannot help you with the distance but phone calls to most business these days will not get a reply unless you are trying to buy something from them, I suggest you find out the person at the top of the tree at CASA and address a letter to that person AND register the letter.
     
  14. Syme

    Syme New Member

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    Thanks Wombat. I'll keep plugging away. Was hoping someone could wrap their head around it for me. Will be trying the Facebook members groups as well. Thanks
     
  15. wombat

    wombat Well-Known Member

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    this would be the guy to contact, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
    The Hon Darren Chester MP contact details
    Parliament House
    PO Box 6022
    House of Representatives
    Parliament House
    Canberra ACT 2600
    Tel: +61 2 6277 7680
    Fax: +61 2 6277 8402
     
  16. Drone Runner

    Drone Runner Active Member

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    Here is a simplified listing of the rules with maps around the airport boundaries. You can look at the Gold Coast PDF there for the official "controlled airspace"
    What a lot of those "do not fly" Apps show is helipads and they incorrectly place 3NM around those as "do not fly" airspace. That said planes and helicopters ofter go low (under 120 metres) along the waterfront and as an unmanned vehicle it is your responsibility to keep out of their way.
    Commercially if you wanted to fly WITHIN 3NM of the controlled airspace (and ONLY under 120 metres) you would need special permission but would be unlikely to receive it. If you're flying purely as a hobby you can LEGALLY fly within that controlled airspace UNDER 120 metres AS LONG AS you keep away from aircraft and do not pose a hazard.
    Any flight within the flight path of the landing/departure strip would be considered a hazard BTW.
    The DJI NFZ were collaborated with CASA and are more realistic in where you are legally allowed to fly... basically if you're not supposed to fly somewhere the built in DJI NFZ will stop you, it even gives a warning when changing the altitude restriction.
     
  17. Syme

    Syme New Member

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    Thanks Wombat and Drone Runner, you've both been a massive help.
    All the best
     
  18. halley

    halley Active Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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