RULES AND REGULATIONS
If you are operating a drone under 2kg, or up to 25kg, on your own property for commercial purposes you might not need to be licensed and certified.
However, you do need to:
1. Apply to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for an
aviation reference number
2. Tell CASA before you fly (valid for 24 months if you are flying
in the same location)
3. Fly within the standard operating conditions
4. Download the ‘Can I fly there’ app.
To operate a drone weighing more than 2kg for commercial purposes in locations other than your own property, or to operate outside the standard operating conditions, the operator must obtain a remote pilot licence (RePL) and an RPA operator’s certificate (ReOC).
Under the ‘landowner rule’, a drone (RPA) may be used for activities defined in regulation 101.237 (CASR, 1998), specifically: • Aerial spotting
• Aerial photography
• Agricultural operations (e.g., weed spraying, pest spraying, fertiliser application, seed broadcasting, or application of other substances for agricultural purposes)
• Aerial communications re-transmission
• Carriage of cargo
• Any other activity similar to those listed above.
Standard operating conditions (SOCs) apply to drone operations where the operator is using the ‘excluded operation’ category or flying recreationally. The SOCs for drones are summarised below:
1. The drone is operated:
• By visual line of sight (VLOS) only
• No higher than 120m above ground level • During daytime only – not after sunset.
2. The drone is not operated:
• Any closer than 30m from people not associated with
• In a prohibited area or restricted area
• In a restricted area that is classified as RA3
• Over populated areas
• Within 5.5km (3NM) of a controlled aerodrome – one with an
operating control tower
• In the area of a public safety operation without the approval
of a person in charge of the operation.
3. Only one RPA flown per pilot at any one time.
This factsheet was produced by SPAA (Society of Precision Agriculture Australia Inc.) through funding from the South Australian Grains Industry Trust. To learn more about Precision Agriculture, visit https:// spaa.com.au where more factsheets are available.
There are an increasing number of drone systems coming onto the market that offer a range of applications suited to agricultural management and decision making.