National News

Commercial drone registration warning

Commercial and non-recreational drone operators are being warned there are serious consequences for flying drones that are not registered.

From 28 January 2021 all commercial and non-recreational drones must be registered with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Recreational drones – people flying just for fun or sport – are not required to register their drones at this time.

Commercial and non-recreational drone operators face hefty fines, potential loss of insurance cover and sacrificing customers if their drones are not registered.

Failure to register a drone could land operators with a fine of up to $11,100.

Public liability insurance could be voided as operating an unregistered drone will be an illegal activity.

In addition, CASA is recommending people engaging a commercial drone operator now ask for evidence of registration before booking services.

CASA spokesperson Peter Gibson said it was important for anyone using the services of a commercial drone operator to check all relevant regulatory documentation as well as operator qualifications.

“Make sure you only use a drone operator who is registered and has the right qualifications and approvals to do the flying you need,” Mr Gibson said.

“By making these checks you are establishing if the operator understands and respects safety.

“This is crucial because things can and do go wrong when flying drones and they have hurt people and damaged property.”

People flying commercial and non-recreational drones must hold a drone pilot licence or accreditation from CASA.

All commercial drone operators using drones weighing more than two kilograms must hold a certificate from CASA in addition to registration.

More information on drone regulations and registration.