Earlier this year CASA announced a compulsory drone registration and accreditation scheme that will apply to both recreational and commercial drones. 

Drones must be registered and operators will be required to complete a safety quiz or obtain a remote pilot licence.

Broadly speaking, the new drone registration rules apply to 

  • Recreational drones weighing more than 250 grams
  • All commercial drones

The changes (detailed below) were originally scheduled to be rolled out at the end of 2019, but instead will now be implemented in stages starting in early 2020. Commercial operators will be the first group required to comply.

New Drone Registration Rules 

Registration costs will be confirmed when the scheme rolls out, but it is expected that registration costs will be between $100 and $160 for commercial operators, and $20 for recreational users. 

Serial numbers will need to be provided to CASA to complete the registration process. The numbers will form a national database of drones which will help the aviation authority enforce the new rules.

CASA communications manager, Peter Gibson said that new technology can:

 “show the location of both the drone and the controller, and in some cases the serial number of the drone as well.” 

Other key parts of the new drone accreditation scheme include:

  • Anyone flying a drone who is aged under 16 needs to be supervised by a person over the age of 18, or by someone who is accredited.
  • Recreational users will need to create an online CASA account and complete an education course (commercial operators flying a drone over 2kg are already required to hold a remote pilot’s licence.)
  • Fines will be issued to anyone caught flying a non-registered drone

Drone Accreditation Scheme

An example of the safety video recreational operators will need to watch during the accreditation process.

Total RPA is Australia’s Most Comprehensive Drone Certification Institution. We offer a range of drone certification courses targeted at commercial operators in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Townsville & Nowra.