Frequently Asked Drone/UAV/RPA Questions

We answer the frequently asked Done/UAV/RPA questions below. The drone industry is new. The technology you know today is changing rapidly. Laws and regulations change frequently to keep up with the technology. We explain the current Australian Drone Regulations for Recreational Flyers.

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  • Are there Laws and Restrictions for Drone Operators?

    Yes - We abide by all rules and laws set by CASA. How high you can fly, restricted zones, prohibited area, controlled airspace etc. Certain areas require written permission by CASA before flying. Before any flight a full JSA (Job Safety Assessment) and risk assessment is completed. If your location or requirements is unsafe, the flight will not proceed.

  • What's the difference between Drone, UAV, RPA?

    The official term used by CASA is RPA which stands for Remotely Piloted Aircraft. RPAS is used for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems. This is the official term for Drones/UAV and indicates that a person on the ground (human) is always controlling the aircraft and its behaviour.

  • What are drones used for?

    Drones are not just for taking photos and videos. They are used in various industries such as emergency services, farming and agriculture. They are used for 3D mapping, surveying, search and rescue, shark spotting and thermal imaging. With the right software and hardware vendors we can make this happen from 400FT above the ground.

  • Can amateur / hobby drone pilots fly commercially?

    You can fly drones under 2KG commercially called the excluded category however, you will need to contact CASA and inform them at least 5 days before flying. The permit is valid for 48 hours. No insurance is available for hobby / amateur drone pilots without certifications. All drones outside 2KG class will need a RePL/ReOC to operate commercially.

  • What Certifications are Required for Commercial Drone Operations?

    To work commercially, drone pilots need a RePL - Remote Pilot License which can be learned over a 5 day period and a short test. Costs can vary around the $3K - $4K for the certification. Training providers will teach you regulations, safety, air law and operating your drone safely. This includes practical flying experience as well. The second part to the certification is that the drone pilot then needs to work for a company that holds a ReOC - Remote Operator Certificate. This is an optional additional certification for businesses and companies.

  • What's a ReOC? RPA Operator's Certificate.

    ReOC is a Remote Operator Certificate. In Australia to operate drones commercially you will need a ReOC certificate. Businesses such as Bendigo Aerial will follow an internal Operations Manual and Operational Procedures Library for all commercial jobs. This provides safe and documented workflow for all drone/UAV operations. Bendigo Aerial ReOC number is 1108.

  • Is drone filming allowed in Parks Victoria Managed Land? (State/Reserves/National Parks)

    Parks Victoria has banned all recreational drones including 2KG and under from flying and filming in all Parks Victoria managed land. Any park managed by Parks Victoria taking off from the land owner is now prohibited. Read more here. However, commercial RPAS/ReOC holders such as us can apply for a permit. Additional costs apply and please allow 14 - 21 days to process your request.

Common RPA Abbreviations and Terminology

CASR - Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR Part 101)

CASA - Civil Aviation Safety Authority

AGL - Above Ground Level

AIP - Aeronautical Information Package

ALA - Authorised Landing Area

ATSB - Australian Transport Safety Bureau

ATC - Air Traffic Control

BVLOS - Beyond Visual Line of Sight

ERSA - En Route Supplement Australia

HLS - Helicopter Landing Site

JSA - Job Safety Assessment

MOS - Manual of Standards

NM - Nautical Miles

NOTAM - Notice to Airmen

RePL - Remote Pilot Licence (as of 29th September, 2016)

ReOC - Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operators Certificate

RP - Remote Pilot (or UAV Controller)

RPA - Remotely Piloted Aircraft (same meaning as UAV)

RPAS - Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (same meaning as UAS)

TEM - Threat and Error Management

UAS - Unmanned Aircraft System (same meaning as RPAS)

UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (same meaning as RPA)

UOC - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operators Certificate

VLOS - Visual Line of Sight

VMC - Visual Meteorological Conditions

Documents and Downloads

Official Bendigo Aerial Downloads and Documents.

Download the Bendigo Aerial Flyer

Pilots download free Drone Log Book - Flight Data

Bendigo Aerial Work Health and Safety Policy

BendigoAerial.NET Aerial Stock Photo - Digital License Agreement

Bendigo Aerial Terms and Conditions - Terms and Conditions of Use

Popular Aerial Links

Official Bendigo Aerial links to third party sites.

RePL Training Visit Aviassist - CASA Certified Drone Training

CASA: Check your flight location. Can I fly a drone here?