Brisbane Drone Laws

January 25

Drones have quickly become the tool of choice for all sorts of construction, engineering, agriculture and entertainment work. The versatility of drone platforms has made them popular with businesses and private users alike.

If you’re looking to fly drones commercially or recreationally, it’s worth brushing up on your local regulations. Brisbane drone laws are designed to reduce liability, prevent injury and keep drone operators and bystanders safe.

To clear up Brisbane drone laws and help get you started, we’re going to discuss CASA regulations and licence requirements below.

 

Brisbane Drone Laws and CASA Regulations

In Brisbane, flying drones is regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). These laws govern both commercial and recreational drone pilots.

The regulations laid out by CASA are designed to keep people safe and minimise the risk of injury or liability. Commercial and private drone operators are required to comply with the following CASA standard operating conditions.


When flying a drone you must:

  • Only operate one drone at a time
  • Keep your drone within visual line-of-sight (not by using binoculars, video streaming or FPV goggles)
  • Only fly during the day
  • Avoid flying in smoky or foggy conditions
  • Avoid flying behind obstacles that prevent you from seeing the drone

You must not operate your drone:

  • Higher than 120 metres above ground level
  • Within 30 metres of other people
  • Over people at any height
  • Over people in populous areas like parks, beaches or events
  • Near emergency operations
  • Within 5.5 kilometres of a controlled airport if your drone weighs more than 250 grams

You’re allowed to operate within 5.5 kilometres of a non-controlled airport as long as you stay outside the airfield boundary and there are no manned aircraft flying in the area. If you see a manned aircraft you are required to land your drone quickly and safely.

 

Brisbane Drone Laws and RPA Classifications

Different types of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) are subject to different rules and regulations. CASA classifies drones based on how they are being used, the weight of the aircraft and the qualifications the pilot needs to hold.

Your drone will fall into one of the following categories:

Classification

Weight

Micro

250g or less

Very Small (Excluded)

250g – 2kg

Small (Excluded)

2kg – 25kg

Medium (Excluded)

25kg – 150kg

Large

150kg or more

 

Do I Need an RePL Under Brisbane Drone Laws?

If you are operating a drone that weighs less than 25kg for sport or leisure, you aren’t required to hold an RePL (Remote Pilot Licence) under Brisbane drone laws. To operate a drone that weighs more than 25kg you will need to apply to CASA for approval to fly. You may also be able to operate excluded RPA categories on a commercial basis without an RePL.


You are required to hold an RePL if you are operating a drone that weighs more than 2kg for commercial purposes. Obtaining an RePL typically requires a mix of hands-on training and classroom instruction.

Upon the successful completion of your training course, your provider can issue an RePL. Your RePL allows you to operate larger drones and to fly RPAs outside of the standard operating conditions, such as flying close to other people.

 

Excluded RPA Categories

Excluded RPA categories are subject to fewer regulations during commercial use. This reduces the legal requirements involved with flying a drone as part of your job.

Under the new excluded categories, very small RPAs (weighing between 250g and 2kg) can be piloted commercially without the need for an RePL. Small drones up to 25kg can be flown commercially over your own land without an RePL, as long as you don’t accept payment for the services.

Similarly, medium drones up to 150kg can be flown over your own land as part of your job if you aren’t paid for the work, but you are required to hold an RePL.

 

Obtain Your RePL with CASA Approved Training Today!

Obtaining your Remote Pilots Licence is the best way to kickstart your career as a professional drone pilot! Brisbane drone laws don’t always require you to have an RePL, but holding the qualification greatly expands your opportunities in the industry.

If you’re interested in learning more about drone operations, explore the drone courses offered by Toll Uncrewed Systems.

We offer courses ranging from introductory classes to RePL certifications, advanced industry qualifications and beyond. If you’re ready to get on board with one of Australia’s fastest growing industries, contact us or browse our range of drone training courses online!


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