19.6 C
Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Drone use on the increase, but what are the laws?

Latest News

How much do you know about koalas?

How well do you know your koala facts? Test your knowledge at the June 2 Koala Hard Quiz in Mullumbimby.

Other News

Thanks for Bob

Jo Faith, Newtown I wish to thank The Echo for printing the article by Bob Morgan, First Nations academic. This...

Greater Sydney under COVID related restrictions

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that greater Sydney area will go into lockdown until next Monday.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning May 12

Check out what's on going the Byron Shire and surrounding area this week

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Honouring midwives on their International day

Many of us have a midwife to thank for our safe arrival from the womb, these specialised 'catching' hands are a blessing to both mum and bub in hospitals and in the home.

How full is that glass?

Cr Alan Hunter, Byron Shire Council Council Staff recommend opposing the proposed changes in the Exempt Development provisions to be considered...

Drones are becoming increasingly popular, but do you know the laws?
Drones are becoming increasingly popular, but do you know the laws?

Since the emergence of relatively inexpensive, high quality drones, the buzz of these remote controlled miniature aircraft is increasingly being heard by more and more Northern Rivers residents.

Anyone can buy a quadcopter, UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) or RPA (remotely piloted aircraft), as they are known, for several hundred dollars to many thousands, depending on the size and technology equipped.

But that doesn’t mean it can be flown just anywhere, anytime, at any height, capturing photos and videos.

Does the privacy act apply?

The explosion of drone technology has privacy legislation playing catch-up, now people have the capability of hovering over your backyard, or outside your bedroom window while capturing high-definition video and high resolution photos.

After a close-encounter with a drone over her backyard, Natasha Tiffany felt uncomfortable and posted about it on Facebook page Nimbin Hookups Discussion Board earlier this month.

‘In backyard doing gardening when I hear the buzz of a drone flying over,’ she posted.

‘I’m not sure I like people being able to come into my backyard without invite.’

‘How does everyone else feel about it?’

‘I know they are legal and are great for taking aerial shoots but it’s not a comfortable feeling having them flying around residential backyards.’

The current Privacy Act only applies to organisations with an annual turnover of $3 million or more, so it wouldn’t apply to most recreational RPA owners.

While the Privacy Act might not apply in most recreational scenarios, stalking and harassment or surveillance laws of individual states could deem filming or photographing using a recreational drone illegal.

Currently there is nothing written in law specifically regarding drones and privacy.

Recreational v Commercial

Other laws governing the operation of RPA’s or drones are regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority CASA.

Drones are classified in two classes, recreational and commercial (under or over 2kg weight).

Pilots of commercial drones must get a remote pilots licence through an approved training provider, then an RPA operators certificate, which permits them to earn money flying commercially.

For recreational or fun pilots of drones up to to 2kg, the rules are far less stringent.

It is optional to get a CASA Aviation Reference Number and email a RPA notification form with information about your planned flight.

Piloting a drone

Under the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998, the standard operating conditions for all drones are –
• You must only fly during the day, not at night.
• You must only fly by visual line of sight – 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.

CASA have created an app so people can find out where they can fly their drone that can be downloaded https://www.casa.gov.au/droneapp


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

3 COMMENTS

  1. People are going to start shooting them down if they become intrusive. Other countries regulate the purchase and use of these things, why are we so slow? Do we have to wait for one to fly into a commerical airliner before action is taken? Looks like it.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Tweed residents facing rate rise in 2021/2022 financial year

Tweed residents are invited to provide feedback on their council's budget, revenue policy and fees and charges, as Tweed Council prepares to finalise its delivery program and operational plan for the next financial year.

Exotic and hybrid

Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay I was shocked to see the abundant exotic and hybrid plantings at Byron’s new bus interchange. As Byron Council used to have...

Locals call for automatic revocation of speeding fines on Hinterland Way in first half of April

When local man Nathan Hicks saw posts on Facebook about locals who had received fines they believed were incorrect he decided to look into challenging his own fine. 

Ageism alive and well

Margaret Boshier, St Ives I have been spending time in the ocean since before I could walk; I grew up at the beach; I have...