With huge technological advances in unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as remotely piloted aircraft or drones, many have found it advantageous to include drones in real estate operations. In fact, UAVs are changing real estate in many ways, such as through the creation of affordable aerial photography portfolios of properties and the surrounding area and through the provision of comprehensive and affordable property inspections. New outlets such as CBS News have written articles on ways drones are changing real estate (“9 ways drones are changing real estate”).
However, when flying over a real property in Australia, there are rules to be followed. In 2016, CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority), which regulates civil aviation in Australia, created amendments regarding private individuals who wish to fly drones for commercial purposes. Depending on the type of operation and licenses held, these amendments may include your real estate drone photography operations. For Real estate drone photography Brisbane, the rules set by CASA has to be followed to the letter.
First, let us look at the standard rules everyone is supposed to follow when flying a drone, whether commercially or not, as according to CASA.
Standard Drone Operation Conditions
- A drone operator must agree to guidelines given in the “ADVISORY CIRCULAR 101-10 manual”.
- A person can operate only one drone at any given time.
- Drones must always be within visual line of sight of an operator/pilot. At least one of the operators of the drone must always see the drone with their eyes, rather than through a first person view throughout the drone’s flight.
- Drones must be a minimum of 30m away from persons other than the operators.
- Drones must be a minimum of 5.5km from controlled aerodromes.
- Drones must not be flown over populated areas such as but not limited to stadiums, parks, and beaches.
- Drones must not fly higher than 120m above ground level.
- Drones must not fly near places where emergency operations are ongoing without aforementioned approval from CASA. Examples of such operationsinclude a search and rescue, a fire, police operations, and accidents.
- Remotely piloted aircraft (drone) must only be flown during the daytime.
According to CASA, if you wish to operate a drone outside these rules you will need an RPA operator’s certificate.
Carrying Out Commercial-Like Operations on Real Property
- If you wish tofly a drone between the weight of 100 grams and 2 kilograms, you do not need an RPA operator’s certificate nor a remote pilot license (which is a drone controller certificate).
- If you wish to fly a drone between the weight of 2 kg and 25 kilograms, you do not need an RPA operator’s certificate nor a remote pilot license.
- If you wish to fly a drone between the weight of 25 kg and 150 kilograms, you need an RPA operator’s certificate but not a remote pilot license.
Things to do before you can fly UVAs commercially if you do not have an RPA operator’s certificate or a remote pilot license
- Firstly you will need to notify CASA a minimal of five days before the first commercial operation.
- You will need an Aviation Reference Number (ARN). So apply for an ARN if you do not have one.
- Then you have to complete an online form. You can choose as many as 50 locations you wish to operate commercially, and 5 remote piloted aircraft (drones) categories.
This notification will allow you to undertake commercial operations in the locations selected for 24 months, which may be renewed every 24 months.
For more information on real estate drone photography Brisbane, visit the CASA website.