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Please help me understand the rules of drone flying in Australia


New Member
Dec 10, 2017
I live in Cairns Queensland Australia. I flew Rc planes for several years, including indoors and 3D. I'm now planning to get my first drone, a Mavick pro, to take aerial video/photography

Commercial under 2kg or Hobby?

I've done research on the legal rules of drone flying, visited the CAS websites, other websites and searched this forum

I've read that uploading vids to youtube will class the flyer as being commercial
I'd like to share my vids on my youtube channel, but it's just a hobby, I don't plan to fly as a business
My YT channelt is monetised, but I've never received any money and doubt I ever will~!
The mavick is under 2KG.

Should I apply for an ARN (Aviation Reference Number) to be legal?
How much does an ARN cost?
Can I list all the local places I plan to fly, and that will last for 2 years ?
or do I have to notify them each time?

The no fly zones are reasonable, except there are some local places marked as helipads which I doubt have ever seen a helicopter

If I can prevent any potential legal battle just by signing up, then I think that's worth it

I'd appreciate any advice that can help me understand what I should do.

Hey Rob,
I too am in Cairns and fly a Mavic. I have my ARN and exempted class notification.
I think, don't overthink it.... fly by the rules, become accustomed with AC 101-10 and go the rules...
If its obvious that your YT vid is hobby based, then CASA aren't going to be kicking your door in to come get ya!
If you start making commercial gain in any form, then go get your ARN or even RePL.

An ARN costs nothing to apply for.
You would simply list say 'Cairns' as a flight location, at least 5 days before your first commercial flight.
Yes after you get your ARN and notification, you do not currently need to notify CASA for 2 years, or unless your circumstances change.
Helipads....get the 'Can I Fly There' app. You will be given a flight restriction IF THERE are aircraft operating in the area. If you are already in the air, you are to land as safely as possible
Lycus Tech Mavic Air 3 Case

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