Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to open up drones as Christmas gifts in Australia this morning. Drones are an awesome gift and they are an excuse to get people outdoors and away from electronics. Unfortunately, drones can also be a safety problem and there are rules that you must follow at all times.

You can read our in-depth guide to Australian drone safety.  We cover the basics below, but we encourage you to do more research.

These are the basic rules from CASA that you must be aware of:

  • Never fly above 120 metres in all locations
  • Do not fly your drone in any emergency situation
  • Do not fly within 30 metres of people, unless they are helping you with the drone flight. Especially avoid crowds of people and large events.
  • Operate only one drone at a time
  • Do not fly within 5.5 kimometres of an aerodrome with a control tower at any time if you have an drone weighing more than 100 grams. You also must not start flying near a non-controlled aerodrome if their are manned aicraft operating to or from it. Land your drone as soon as safely possible if you see a manned aircraft operating near a non-controlled aerodrome or helicopter landing site.
  • Do not fly at night, or in fog or clouds
  • You must be able to see your drone with your eyes at all times when flying. You cannot rely on an app screen, goggles, or binoculars.
  • You must not fly over people
  • Never fly in restricted areas.

Flying your drone mostly comes down to common sense. Always avoid flying near airports and helicopter pads when possible. Do not fly over Sydney harbor either as this is restricted airspace. Flying at airshows and near military bases is also a strict no-no.

CASA has designed an app that you should always check before flying called “Can I Fly There?“. The app is available on Android, iOS, and online. There are different rules for flying your drone commercially. If you are flying for business purposes make sure to get informed.

Local Laws

There may be local laws that apply when you are flying your drone. Always check for city and regional laws before taking off.

Many Australian parks have their own rules for drone use. Fines can be hundreds of dollars if fly without doing proper research. Ignorance is never an excuse so spend some time to find a few good flying place to fly in your local area and you won’t have problems.

Making sure that you are aware of the current drone laws can be overwhelming at times. The threat of thousands of dollars of fines is also scary. Luckily, most of the drone rules come down to common sense. Drones are a lot of fun and flying knowing the rules will set your mind at ease.