As of Sept 29, CASA intend to reform some of the laws which govern the use of drones in Australia. The changes cover a wide range of topics but the big news is the sub 2kg deregulation. In basic terms, this amendment means that if used in accordance with a series of normal operational conditions, a person can use a very small Drone for commercial purposes. But before you go out and start snapping up those golden shots with the plan to make millions of dollars there are several things you need to consider.
Under this exemption the operator will never be able to operate outside of standard operating conditions which means:
- Never above 400 ft
- Never at night
- Never within 30 meters of people, vehicles, building etc
- Never beyond visual line of sight
- Never a drone above 2kg
At this stage there is no way a non licensed pilot can gain insurance for their craft, or for public liability. Most major organisations will require public liability insurance cover before they will allow any contractor on site.
The strong possibility of operating in areas that are no fly zones for drones. There are countless areas where NO drone flights are permitted, all around Australia, and particularly in built up areas such as city’s. Without training a drone pilot is stumbling around in the dark and can never be sure if he/she is flying legally.
Benefits of being trained and gaining certification.
As a fully certified and trained drone pilot, you will have all the knowledge and skills you need to be able to operate a business in full compliance with the laws and regulations that govern the use of drones. Starting a business in an industry that is highly regulated, you simply must be trained and certified properly.
As a licensed operator you can fly drones of practically any size, without restrictions. Most small drone operators soon reach their limits of the small camera technology and want to upgrade their machines and cameras to enable better results.
Licensed operators can apply for exemptions to fly in airspace that NO sub 2kg drone pilot can fly in (without certification), for instance Restricted areas, controlled airspace (near airports) and closer than 30 meters to people and vehicles, or even at night time.
In a nutshell, the sub 2kg rules are NOT intended for a person to go out and start a drone business. The rules are designed so the hobbyist can make a few bucks here and there without breaking any laws (that they know of).