CASA is introducing a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) registration and RPA operator accreditation

CASA is introducing a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) registration and RPA operator accreditation requirement as a way of monitoring the safe and lawful operation of RPAs, commonly known as drones – and we want your feedback on the details of the scheme.

The registration and accreditation requirements are proposed to apply (with certain exceptions) to drones more than 250 grams operated recreationally and all drones operated commercially, regardless of weight. The requirements are not proposed for drones lighter than 250 grams operated recreationally or model aircraft flying at CASA-approved model airfields.

Accreditation would be free and involve watching a video and answering a quiz on drone rules.

Separate accreditation courses would be available for recreational operators and those operating excluded RPA.

Accreditation would be valid for 3 years.

The cost of registration has yet to be determined by CASA but is likely to be a $20 or less annual fee (per person) for recreational drones and for some model aircraft operators. There would also be an annual registration fee likely to range from $100 to $160 per drone for each commercial drone.

What happens next
CASA reviews every submission and will publish a summary of consultation on your feedback. This will inform the introduction of the registration and accreditation scheme.

Have your say on drone registration

Date of publication:
25 January 2019

Everyone with an interest in drones is being asked to have their say on a proposed new national drone registration and accreditation scheme.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is planning to introduce the drone registration and accreditation scheme progressively in the second half of 2019.

Under the proposal most recreational drones weighing more than 250 grams will need to be registered annually using a simple online process. Recreational drone operators who only ever fly indoors, or only at an approved model aircraft airfield will be exempt from the need to do registration and accreditation.

Drones of all weights operated at any time for commercial purposes will also need to be registered annually.

Part of the scheme is accreditation that will require people to do a short online education course, based around a video. This will be followed by a short online quiz. Accreditation will be required for people who don’t hold a remote pilot licence, unless they’re operating a drone 250 grams or under, or participating at an approved model airfield. Accreditation will need to be renewed every three years.

It is proposed that people will need to be 16 years or older to register a drone, with younger people to be supervised by a person over 18 years old who is accredited.

The online process of drone registration and accreditation is estimated to take about 15 minutes for most people to complete.

CASA’s CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, said the proposed drone registration and accreditation scheme will bring a range of safety and community benefits.

“The proposed scheme will make sure everyone who flies a drone knows what the safety rules are,” Mr Carmody said.

“It will also mean we can effectively target safety information to the people who need it.

“Importantly, it will make it easier for authorities to identify when someone is breaking the drone safety rules and to take the appropriate action, which can be penalties of up to $10,500.”

The Federal Government has supported the introduction of a mandatory accreditation and registration system for drones. This was in a response to the recommendation from a Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport inquiry.

You are encouraged to comment on the drone registration and accreditation scheme which will be available on CASA’s Consultation Hub until 22 February 2019.

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