So you know the CASA regulations for RPAS, but are you aware of the other pieces of legislation that allow (or restrict) your operations as an RPAS pilot? One operator did not know about such legislation, and it recently got him into some hot water with authorities.
In Queensland, Section 132 of the Corrective Services Act 2006 (Qld) requires that a person must not photograph, or attempt to photograph, a prisoner inside a corrective services facility, or a part of a corrective services facility (photography is defined in this section to include recording or creation of a visual image other than by photography).
This operator had recently received his new drone, and had decided to fly it near the Lotus Glen Correctional Facility in North Queensland, where it was observed by staff who subsequently tracked down the operator. He was found to have breached Section 132 of the Corrective Services Act 2006 (Qld), as whilst he was operating, the camera feed from the drone was streaming imagery to his personal mobile device. He has since been issued a fine of $600 and a 3 month good behaviour bond with no conviction recorded.
So why didn’t this operator know he should not be flying in this area? Even if the individual had checked the CASA Can I Fly There? website, he would not have been given any additional warning or information about the area being possible restricted in relation to the Corrective Services Act 2006 (Qld).
There are a number of other pieces of legislation in Queensland which may impact your drone operations, two of which you may want to consider looking at are the Major Events Act 2014 (Qld), and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (Cth).
So for commercial and recreational operators alike, research into the relevant legislation which may impact on your operations, remains an important component in your flight planning stage. If you have a situation where you are unsure about whether it is lawful or safe to fly, contact the regulator, or a qualified legal practitioner for advice prior to your operation.
Do you know of any other pieces of legislation that might affect drone operations around Australia? Let us know about it by sending us a message!.
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (Cth).
- Major Events Act 2014 (Qld).
- Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998.
- Corrective Services Act 2006 (Qld) s 132.
- Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Can I Fly There? (January 2018) https://casa.dronecomplier.com/external
- Janessa Ekert, ‘Expensive lesson for Far Northern man after testing out a new drone’, The Cairns Post (online), 18 January 2018 http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/crime-court/expensive-lesson-for-far-northern-man-after-testing-out-a-new-drone/news-story/1540d3acccc3a5679ebcd456f1dc184a.