Drones can be a fun and exciting hobby, but there are rules and responsibilities with flying one.
CASA resources for drone operators
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) hosts the safety rules that all drone users should be aware of and abide by, whether recreational or commercial. CASA resources on its rules can be found here at www.casa.gov.au/drones.
State and Territory Rules
States and territories have different rules about drone use. Some rules even vary by local government area or the particular site. It is important to know and understand any state, territory and local council flight requirements and restrictions.
You should carefully research the local regulations for drone use in the area where you intend to fly a drone before you do so, especially if you intend to operate in a special area, such as a sensitive environmental area or near a national monument, or at a special event, such as a concert or sporting event.
For example, drones are prohibited in Kakadu National Park, near many marine parks, around Parliament House in Canberra, at Sydney Olympic Park, at declared major events in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia or near correctional facilities.
You should also check the rules regularly, as they may change quickly and without notice.
In some jurisdictions you could be subject to a substantial penalty for breaking a drone use rule. In some cases you must obtain a permit before using the drone in a specific area, such as a national park.
A selection of helpful resources are below.
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
- NSW Government – Emerging aviation technology in parks policies
- NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service - Unmanned aircraft in parks
- Major events in NSW - Major Events Act 2009
- Flying unmanned aircraft in parks
- Flying unmanned aircraft in Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu National Parks - Parks Australia
- Queensland Government drones strategy
- Queensland Parks and Reserves
- Brisbane City Council: Launching unmanned aircraft from council parks
- Major events in Queensland - Major Events Act 2014
- National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia – Emerging aviation technology and aircraft
- City of Adelaide - City of Adelaide's unmanned aircraft policy
- Major events in South Australia - Major Events Act 2013
- Parks Victoria - Unmanned aircraft filming and photography permit application guidelines
- Drone use near a Victorian school - School unmanned aircraft use guidance
- City of Melbourne - City of Melbourne unmanned aircraft filming policies
NOTE: Information on this website should not be considered a complete guide to the use of new aviation technologies in Australia. It is your responsibility to ensure you are following the rules that apply to your particular place or situation.