CASA UAV Rules & Fines

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January 28, 2015

CASA UAV Rules & Fines

aerial photography, Australian Landscape Photographer, DJI, drone, guide, Phantom, Philip Avellana, UAV
DJI Phantom 2 Guide

News spread like wildfire.  Just recently I read about a news regarding a man from Townsville (Queensland, Australia) being fined for breaking the rules on flying UAV.  In this instance, he had a DJI Phantom 2.  I’m in Australia and the governing body for UAVs is CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority).  Full report can be read here:

QLD man first in Australia to be fined for flying a drone

The Fact About CASA's Rules

Australia, through CASA, is the first country to regulate UAVs through the creation of robust guidelines.  These rules are created for hobbyist to put ‘Safety First’ when flying UAVs.  I learned that CASA's rules for UAV was the first of it's kind.  But since the rules are kinda robust, other countries (such as the US) are going in line with our rules.

At Camzilla, where I bought my drone, they already have a brochure printed and displayed for anyone buying a drone.  You can just literally pick one brochure for yourself and read it there.  This is a good practice by Camzilla and other stores should follow suit.  This may not be the responsibility of the store, but its good practice if you put safety first.  Just a short mention of “Australia have drone rules, do you know them?” will keep the buyer on his/her toes and immediately go online, find the rules before flying it.

aerial photography, Australian Landscape Photographer, DJI, drone, Phantom, Philip Avellana, remote, UAV
DJI Stock Remote

To summarise and emphasize, these are CASA, Model Aircraft - Flying With Control:

  • Able to fly ‘line of sight’, it should not go too far from you
  • 30 meters away from people
  • 30 meters away from vehicles, houses, boats, buildings
  • 5.5 kilometers away from airports
  • 120 meters maximum flight height
  • Don’t fly on populous area such as beach, park, backyard, ovals
  • Don’t fly at night
  • Don’t fly commercially if you're not licensed

From what I read about the news, an $850 fine will be given to every point of offence the offender made.  But CASA made it a single $850 even though the offender made multiple offences.  The fine is an ‘Australia-First’, thus became viral. 

I hope he/she still has the courage to fly again.  But having been slammed with $850 will ground your flying wings for sometime.

aerial photography, Australian Landscape Photographer, DJI, drone, intelligent battery, Phantom, Philip Avellana, UAV
DJI Intelligent Battery


  1. Safety guideline helps people to understand the Dos and Don’ts before flying your unmanned aircraft. If we follow these guidelines then we can enjoy pleasure of UAV aerial photography.

    1. I do agree Daniel. The rules are clear and simple. AT some point, they may not be practical - but we're flying UAVs that could potentially injure anyone who comes in contact with it.

      I saw your website and you have all the certifications (business + pilots). I don't have license yet, thus my take-offs are on forest & cliffs without any bystanders near me.

      Hopefully I can meet you when you have a job here at NSW!


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