The Dawn of Automated Airspace Authorisations
Welcome to a revolutionary era in the Australian drone industry. The recent developments in automated airspace authorisations, especially for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operator’s Certificate (ReOC) holders, mark a significant milestone. This article will delve into these advancements and explore how they are reshaping the landscape for drone operations in Australia.
- The Trial: Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operator’s Certificate (ReOC) holders can now apply for permission to fly within 5.5 km of select Australian airports and in restricted airspace around Sydney Harbour.
- Key Locations: The trial encompasses areas near Adelaide, Canberra, Perth, and Sydney airports, including Sydney Harbour (R405 A/B).
Benefits of Automated Authorisations
- Efficiency: Approval times have been dramatically reduced from weeks to mere minutes.
- Business Advantages: These swift authorisations allow operators to secure more business opportunities in new locations, faster than ever.
- Cost-Effectiveness: This process saves both time and money for operators.
Navigating the Trial: Requirements and Application Process
Eligibility and Participation
- Active ReOC: Only organisations with an active ReOC are eligible.
- Chief Remote Pilot’s Role: They must submit requests for flights within specified areas and conditions.
How to Apply
- Use CASA-verified Apps: Applications are made through participating CASA-verified drone safety apps.
- Free Participation: The trial is free, with no charge for any authorisations issued.
Trial Specifics: Understanding the Rules
- Location Restrictions: Flights within 5.5 km of specific airports and in Sydney Harbour (R405 A/B).
- Drone Specifications: Registered drones with a maximum take-off weight of less than 25 kg.
- Time and Duration: Flights only during daylight hours and not exceeding one calendar day.
- Advance Notice: A maximum of 30 days in advance.
- Licences and Qualifications: Pilots must hold a valid remote pilot licence (RePL) and an aviation radio qualification.
The Approval Process: How It Works
- Data Checks: Requests are checked against both CASA and Airservices data for approval.
- Real-Time Notifications: Approvals are communicated through the CASA-verified drone safety app.
- Continuous Updates: Operators are notified of any new area approval instruments during the trial.
- No Need for ATC Notifications: Approved flights in the trial do not require notifications to the air traffic control tower.
- Skipping NOTAMs: There’s no need to submit a notice to airmen (NOTAM) for these flights.
Joining the Movement: Getting Started with the Trial
- Signing Up: Participation requires signing up through a CASA-verified drone safety app.
- App Providers: Apps like AVCRM RPA Manager, FlyFreely, ok2fly, and OpenSky by Wing Aviation are available.
- Additional Conditions: Some providers may have extra requirements, such as a non-disclosure agreement.
Legal Framework: Staying Compliant with Instruments
- Following Instruments: Compliance with CASA’s instruments is crucial.
- Staying Updated: Operators must use the latest versions of the instruments for their flights.
Conclusion: Embracing the Future of Australian Drone Operations
The advent of automated airspace authorisations for ReOC holders in Australia signifies a significant leap forward in the drone industry. This trial not only offers unprecedented efficiency and flexibility but also paves the way for a more dynamic and responsive approach to drone operations within the country. As we embrace these changes, the potential for growth and innovation in Australian aviation is boundless.