When the regulations changed in 2016, there was a new concept brought in called Excluded Category. This new category allows you to operate with less licensing or permission requirements. But it also excludes you from a number of really important aspects if you are operating commercially.


For the purposes of this post, we will be talking about very small RPA. (Very small RPA are any machine that weighs on take off less than 2kg).


Civil Aviation Safety Regulations - 101.237 - Meaning of an Exculded RPA


For the excerpt above we can see that an excluded RPA is restricted to sport or recreation or the standard operating conditions. We will focus on the standard operation conditions as this aligns with what you can do commercially. This means that you can not do any of the following:

  • Operate within 3NM of an aerodrome;
  • Operate at night;
  • Operate within 30m of people;
  • Operate over populous areas;
  • Operate above 400ft AGL;

You can operate these sub 2kg machines almost anywhere within the guides above, and you can do this commercially (for remuneration or compensation) without the requirement of having an RePL or ReOC.


However, you require an RePL and ReOC to apply for an instrument or exemption, you may also be excluded from some levels of insurance as underwriters require a higher levels of competency and rely on that you have a government issued license or documentation as proof that you know what you are doing.