Is drone fishing legal? Yes, but make sure you understand the drone laws.
Coming Drone Registration, accreditation, and licensing in Australia
In Australia drone rules and regulations are overseen by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority or CASA for short.
Drone’s are fun to use and more and more people are flying them. But drones flown in a populous area can also be hazardous to other people, animals, and other aircraft. As such CASA will soon be making it mandatory for all operators to either be accredited or licensed, and all drones will need to be registered depending on the drone’s weight and type of use. When using your drone for fishing it is important to understand the drone rules and limitations to ensure your compliance and avoid some nasty fines. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia or CASA for short has a lot of information regarding these changes and everyone who presently flies a recreational drone or is looking to. should visit https://www.casa.gov.au/drones and prepare for these changes and stay current with the Australian drone rules.
It is also very important to understand the current Drone rules in Australia to ensure you are operating your drone safely legally and do not unknowingly break the law. Did you know that you could be fined up to AUD $10,500.00 for breaking the Australian drone safety rules or should you fly in restricted airspace. In NSW for an example if you fly your drone within 300m of a marine mammal like a whale or dolphin you could be fined as much as $110,000!!
Drone fishing could be a lot more expensive if you do not understand the Australian drone rules. In addition, as drone fishing is becoming more popular it is vitally important for everyone to be responsible and abide by the drone rules.
Listed below are the current (CASA) Drone Safety Rules – Do yourself a favour, read and understand them – it may save you a lot of trouble and money.
Fishing Drone Safety rules
To protect yourself and other people’s safety when you fly, you must follow the drone safety rules – officially known as the ‘standard operating condition’s’.
Drones and model aircraft are classified by size and type categories.
Additional flight permissions are available to remote pilot licence (RePL) and remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC) holders.
It is illegal to fly for money or reward unless you have a RePL or you’re flying under the excluded category (‘Sub 2 kg‘ or ‘Flying over your own land‘).
The dos and don’ts of flying
- only fly one drone at a time
- always fly your drone within visual line-of-sight
- fly only during the day
- avoid flying in cloud, fog, or heavy rain
- always see your drone with your own eyes — not by using binoculars or watching a video screen.
- Never fly your drone behind trees, buildings, or anything else that stops you always seeing your drone.
You must not fly your drone:
- Fly your drone higher than 120 m (400 ft) above ground level — that’s about the height of a 35-storey building or length of a football field
- Fly your drone closer than 30 m to people — other than those helping to fly or navigate your drone (The drone laws Australia state 30 m, however we would suggest a minimum distance of 100 m).
- Fly your drone over or above people at any time or height or over populous areas.
- Fly your drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person, or property
- Fly your drone near emergency situations affecting public safety
- Fly your drone in prohibited or restricted airspace (use a CASA-verified drone safety app to help you)
- Fly your drone closer than 5.5 km to a controlled aerodrome or airfield (usually those with a control tower), if your drone weighs more than 100 g.
You may operate your drone within 5.5 km of a non-controlled aerodrome or helicopter landing site only if:
- there are no manned aircraft (one or more people inside) flying to or from the aerodrome
- you land as soon as safely possible if you see any manned aircraft flying to or from the aerodrome
- you stay outside the airfield boundary*
- you do not operate in approach or departure paths*.
*Some model aircraft associations may have approval for their members to fly in these areas. You can learn more by visiting Model Aeronautical Association of Australia or Australian Miniature Aero sports Society.
Flying for Fun – Safety rules video
Excluded category safety rules video
Flying in public spaces
To make sure you’re flying safely while capturing footage, it’s important you consider the environment around you before you take off. Situational awareness is very important, especially an area affecting public safety.
Events and crowds
Although it’s tempting to score some great footage of the fireworks, footy grand final or that famous rock star concert – flying near crowds and organised public events is not allowed. Flying over a populous area could land you in a lot of trouble.
You can’t fly over people at any time – no matter how high you fly above them.
You must not fly where, if your drone should fail and fall, it could harm people or property – never fly over populous areas.
Officials often police events to ensure public safety, and breaking the rules could land you in trouble. Choose wisely and leave your drone at home – live in the moment and enjoy these events live.
We all share the same skies.
At any time, there could be birds, aeroplanes, helicopters, hot air balloons, and drones all sharing the same airspace.
Air traffic controllers work hard to keep track of all flying aircraft. They monitor aircraft movements to help prevent collisions or accidents. Unless you are licenced or have permission to do so, the drone safety rules state that you must not fly:
- too close to airports or aerodromes
- higher than 120 m (400 ft) above ground level – that’s about the height of a 35-storey building or length of a football field.
Iconic buildings and structures – such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge – are often located within restricted airspace, making them no-fly areas.
You can easily find out where you’re safe to fly by using a CASA-verified drone safety app. (Add link)
Did you know there over 600 national parks in Australia, covering over 28 million hectares of land? That’s about 10 times the size of Tasmania.
Although our stunning landscapes provide beautiful scenic photography opportunities, many states and territories have banned using drones in national parkland.
Before you fly, you must check the local state or territory laws about flying in national parks.
So before taking off, check your local laws and make sure you’re doing the right thing. Check out the drone laws Australia by visiting the CASA links provided.