Perth: Drone ‘cowboys’ slammed for flouting drone regulations

Perth: Drone ‘cowboys’ slammed for flouting drone regulations

THERE are calls for rules and regulations of drones to be revisited after question marks surrounding the responsibilities of drone users.

Community News photographer Andrew Ritchie said he often encountered reckless drone users while filming news pieces across Perth.

“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.

He said that the rules and regulations were not clear enough and that the public needed to be more aware of them when using remote controlled aircrafts.

Ritchie said that Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) was not punishing those who were breaking the rules and regulations in regards to flying drones in prohibited areas.

“CASA needs to start enforcing these rules; not everyone is abiding by them in fact, most public people with drones aren’t abiding by the rules and they aren’t regulated enough,” 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.”

Australian UAV founder James Rennie said he believed that the rules and regulations for drones were fair.

“CASA is striking a balance at the moment, they are treading a fine line between accessibility and safety,” he said.

“Drone users are not allowed to fly over 400 feet from ground level and most crucially cannot fly further away then the operator can see from the naked eye.”

According to CASA rules and regulations, drone users are prohibited from flying aircraft in populace areas and must stay at least 30m from people and buildings.

Drone users looking to use an aircraft weighing more than 2kg are required to obtain a Remote Pilot License (REPL) via a one-week course.

All drone users are required to comply with the rules and regulations of CASA.