Changes this week to the aviation laws, will extend who is legally allowed to fly drones but some industry experts fear it will open the floodgates to unsafe practices.

Louis Jennings reports. 


Drones are rapidly growing in popularity. Up until now pilots needed an offical CASA licence to operate them.

From Thursday anyone will be permitted to operate unmanned aerial vehicles weighing under 2 kilograms without a licence. It opens up a new market for the sale of aerial footage.

But operators must notify CASA before flying their UAVS; which can’t be flown higher than 120 metres or within 5.5 kilometres of airports. They must be flown during daylight hours and within line of sight. and at least 30 metres away from the public.

The changes have raised some concerns.

Joe Urli, UAV Systems: “The red tape is there for a reason especially in terms of air safety, and once we remove those defence barriers then the probability of an accident occurring is higher”.

But a warning.. as well as the new regulations.. other restrictions may apply.

Phil Gartshore, Tingalpa Model Aero Club: “Brisbane city council for example won’t allow you to fly these devices in any of their parks as there is a public liability issue and they prefer to have them join a club like ours”.

Louis Jennings, QUT News: “Although the new regulations will have the largest impact on owners of UAVs under 2kg such as this one, other beneficiaries will be rural producers, who will be able to inspect stock and produce on their properties”.

And now specially equipped drones are helping save lives.

Louis Jennings, QUT News.