Having a drone might be a whole lot of sky-high fun, but a host of incoming new regulations are about to make their operation safer, a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) spokesman says.
Reports of a rogue drone grounded planes in Gatwick Airport in England causing mass chaos in the lead-up to Christmas, and while rules already apply for Australian users things are about to get tougher.
Some of the existing rules for recreational drone users include not flying higher than 120 metres above the ground and keeping drones at least 5.5kms away from controlled aerodromes.
However, from mid-2019 the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) will introduce a national registration scheme for all recreational drones.
“All new and existing drones need to be registered using an online process,” a CASA spokesman said.
“As part of that drone owners will need to do an online course, mainly look at a video, and successfully answer some safety questions. This is to ensure they have looked at and understand the rules.”
A number of subjects are covered in the safety and training courses, including: flying rules, flying during emergency operations, flying around people, airport safety and privacy.
The new rules apply to all recreational users who have a drone that weighs above 250 grams.
The CASA spokesman said a number of reasons have prompted stricter control for drone usage.
“The large growth in drones, the increased capability of drones, the need to to have a more robust system of ensuring drones are operated safely,” he said.
Commercial drone users are already required to be certified and register with CASA.