Australia Plans Mandatory Drone Registration

 - February 1, 2019, 10:50 AM

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority has proposed rules for a graduated implementation process for drone registration and accreditation of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operators. CASA aims to implement initial registration requirements on July 1.

The registration mandate would apply to commercial operators of drones of any size and to recreational users of drones weighing more than 250 grams (0.55 pounds). Drones weighing 250 grams or less, those operated from CASA-approved model airfields, and RPAs operated indoors would be excluded from both the registration and pilot accreditation requirements.

Pilot accreditation would be free and involve watching a video and answering a quiz on drone rules. The annual cost of drone registration will depend on whether it is flown for recreation or profit, with a $20 or lower annual fee planned for the former and a range from $100 to $160 per drone annually for commercial use.

The rules will be finalized as is or might include changes based on comments CASA is soliciting from interested parties. Comments are due February 22.