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Where and when can I fly my drone?

Drones are becoming increasingly popular as a form of recreation and are now commonly used by businesses. However, there are a lot of rules about when and where you...

Justin Wong

Drones are becoming increasingly popular as a form of recreation and are now commonly used by businesses. However, there are a lot of rules about when and where you can fly a drone, and it is a criminal offence if you breach one of them.

Here are some of the important rules you should know:

  • You must not operate a drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person or property.
  • You must not operate a drone over a “populous area” at a low height, such that if the drone failed, it would not be able to land clear of the populous area.
  • You must ensure that the drone stays at least 30 metres away from other people while it is in flight or landing.
  • You must not operate a drone over a prohibited or restricted area without permission.
  • You can only operate a drone if the visibility is good enough for you to see the drone continuously.
  • You may only operate a drone at night, in a cloud, or in certain other conditions if permitted by a lawful exception or by an air traffic control direction.

A breach of any of the above rules carries a maximum fine of $2750 to $5500.

Additionally, operating a drone in a way that threatens the safety of an aircraft is a serious offence that carries a maximum penalty of 2 years’ imprisonment.

There are many more rules relating to the operation of drones, so it is important to be mindful of the laws before you operate a drone. If you need legal advice, contact one of our criminal law specialists on 9025 9888 or by sending an online enquiry.

Photo by Eric Santoyo