Can I Fly a Drone Over People in Australia

Can I Fly a Drone Over People in Australia

In Australia, the regulations surrounding drone flights over people are a topic of interest and concern.

This article aims to provide clarity on the legality and requirements for flying drones over individuals in the country.

By understanding the permits, penalties, exceptions, safety measures, and permission process involved, drone operators can navigate the rules and ensure compliance.

Let’s delve into the intricacies of flying drones over people in Australia.

Regulations Governing the Use of Police Drones

Australia’s Drone Regulations Over People

According to Australia’s drone regulations, drones are prohibited from flying over or above people, including in areas such as beaches, parks, events, or sports ovals where there is a game in progress.

These restrictions are in place to prioritize drone safety and ensure public safety. By preventing drones from flying over people, the risk of accidents or injuries caused by falling drones or malfunctioning equipment is minimized.

This is especially important in crowded areas where the potential for harm is higher.

In addition to drone safety concerns, these regulations also address privacy concerns. Drones equipped with cameras have the potential to invade individuals’ privacy by recording or photographing them without their consent.

To protect people’s privacy rights, drone operators are strictly prohibited from recording or photographing individuals without their permission. This helps to maintain a balance between the benefits of drone technology and the privacy rights of individuals.

Obtain Permits and Certifications

Permits for Flying Drones Over Australians

To fly drones over Australians legally, individuals or businesses must obtain the necessary permits and licenses from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

In order to obtain these permits, there are certain requirements and processes that need to be followed.

Firstly, drone registration is a mandatory step that needs to be completed before flying a drone. This involves providing basic information about the drone, such as its make, model, and serial number.

Additionally, individuals or businesses may be required to undergo drone flight training to ensure that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to operate a drone safely.

Drone insurance is also a requirement in order to protect against any potential damages or liabilities that may arise from drone operations.

It is important to note that there are airspace restrictions in place, which dictate where drones can and cannot be flown. Violations of these restrictions can result in penalties, including fines and potential legal consequences.

Therefore, it is crucial to adhere to these regulations and operate drones responsibly and within the designated areas.

Rules around Police Confiscating Drones UK

Penalties for Unauthorized Drone Flights in Australia

When flying a drone without proper authorization in Australia, individuals may face penalties, including fines and potential legal consequences.

The severity of these penalties depends on the nature of the offense and the potential harm caused.

Here are some of the consequences that individuals may encounter for unauthorized drone flights in Australia:

  • Fines of up to $1,565 per offense, which can increase depending on the severity of the violation.
  • Restrictions or cancellation of accreditation, license, certificate, or registration by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
  • Referral of the case to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, potentially leading to a summons to attend court.
  • Conviction of a crime, potential restrictions on future drone flights, or fines of up to $15,650 if summoned to court.

In cases where a drone poses a hazard to other aircraft or interferes with their operations, the penalties can be even more severe. Violators may face fines of up to $37,901 or imprisonment for up to two years.

It’s important to note that fines can vary depending on the specific offense. For example, flying a drone over populous areas can result in a penalty of $10,500, and interfering with an aircraft can lead to fines of up to $26,000 or imprisonment.

To avoid these legal consequences, it is crucial to adhere to the drone flight restrictions and regulations set by CASA.

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Exceptions for Drones Over People in Australia

Occasionally, there are specific scenarios where drones may be permitted to fly over people in Australia.

However, these exceptions are subject to certain flying restrictions, legal requirements, and safety guidelines.

Commercial drone operators, for example, can fly in the ‘excluded’ category if their drone weighs less than 2kg. In this case, they must notify the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) before flying and operate within the standard operating conditions.

If they wish to fly outside these conditions, they need to obtain a remote pilot’s license (RePL) and fly with a certified operator.

For recreational drone pilots, flying over people is generally prohibited, but there is a 30-meter distance rule. If there are no people within this distance, it might be permissible to fly the drone in certain areas.

It’s important to note that drone operators must not create hazards for other aircraft, individuals, or property.

Members of the Model Aeronautical Association of Australia (MAAA) who comply with the MAAA’s ‘First Person View (FPV) Policy’ (MOP066) are also exempt from some restrictions.

To stay compliant, it’s crucial to stay updated with regulatory updates and consult with CASA for any questions or concerns. By following all the applicable rules, drone operators can ensure safe and legal drone operation.

Increase Accuracy Of Drone Roof Measurement

Safety Measures for Australian Drone Operators

Several essential safety measures are recommended for Australian drone operators to ensure the safe operation of drones. These measures include:

  • Following drone safety guidelines: Drone operators must familiarize themselves with the safety guidelines set by the Civil Aviation Safety Agency (CASA) in Australia. These guidelines outline the responsibilities and limitations of drone operators to ensure public safety during drone operations.
  • Understanding drone operator responsibilities: Drone operators are responsible for conducting a thorough risk assessment process before each flight. This includes evaluating the potential risks to public safety and taking necessary precautions to mitigate those risks.
  • Staying updated with drone technology advancements: It is crucial for drone operators to stay informed about the latest advancements in drone technology. This includes being aware of safety features such as parachute systems and counter-drone protection technologies, which can enhance the safety of drone operations.
  • Considering public safety: Drone operators must prioritize public safety during all drone operations. This involves avoiding flying drones over or near areas where public safety may be compromised, such as emergency operation sites or crowded events.
Drone Instructor Approval Process

Permission Process for Drones Over People in Australia

During the application process, individuals must follow specific steps to obtain permission to fly drones over people in Australia.

This is done to address privacy concerns, consider public safety, and ensure proper enforcement of drone regulations. One of the first steps is to apply for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN), which is a unique identifier assigned by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

This number is required for all drone-related applications. Additionally, individuals must notify CASA before flying their drone, especially if it weighs less than 2kg and is being flown for commercial reasons.

Operating within the standard operating conditions, which include rules such as flying during the day, keeping the drone within visual line-of-sight, and not flying higher than 120 meters, is also necessary.

To understand where drones can and cannot be flown, drone operators can download the OpenSky App.

To fly drones commercially, individuals may need to obtain a remote pilot license (RePL) and complete the required training through a certified training provider.

This ensures that drone pilots are properly trained and equipped to handle the drone technology advancements.

By following these steps and obtaining the necessary permissions, drone operators can fly their drones over people while prioritizing privacy, public safety, and adherence to drone regulations.

Permission Process for Drones Over People in Australia
1. Apply for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN)
2. Notify CASA before flying the drone
3. Fly within the standard operating conditions
4. Download the OpenSky App for guidance
5. Obtain a remote pilot license (RePL) for commercial operations


In conclusion, flying a drone over people in Australia is subject to strict regulations. Permits are required, and unauthorized flights can result in penalties.

However, there are exceptions and safety measures in place to ensure the well-being of Australians.

Drone operators must follow the permission process to fly drones over people in Australia.

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