WITH the number of drones flying within Australia estimated to exceed 120,000, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has launched a new drone safety campaign aimed at young drone pilots.
CASA’s acting director of aviation safety Graeme Crawford said a new drone safety animation is designed to make the drone safety rules clear to drone pilots of all ages.
“Drone flyers are pilots and when they fly their aircraft they share the skies with a range of other aircraft including commercial airliners, helicopters, recreational aircraft and sport aircraft and there is a responsibility that goes along with having that access,” he said.
“It’s our role to make sure that drone players know there are safety rules that must be followed before they take off whether it is for the first time or subsequently.”
Mr Crawford said the rules are in place to ensure people of other aircraft in the skies are safe and hopes the animation is a tool for parents and teachers to educate future drone pilots about how to fly safely.
“The video is one part of our ongoing proactive drone educational campaign that aims to reinforce the drone safety rules and encourages drone flyers to fly responsibly,” he said.
The drone safety campaign comes after calls for the rules and regulations surrounding drones operation be revisited following questions over the responsibilities of drone users.
In March, Community News photographer Andrew Ritchie questioned the rules and regulations and said they were not clear enough and the public needed to be more aware of them when using the remote controlled aircraft.
“The problem is when you buy a drone, you get an A4 piece of paper with a list of rules – these rules are pretty black and white with some grey areas that people misunderstand,” he said.
“The ‘Can I Fly There’ app should be compulsory to all users of drones and they should be educated and know what the rules are because if they don’t someone could get hurt and then drones will all get banned for everyone.”
The animation promotes the basic dos and don’ts of drone flying:
– Always keep your drone where you can see it.
– Don’t fly your drone higher than 120m
– Operate at least 30m away from people
– Don’t fly in built up areas
– Don’t fly at night, in fog or cloud
– Don’t fly within 5.5km of an airport
– Respect people’s privacy