Drone users in Australia Face prosecution
Drone users face imminent prosecution for overflying their vehicles over people and in restricted areas. Unfortunately, the authority says that it is facing difficulties in gathering evidence to use in the prosecution. Already, Instagram has plenty of photos showing drones that fly illegally in Australia but there is nothing it can do. So, what does the law say about flying drones in Australia?
The following are some of the rules that guide flying UAV vehicles in Australia.
No one is allowed to fly drones within 30m of people
Flying drones should be restricted within 120m above the ground
Flying drones in areas that are under emergency operations or in areas where it is likely to affect the public is prohibited.
Drones weighing more than 100grams should only fly 5.5 km away from controlled aerodromes areas.
Drones should not be flown at night
If you must fly drones, don’t fly them in a manner likely to create a hazard to people, property, and aircraft.
Drones should not be flown above people attending a festival, parks, populated beaches, footpaths, busy roads and footpaths.
Drones should not be flown in prohibited areas as provided by national park and local council laws.
Unfortunately, it has been noted that the number of lawbreakers is increasing in tandem with an increase in the number of drones sold.
Getting the evidence to prosecute those who break these laws is still a challenge to the authority. The only evidence available according to Peter Gibson- the Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesperson includes photos, videos, and witness statements.
It has been noted that often people see drones lawbreakers but they may not be able to identify them when needed. It makes it difficult to prove who was actually flying them.
Last year, CASA issued 30 fines to those who used drones illegally and so far it has issued over 40 fines this year.
Currently, it is estimated that there are more than 100,000 drones in Australia
One incidence that has been cited is where a drone was crashed into the Eureka Tower. The owner had intended to collect footage at Eureka Tower. Unfortunately, the aircraft lost contact with its pilot and when it tried to return, it crashed into the tower. Jake Lapham was responsible for this. A week later, he found a fine of $1,000 in his mail. It has forced Lapham to start using CASA’s app which utilizes GPS to guide drone owners to safe places where they can fly their drones.