Drones Flying A Little Too Freely

18:00' 07-02-2019
Drones have become increasingly popular in recent years, and within the economic reach of most people.

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    Photo: backpackerguide.nz

    However, many people treat them more as a toy or mobile camera, rather than a possible danger, to people, property and air traffic. Also, the responsibility to know the safety rules is left to the buyers, not to the sellers.

    Last March a Brisbane man was fined over $1,000 for flying his drone over a concert. Late last year flights at England's Gatwick Airport were grounded because of suspected drone sightings.

    Over 220 drones have been spotted at Sydney Airport in the past 30 months, and there were a total of 468 sightings by pilots across the country.

    In fact there is legislation about rules for flying drones, with penalties including fines of over $10,000.

    • No flying above 120 metres, within 30m of people, or at night

    • No flying over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway

    • Your drone must be within your line of sight

    • Drones weighing more than 100 grams must keep at least 5.5 km away from aerodromes

    • No flying over or above crowds at festivals, sporting ovals, beaches, parks, busy roads and footpaths

    • Flying must not create a hazard to another aircraft, person, or property

    • No flying in prohibited or restricted areas

    In addition, local council or national park laws may prohibit drone flights in certain areas.

    Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) outlines the rules on its “Droneflyer” website at droneflyer.gov.au.

    CASA has also developed the “Can I Fly There” app, showing where drones are not allowed to fly.

    Hiro T




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