Drone, UAV, RPAS, RPA—what does it all mean?

Ok, so you have an idea, a possible way toi utilize this fantastic new technology, or you are already running a business and you can see a real potential for adding an aerial element to it. You sit in front of your computer and start googling. Within minutes, your eyeballs roll back in your head, your hair stands up on end and your brain starts to hurt! What are all these acronyms and terms? What on earth is an RPA? What is a UAV? And who the heck are this CASA mob? Its all too hard, too difficult, so you go back to looking at funny cat videos on youtube and decide aerial applications are just too difficult.

Don’t despair, you are not alone.

What is an RPA? A drone? A UAV? RPAS? The answer is simple, they are all the same thing. There is no real difference between them, its just such a new and emerging technology that those with skin in the game are still deciding on what to call the things.
CASA is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and they are responsible for ALL things aviation in Australia, from Jumbo jets, right down to small models flying in parks. CASA are trying to get the public to catch on to calling them RPA’s, which stands for “Remotely Piloted Aircraft”, and are trying to get away from the use of the word ‘Drone”. The reason for this is simple; people have a bad perception of ‘drones’. The mere word conjures images of robotic death machines patrolling the sky, or spying into your bedroom while you stand naked in front of the mirror marvelling at your Adonis like physique!
The fact is those perceptions are not correct. Yes, there are robotic death machines fighting in Wars, but NO they are not peering into your bedroom, or watching you mow the lawn in your undies!.

Remotely piloted aircraft are emerging in many many industries as tools to aid us simple humans in our various day to day lives. The uses are endless, and we will cover some of these in later Blogs, but for now lets define some acronyms.

RPA= Remotely Piloted Aircraft
UAV= Unmanned aerial Vehicle
Drone= See above
RPAS= Remotely piloted aircraft system
CASA= Civil Aviation Safety Authority
CC= Controllers certificate
UOC= Unmanned Operators Certificate