Australia updates guidance on recreational and educational drone flights

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority has updated Advisory Circular (AC) 101-03: Flying a model aircraft or drone for recreation or education.

The updated advice includes current regulations, policy and procedures, further explanatory information on the drone safety rules, new Military Operating Areas, and guidance for operating near airport approach and departure paths and helicopter landing sites.

For example, uncrewed aircraft weighing more than 250 grams must not be operated within 3 NM (5.5 km) or over or within the approach and departure paths of a controlled aerodrome. Meanwhile, uncrewed aircraft weighing 250 grams or less may be operated within 3 NM (5.5 km) of a controlled aerodrome, up to a height of 150 ft (45 m), provided they are not operated over or within the approach and departure paths, or within the aerodrome boundary.

In addition, uncrewed aircraft must not be operated within 3 NM (5.5 km) of a non-controlled aerodrome, or within 0.75 NM (1.4 km) of a helicopter landing site (HLS). This means that uncrewed aircraft flyers must not commence a flight, and must land their aircraft, when they become aware of a crewed aircraft operating to or from the aerodrome or the HLS. Once the crewed aircraft has ceased operating or is outside of the vicinity of the aerodrome, flying can commence or recommence as applicable.

The updated AC applies to drones and model aircraft being flown recreationally or for education, training or research purposes in schools and higher education providers.

For more information

Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia

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