Australian regulator seeks feedback on proposed changes to rules for drones

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is seeking feedback on proposed changes to be made to the Part 101 (Unmanned Aircraft and Rockets) Manual of Standards (MOS) 2019.

According to a report by The Drone Lawyer, there are eight proposed changes, outlined as follows:

  1. Any student who commenced a Remote Pilot Licence (RePL) course between 3 April 2020and 10 October 2020, will have until 31 January 2021, to complete all aspects of the course under the syllabi as is in force before 10 October 2020. Any course commenced on or from 10 October 2020 must be completed against the new relevant syllabi.
  2. RePL training instructors are to be given an additional 18 months, to 10 April 2022, to obtain new instructor qualifications.
  3. There are a number of new definitions, including ‘classification’, ‘electronicidentificaiton’, ‘gross weight on take-off’, ‘modification’, ‘permit version’, and ‘unacceptable modification’, which set the stage for the proposed amendments.
  4. Chapter 11 of the MOS currently titled ‘Notification of Change to Operate Excluded RPA’is to be repealed. The aim is to replace the requirement for excluded category notifications with registration.
  5. New Chapter 12: ‘Identification of RPA and Model Aircraft’. This provides that registration holders are to legibly display, in a manner that is easily seen or accessible, the manufacturer’s serial number, or the mark allocated by CASA when the drone was registered.
  6. New Chapter 13: ‘Operation of Foreign Registered RPA and Model Aircraft’. Provides that an RPA or a model aircraft that has been registered under a law of a foreign country but not registered in Australia, will be required to obtain permission from CASA, instead of a registration certificate.
  7. New Chapter 14: ‘Permisible[sic] Modifications to Registered RPA and Model Aircraft’: This provides for the acceptable modification of registered drones and criteria when any modified drone must be re-registered.
  8. New Chapter 15: ‘Conduct of Online Training Course and Examinations for Accreditation’. Provides for how the online pilot accreditation scheme will work, including that an applicant must personally successfully complete the entirety of the online training course.

The consultation closes on 23 September 2020.

Link to MOS document:

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