No drone zone
FALLS Creek has banned the use of all drone aircraft within the resort following concerns users may breach rules recommended by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
The ban came into effect on June 17, after Fall Creek Resort Management Board (FCRMB) referenced the CASA, via Civil Aviation Safety Regulations part 101 (CASR101) to address concerns regarding property damage, privacy and public safety.
Drones are classified as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA).
FCRMB CEO Stuart Smythe said banning the use of drone aircraft within the resort has been done to ensure users do not breach the rules as recommended by the CASA.
“The proliferation in Point of View cameras and now this next evolution with thrill seekers wanting to use drones to capture and record footage of users exploits needs to be carefully managed,” Mr Smythe said. “The CASA guidelines are very clear. “The resort simply cannot allow such devices in the interests of public safety and with respect to damage to property, infrastructure and people in general.
“The ‘follow me drones’ don’t have manual control and can’t see obstructions like lifts and buildings, so they are quite dangerous and we could end up with these things dropping out of the sky, which isn’t safe.”
Suitably qualified operators can apply for permits to use drones within the resort, but Mr Smythe said they would need proof of certification.
“The resort will issue permits for use Falls Creek and Mt Hotham recorded impressive visitor numbers during the first two weeks of the season and Tasmanian sisters Millie (front) and Charlotte Beach were just two of the many thousands who enjoyed some snow time. See page 3 for story. by suitably qualified and experienced operators based on proof of CASA compliance and certified operational status – with particular use for commercial or promotional opportunities only,” he said.
“As an active resort and with a product offering including the Heli Link between Falls Creek and Mt Hotham, our air space is active enough.
Mr Smythe said the CASA directive makes it very clear with regards to where it is appropriate to operate drones and ski resorts simply don’t qualify.