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Drone flying next to parked aeroplane

CASA’s Changes to Drone Training Will Commence in June


Pilots of Remotely Piloted Aircraft should familiarise themselves with new regulations concerning drone training effective 1 June 2017.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) showed us how serious their drone laws are last week. One hobbyist copped a $540 fine for flying his drone within Sydney Airport’s approach and departure path. This increases the number of 2017 drone fines to six.

CASA’s changes concern gaining an Australian Remote Pilot Licence (RePL). Amendments to CASR Part 101 commenced in September last year. They made it a requirement for drone pilots to obtain a RePL if they wanted to fly outside the standard operating conditions applicable to the excluded category of drones.

This essentially means that those flying low-risk operations with their drones (such as flying a commercial drone lighter than 2kg) do not have to hold a RePL. However, the regulations restrict them to flying only up to 120 metres above ground level. They also have to fly at least 30 metres away from others. You can see a full list of the conditions here.

From 1 June, RePL applicants will need to satisfy the training requirement by completing a course conducted by a person holding an RPA Operator’s Certificate (ReOC). The certificate must authorise the training. A full list of drone operators CASA has approved can be found through their website.

It now also means drone manufacturers and their agents who want to provide practical training for a RePL will need to hold this ReOC next month.

Read CASA’s brief for more information on these changes. If you have any further queries about drone operations generally, feel free to contact us here at AvLaw. Our subsidiary, UAS International (UASI), is a respected consultancy organisation whose services include safety compliance, auditing, certifications, insurance, training and more.

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