Know Drone Rules

Flying your drone recreationally can give you endless hours of fun with friends and family.  
But break the rules and you could end up with a hefty penalty from CASA.

Flying drones for recreational fun in Australia is governed by the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 101

MAAA's rules

A requirement of the MAAA’s deed of agreement is that we need to be satisfied that our members abide by our rules. It is important that you read and understand the following MAAA rules:

(* MOP = manual of procedures)

The good news is CASA and the MAAA’s rules are easy to understand. Importantly, the rules are designed to keep everyone safe.

Simple rules to keep the skies safe

  • Only fly during daylight hours and avoid fog and clouds
  • Keep your aircraft in sight at all times ***
  • Stay at least 30 metres away from vehicles, boats, buildings or people
  • Avoid heavily populated areas such as parks or beaches
  • Fly under 120 metres in controlled airspace such as city skies
  • Stay at least 5.5km away from airfields and aerodromes
  • Fly in control at all times
  • Remember if you’re flying for money – get certified!


*** Members of RAPS via the MAAA receive a “Visual Line of Sight exemption” where you can fly your drone using a smart phone, tablet or goggles as long as you have an observer present. The observer is the pilot in command and must be able to physically see the unmanned aircraft at all times.

Any aircraft flown for commercial, government or research purposes needs to be certified. Specifically, you need an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) controller's certificate and an unmanned operator's certificate (UOC). Flying commercially without certification is illegal and could lead to penalties of up to $9000.

Want to know more?

  1. Read more about CASA’s rules here 
  2. Read information from CASA on knowing your drone here 
  3. If you’re unsure where you can fly your drone, check out CASA’s “Can I fly there? - Drone Safety App."  

Update from CASA on 20 October 2017

See CASA's Instrument CASA 55/20 here (Operation of certain unmanned aircraf direction) 

See CASA's Letter 20 October 2017- MAAA re Direction  operations of certain unmanned aircraft here

Subsequent update from CASA on 27 October 2017

See CASA's Instrument number CASA EX156/17 here

See CASA's Explanatory Statement here 

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