What are the standard operating conditions?
- Excluded RPAs, i.e. commercial very small RPA operators and some private landowners, must follow the SOCs.
- You must only fly during the day, not at night.
- You must only fly by visual line of sight (VLOS)-close enough to see, maintain orientation and achieve accurate flight and tracking.
- You must fly no higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level.
- You must not fly any closer than 30 metres from other people.
- You must not fly in a prohibited area or in a restricted area without the permission of the responsible authority.
- You must not fly over populous areas, such as beaches, parks and sporting ovals. The risk to life, safety and property depends not only on the density of people and property in an area but also the flying height and the likelihood of injury or damage should something go wrong with the RPA.
- You must not fly within 5.5 kilometres (3 nautical miles) of a controlled aerodrome-one with an operating control tower.
- You must not fly in the area of a public safety operation without the approval of a person in charge of the emergency response. This includes situations such as a car crash or any police, firefighting or search and rescue operations.
- You must only fly one RPA at a time.
If you wish to fly outside any of these conditions, you need to be licensed and/or certified by CASA. For example, licensed pilots may, subject to an air traffic control clearance, fly an RPA within 5.5 kilometres of a controlled aerodrome.
There are also rules around flying an excluded RPA near smaller aerodromes. When flying near an aerodrome without an operating control tower, you must not fly above runways or taxiways or in the approach or departure paths. See Advisory Circular 101-10 for a depiction of these restricted flying areas.
Want to know more?
For details on the changes and general information on drone operations in Australia, including an eLearning module suitable for all operators, visit:
phone 131 757