Fly Safe Know The Rules


Updated 04/06/2020 – For further information visit the CASA  website

Remote pilot licence

A remote pilot licence (RePL) allows you to fly remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) in circumstances that need specialist training.

You’ll need to apply for a RePL if you want to fly:

If you want to fly for commercial purposes, you must also either hold a ReOC or work for a ReOC holder. If you get paid for flying your drone – you are flying commercially.

You may not need a RePL if you’re eligible to operate under the ‘Flying over your own land‘ or ‘Sub 2 kg‘ excluded category.

You don’t need a licence if you’re only flying for fun.

RePLs do not expire.

There is no minimum age requirement to obtain a RePL.

How to apply

Step 1: apply for an aviation reference number (ARN)

An ARN is your unique ID number that we’ll use to identify you each time you communicate with us.

Find out more about the ID requirements and apply for an ARN.

Step 2: complete the required training

Before you can get your licence, you’ll need to complete the required training through a certified training provider. Training requirements depend on your level of aviation experience.

For those with no aviation experience

You’ll need to find a certified training provider and complete the required theory and practical training.

If at any time you need to fly in controlled airspace or beyond visual line of sight, you’ll also need an aeronautical radio operators licence (AROC). An AROC is required anytime you need to transmit on an aeronautical radio frequency.

For those with aviation experience

You don’t need to complete theory RePL training if you:

  • have passed the theory component of any Part 61 flight crew licence (eg PPL, CPL, ATPL or RPL)
  • have an equivalent military qualification or air traffic control licence.

Note: international qualifications may be recognised following a review and comparison of the foreign and Australian syllabi.

If you meet the above criteria, you have two options for obtaining your RePL:

  1. Complete an operational training course with a CASA approved training organisation who will then apply to CASA on your behalf, and log five hours of flying your drone under standard operating conditions
  2. Request a CASA flight test to determine competency, log five hours of flying your drone under standard operating conditions, and apply to CASA using  Application for Remote Pilot Licence (RePL) form 101-01 (PDF 201.66 KB). You’ll need to submit your supporting documentation, including your certified  RPA flying hours log book form 1483 (DOCX 58.77 KB), with your application.

Updated 20/12/2019

CASA News Bulletin In relation to Bush Fires In Australia

Casa has introduced new laws in relation to active bushfires in Australia

In the event of an active bushfire in Australia, drones are not permitted to fly within 10 km for the safety of fire fighting crews and water bombing Helicopters and Plains

For more information please see the attached document

CASA BushFire Document

The drone safety rules vary depending on whether you are flying commercially or for fun (recreationally) in Australia. Let us help you understand what you need to know.

Flying drones or model aircraft recreationally

Our recreational drone safety rules are designed to protect other people in the air and on the ground.

You must not fly your drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person or property, so follow our rules every time you fly.

These rules do not apply to all drone flyers. If you hold a remote pilot licence (RePL) and operate according to a remotely piloted aircraft operator certificate (ReOC) or have an authorisation from CASA, you will be exempt.

You’ll find all of the drone safety rules, plus useful videos and resources, on our dedicated Drone Flyer website.

cover image of drone flyer page

Model aircraft

Remotely piloted aircraft used for sport or recreational purposes that weigh 150kg or less are considered to be operating privately and are regulated by the provisions for model aircraft.

The rules

  • You must not fly your drone higher than 120 metres (400 ft) above the ground.
  • You must not fly your drone over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway (without prior approval). This could include situations such as a car crash, police operations, a fire and associated firefighting efforts, and search and rescue operations.
  • You must not fly your drone within 30 metres of people, unless the other person is part of controlling or navigating the drone.
  • You must fly only one drone at a time.
  • If your drone weighs more than 100 grams:
    • You must keep your drone at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes (usually those with a control tower)
    • You may fly within 5.5km of a non-controlled aerodrome or helicopter landing site (HLS) only if manned aircraft are not operating to or from the aerodrome. If you become aware of manned aircraft operating to or from the aerodrome/ HLS, you must manoeuvre away from the aircraft and land as soon as safely possible. This includes:
      • not operating your drone within the airfield boundary (*without approval)
      • not operating your drone in the approach and departure paths of the aerodrome (*without approval)
  • You must only fly during the day and keep your drone within visual line-of sight.
    • This means being able to orientate, navigate and see the aircraft with your own eyes at all times (rather than through a device; for example, through goggles or on a video screen).
  • You must not fly over or above people. This could include festivals, sporting ovals, populated beaches, parks, busy roads and footpaths.
  • You must not operate your drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person, or property
  • You must not operate your drone in prohibited or restricted areas.

* Approval is generally linked to an approved model flying association and its members

Please respect personal privacy. Don’t record or photograph people without their consent—this may breach state laws.

Important: tips for flying within the law

  • There might be local council and/or national park laws prohibiting drone flights in certain areas.
  • Research the area you plan to fly and contact your council or national park if you’re unsure.
  • Don’t operate near emergency services aircraft – if you fly, they can’t.
  • You can contact CASA ON 131 757 for further information

Flying drones commercially

When flying for money, or any form of economic gain, you may need to be licensed and certified as an operator, or work for a certified operator.

To make it easier for commercial operators flying a drone weighing under 2kg, you may wish to make use of our ‘excluded’ category.

You only need to be licensed and certified if you want to fly outside of our standard operating conditions.



Flying over your own land – excluded RPA

If you’re flying a drone commercially on your own land, and not receiving money for that work, you might not need to be licensed and certified.

The rules are based on the weight of your drone.

Excluded operation RePL ReOC
Commercial use of a drone between 100g and 2kg No No
Use of a drone between 2 and 25kg by a private landowner No No
Use of a drone between 25 and 150kg by a private landowner Yes No

The process

Step 1: Apply for an aviation reference number
Step 2: Tell us before you fly
Step 3: Fly within the standard operating conditions
Step 4: Download our app

Other useful information