Flying drones or model aircraft recreationally Australia

Flying drones or model aircraft recreationally

Our recreational drone safety rules are designed to protect other people in the air and on the ground.

You must not fly your drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person or property, so follow our rules every time you fly.

These rules do not apply to all drone flyers. If you hold a remote pilot licence (RePL) and operate according to a remotely piloted aircraft operator certificate (ReOC) or have an authorisation from CASA, you will be exempt.

You’ll find all of the drone safety rules, plus useful videos and resources, on our dedicated Drone Flyer website.

cover image of drone flyer page

Model aircraft

Remotely piloted aircraft used for sport or recreational purposes that weigh 150kg or less are considered to be operating privately and are regulated by the provisions for model aircraft.

The rules

  • You must not fly your drone higher than 120 metres (400 ft) above the ground.
  • You must not fly your drone over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway (without prior approval). This could include situations such as a car crash, police operations, a fire and associated firefighting efforts, and search and rescue operations.
  • You must not fly your drone within 30 metres of people, unless the other person is part of controlling or navigating the drone.
  • You must fly only one drone at a time.
  • If your drone weighs more than 100 grams:
    • You must keep your drone at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes (usually those with a control tower)
    • You may fly within 5.5km of a non-controlled aerodrome or helicopter landing site (HLS) only if manned aircraft are not operating to or from the aerodrome. If you become aware of manned aircraft operating to or from the aerodrome/ HLS, you must manoeuvre away from the aircraft and land as soon as safely possible. This includes:
      • not operating your drone within the airfield boundary (*without approval)
      • not operating your drone in the approach and departure paths of the aerodrome (*without approval)
  • You must only fly during the day and keep your drone within visual line-of sight.
    • This means being able to orientate, navigate and see the aircraft with your own eyes at all times (rather than through a device; for example, through goggles or on a video screen).
  • You must not fly over or above people. This could include festivals, sporting ovals, populated beaches, parks, busy roads and footpaths.
  • You must not operate your drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person, or property
  • You must not operate your drone in prohibited or restricted areas.

* Approval is generally linked to an approved model flying association and its members

Please respect personal privacy. Don’t record or photograph people without their consent—this may breach state laws.

Important: tips for flying within the law

  • There might be local council and/or national park laws prohibiting drone flights in certain areas.
  • Research the area you plan to fly and contact your council or national park if you’re unsure.
  • Don’t operate near emergency services aircraft – if you fly, they can’t.

Contact us

Still have questions? Call us on 131 757 or contact us via our online enquiry form.

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