I Have A Remotely Piloted Aircraft (Drone) And I Want To Fly It, What Do I Need To Know?

DO I NEED APPROVAL FROM CASA TO FLY A REMOTELY PILOTED AIRCRAFT (RPA) ?

  • For recreational or private use – no and yes
    • 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, transitioning from March 2019, all hobbyists will require mandatory registration with CASA for their aircraft, unless members of a CASA approved flying club.
  • For commercial use (hire or reward) – yes, there are two weight class options:
  • Under 2kg Commercial: 
    • Transitioning from March 2019, all sub 2kg commercial pilots and hobbyists will require mandatory training / accreditation. Currently, those operating in this excluded RPA category will have to notify CASA at least five business days before their first commercial flight and agree to operate by the standard operating conditions and AC101-10, including the October 2017 directive
  • Above 2 kg Commercial: 
    • If you want to fly a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) commercially in Australia, outside of the excluded category (ie: greater than 2kg in weight), then you need to be licensed and/or certified by CASA.
    • This authorisation comes in the form of a remote pilot licence (RePL) (your drone licence), allowing individuals to fly for operators, who need to hold a RPA operator’s certificate (ReOC).
    • The RPA operator’s certificate allows you to fly in most areas, including at night, up to 15m from people and within 3nm of non-towered aerodromes for example in accordance with your approved procedures. You can also apply for additional operational authorisations if you hold the RPA operator’s certificate (ReOC), such as:
      • area approvals
      • exemptions
      • permissions.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A REMOTE PILOT LICENCE (REPL) (YOUR DRONE LICENCE), WHAT ARE THE STEPS INVOLVED?

  • This authorisation comes in the form of a remote pilot licence (RePL), allowing individuals to fly for operators, who need to hold a RPA operator’s certificate (ReOC). 
  • There are two ways to gain your remote pilot licence (RePL) (your drone licence):
    • If you have no prior aviation knowledge, you will need to complete a course with a RPAS training provider, such as Wicked Copters.
    • If you do have prior aviation knowledge and have passed a private pilot licence theory course and exam, you can log five hours with a RPAS training provider, such as Wicked Copters, to gain your RePL.
  • Please note that RePLs are not subject to CASA renewal, but operators will be expected to have documented currency requirements.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A REOC, WHAT ARE THE STEPS INVOLVED?

Once you have gained your RePL, you may operate commercially with a ReOC holder, or apply for your own RPA operator’s certificate.

To gain a ReOC you must:

1.. complete the relevant Application Forms;

2.. complete and submit supporting documentation including your RPAS operations manual and RPAS operations procedures (Library);

3.. pay the estimated fee (approx $1500) for a non-complex aerial work operations ReOC); and

4.. participate in an interview with CASA or an authorised industry delegate.

5.. 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.

CASA Client Services Centre (Permissions Issue) or an authorised industry delegate will issue the certificate upon successful completion of the assessment process.

CASA currently authorises RPA Operator’s Certificates in the RPA categories of multi-rotorfixed winghelicopter and powered lift types across four different weights: < 2 kg, <7 kg, <25 kg and <150 kg.

Wicked Copters is your leading CASA approved RPAS Drone Licence Training Organisation.

Wicked Copters are leaders in providing CASA approved Remote Piloted Multi Rotor, Aeroplane, Helicopter and soon Powered Lift Drone Licence Training for sub 7kg or sub 25kg.

We have had over 1200 students successfully go through our Wicked Copters training program. From beginners with no experience to advanced pilots, our course will provide the relevant training needed.

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Call us now on 1300 970 042 or 0418 151 636 or email us on [email protected]