DRONE pilots will have to fly carefully so their aerial snapshots do not breach Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) rules in a photographic competition for the 2019 Town of Mosman Park calendar.
“If breaches of the drone safety rules are proven CASA can and does issue fines,” CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said.
Mr Gibson said “serious matters” go to court, where fines range from $1000 to more than $10,000.
Rules include no flying above people, no closer than 30m to people, only daylight flying in visual range, no higher than 120m, not near an emergency incident or closer than 5.5km to airports.
However, Mr Gibson said a birds eye beachside image promoting the competition appeared not to breach the 30m rule or the rule stating drones not be flown over a populated (residential) area, and CASA appreciated the council’s attempts to promote its rules in the competition.
“But we would not encourage people to fly a drone over the beach where people are swimming and sunbathing, and drones should be taken to areas of the beach where there are no people,” he said.
The drone images competition follows the council’s highly successful depiction of the town’s dogs in its 2018 calendar.
A council spokeswoman said entrants this year were told they had to comply with all drone photography laws and were given an internet link to the legislation.
“At no time have we ever encouraged anyone to breach the law to capture images – indeed, the town has publicly encouraged people to only take images of public spaces including parks, reserves, beach and the river, rather than houses and people,” the spokeswoman said.
She said some images already sent were taken by volunteers assisting local community groups.
Information about how to enter by August 31 can be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, while drone rules are at www.droneflyer.gov.au.