Frequently Asked Questions
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Wicked Copters is the only training provider to offer iBEV (with our I’ve Been Everywhere Van) venues for RePL and Advanced training around the country.
So we come to you anywhere in Australia!
There are two ways to gain your Remote Pilot Licence (RePL) (your drone pilot licence):
- If you have no prior aviation experience, you will need to complete the required theory and practical RePL training with Wicked Copters.
- You don’t need to complete theory RePL training if you:
- have passed the theory component of any Part 61 flight crew licence (e.g. PPL, CPL, ATPL or RPL), or
- have an equivalent military qualification or air traffic control licence.
- If you meet the above criteria, your option for obtaining your RePL is to complete an operational training course with Wicked Copters, who will then apply to CASA on your behalf, and log five hours of flying your drone under standard operating
Please note that RePLs are not subject to CASA renewal, but operators will be expected to meet documented currency requirements.
Currently, to hold a remote pilot licence (RePL), there has been no minimum age. However, the new regulations now state that a person must be at least 16 years of age to hold a RePL, and be supervised by a licenced remote pilot who is at least 18 years old.
To hold the AROC, you must be at least 17 years old.
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).
Currently, the average estimated CASA fee for an ReOC is $1,400 to $1700, but this cost will vary depending on the amount of time it takes to assess the application, the type of operations being applied for, the quality and complexity of your submission.
There is a renewal fee of $480 which is due at the end of the first year of operation and subsequently every three years.
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.
Yes. CASA provides an exemption to established ReOC operators to fly at night and closer than 30 meters (but no closer than 15 meters) of people not associated with the safe operation of the drone (RPA). Prior to granting this exemption, the procedural content articulated in the ReOC Operational Procedures (Library) must be approved by CASA.
The maximum operating height is 400 feet above ground level (AGL) unless permission has been given by CASA to fly above this height via an application using Form 101-09.
Once you have gained your RePL, you may operate commercially with an RPA Operator’s Certificate (ReOC) holder, or apply for your own ReOC.
To gain an ReOC you must:
- Complete the relevant Application Forms
- Complete and submit supporting documentation including your RPAS Operations Manual and RPAS Operational Procedures (Library)
- Pay the estimated fee (approx $1500) for a non-complex aerial work operations ReOC)
- Participate in a written scenario assessment and an interview with CASA or an authorised industry delegate
- A flight test may be required if your licence was obtained via the aviation theory route / manufacturer assessment, and not via an RPAS training organisation, such as Wicked Copters.
Your ReOC will be issued upon successful completion of the assessment process.
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).
If you want to fly your drone or model aircraft for fun in Australia, you can do so without CASA approval – providing you follow the simple safety rules.
However, with the new MOS, all hobbyists will require mandatory registration with CASA for all their aircraft, unless they are members of a CASA-approved flying club.
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.
From 10 April 2020, the new Part101 MOS becomes effective and will affect they way in which you obtain your RePL and operate your RPA.
The main changes to the RePL courses are:
- Reduced content by approx 30%
- Closed book assessments with 85% pass mark
- Online courses to be webinar driven.
- For any RePL upgrade, you will require a proven logbook reflecting 26 weeks out of 52 weeks flying experience
Yes, you will need to supply an updated Operations Manual and Operational Procedures (Library) on the new drone (RPA) being added, including its Serial Number.
Currently the lead time is approximately 21 to 30 working days via a CASA Delegate and 3 to 6 months via CASA. The estimated fee must be paid prior to the commencement of any regulatory services assessment.
You will need to apply for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN), notify CASA of your intent to fly your drone for business (commercially) at least 5 days before you fly and operate under a set of Drone Safety Rules (Standard Operating Conditions).
You will also soon have to also get your CASA drone accreditation and register your drone.
Any flights outside of the Drone Safety Rules will require you to hold an RePL and operate under an ReOC.
Currently the online sub 7kg RePL costs between $1500 to $2000 on average.
The AROC and ELP add another $500 to $800 to the RePL cost.
The RePL and AROC are issued to you for life and there are no renewal fees.
We offer payment plans that allow you to train now with a deposit and pay the balance before your licence is issued. Please contact us to organise a payment plan.
Yes. Wicked Copters is a CASA-approved RPAS Remote Pilot Licence (RePL) training provider (CASA.ReOC.0152), offering drone licence (RePL) training across Australia, both in-class and online on a weekly basis for Multi Rotor, Aeroplane, Helicopter and soon Powered Lift drones up to 25kg.
Our specialised training includes:
- Photography / Cinematography
- Photogrammetry and LIDAR
- Mapping and Surveying for Construction, Mining or Environmental Monitoring
- 3D Modelling / Structure from Motion
- Remote Sensing / Thermal Imaging / NDVI
- EVLOS pilot and observer training (CASA EVLOS procedures may require additional qualifications)
- Night Flying