Recreational drone pilots will need to complete an online quiz and register their devices after a recent change to Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) legislation.
The changes for recreational pilots, which come into effect from March 2020, require all drones over 250grams to be registered with CASA and all pilots to undertake an accreditation program consisting of an online video and quiz.
Registration of the drone and the pilot will help ensure people understand their obligation when flying.Larry Lawson
Commercial drone operators will be required to register any drone regardless of weight from November 2019. Commercial operators are already required to hold a remote pilot's licence if they are flying a drone weighing over two kilograms.
Both recreational and commercial drone use has escalated exponentially over the past three years, according to Aerial Vision managing director Larry Lawson.
"Drone users have always had an obligation to understand the rules and guidelines of flying a drone, but some people pleaded ignorance when they were caught doing the wrong thing," Mr Lawson said.
"People will need to apply online (for a CASA account) and then complete the questionnaire.
"Registration of the drone and the pilot will help ensure people understand their obligation when flying the drone.
"There are fines and penalties associated with doing the wrong thing.
"There are so many people who just fly anywhere to get footage for YouTube it does need some restriction.
"I think it is a good thing."
Rules for flying drones include keeping the device in line of sight, keeping a minimum 30 metres from other people, flying below 120-metres altitude, and not flying at night or in clouds or fog.
The rule changes also affect farmers who are using drones on private property.
"Farmers have always had a bit of an exemption where they could fly larger drones on their own property," Mr Lawson said.
"As I understand it, these rules are now inclusive of private property so farmers will need to register their drones as well."
Model aircraft association members, flying at CASA-approved model airfields, will not need to get accredited if they will only be flying at that field, and they will not need to register their aircraft.
More information about the changes is available on the CASA Drone Flyer website.
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