Farms & Farm Machinery - - SPECIAL FEATURE: PRECISION AG -

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

the flight

• 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:// 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.

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