Australia-wide CASA Certified Drone Training Provider

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I obtain an RePL?

The new Part 101 MOS approved drone training courses are now drone focussed, less content, same duration, and the ‘Closed Book’ assessment allows access to all CASA and ASA publications. The practical includes tethering and waypoints too.

These new courses cover the new requirements for chief and remote pilots operating under a ReOC, and the new planning and record keeping requirements. In addition, our training includes tethered operations for operations within 3nm of airports as per the new Part101 MOS.

You will have access to our digital notes before, during, and after your course completion, including any updates as new Regulations become effective.

There are basically two ways to obtain your RePL:

  • The Initial Issue RePL options are:
    • Full RePL course: Intended for anyone who does not hold any previous manned or unmanned licence.
    • Initial RePL course: Intended for a manned aviation licence holder with an RPL, PPL, CPL or ATPL, and requires the submission of Form101-01 with our issued certificates.
  • If you do hold a current RePL, then you are only required to complete an Upgrade RePL course. The Upgrade Training options are :
    • upgrading to increase the weight class (category) of the same type, or
    • upgrading to add a different type of RPA

The duration and content of the upgrade training is dependent on your existing qualifications and prior experience.

Our RePL drone training and advanced courses are conducted throughout Australia.

Do I need an ELP to hold an RePL?

Yes, the new MOS requires all RePL holders to also hold an English Language Proficiency for the RePL to be valid.

Existing RePL holders without an ELP will need to obtain an ELP for their RePL to remain valid.

What is the minimum age to fly drones commercially?

Currently, to hold a remote pilot licence (RePL), there has been no minimum age.

To hold the AROC, you must be at least 17 years old.

What impact does the new Part 101 MOS have on RePL training?

The main changes that the new Part 101 MOS brings to the RePL courses are:

  • Reduced content by approx 30%
  • Includes tethered operations practical training
  • Includes Autonomous Flight Management Systems
  • Drone focussed learning and less manned aviation content
  • Online courses are interactive webinar-based and suited for iso-learning during the COVID restrictions
  • For any RePL upgrade, your prior experience and date of initial issue of your RePL now determines the variation syllabus
  • The RePL supersedes the need for operator accreditation in the excluded categories

Can I fly my drone in First Person View (FPV) i.e. beyond or extended visual line of sight?

No. You must keep the drone (RPA) in sight at all times, unaided (except for prescription glasses or sunglasses) without the use of binoculars, telescopes or zoom lenses etc., unless:

  • Your ReOC holds a BVLOS Instrument of Approval and your pilots and drones meet the requirements, or
  • Your ReOC holds an EVLOS Instrument of Approval and your pilots and drones meet the requirements.

What do I need to fly a drone above 2kg or outside the SOC?

If you want to fly a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) commercially in Australia, outside of the excluded category (e.g. greater than 2kg in weight), then you need to be licensed by CASA.

This authorisation comes in the form of a remote pilot licence (RePL) (your drone pilot licence), allowing individuals to fly for operators holding an RPA Operator’s Certificate (ReOC).

The ReOC allows you to fly in most areas, including at night, up to 15m from people and within 3nm of non-towered aerodromes etc. in accordance with your approved procedures.

ReOC holders can also apply for additional operational authorisations (approvals, exemptions and permissions) using Form 101-09 e.g. operate within 3nm of towered aerodromes, above 400ft AGL, EVLOS or BVLOS.

Can I fly my drone over populous areas?

No, you can’t. However, you can apply to CASA for an exemption to fly over a populous area. CASA will assess the risk mitigations specified in the application on a case-by-case basis. CASA will require redundancy in your drone for flying over people or populous areas (e.g. a hexacopter or octacopter, drop chute, dual batteries, redundant GPS and IMU, etc).

What is Operator accreditation

If you’re flying a drone or remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) under the ‘Sub 2 kg‘ or ‘Flying over your own land‘ excluded categories, you need to be accredited to operate commercially.

Accreditation shows you’ve learnt the drone safety rules— officially known as the ‘standard operating conditions’, but excludes practical training (such as provided by Wicked Copters).

Accreditation consists of a short safety video and online quiz covering basic SOC rules.

The accreditation is valid for three years and provides you with an accreditation for flying and supervising others. Anyone under the age of 16 will need to be supervised by an accredited adult (over 18) at all times when they fly.

If you hold a remote pilot licence (RePL), you will not need to get an accreditation, and you may fly under a ReOC too.

Accreditation does not allow you any privileges outside of the SOC and you cannot fly under a ReOC.

Can I fly my drone (RPA) indoors and take photographs?

While there is nothing in the regulation (Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) 101A, C and F) to stop you from flying indoors, consider the following:

  • you must not operate an unmanned aircraft in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, another person, or property
  • you must not fly closer than 30 metres of people
  • you must not fly over any populous area
  • the building must contain the drone (RPA) so as not to be able to fly out of the building into the airspace above it (i.e. if the building is located within three nautical miles of an aerodrome, helicopter landing site or authorised landing area or controlled airspace).

Familiarise yourself with the Drone101 app which is available on Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon, for free!!