[Photo courtesy of Perth Now www.perthnow.com.au]
For those of us who have experience flying multicopters (including AR.Drones) we know that a well setup and well piloted multicopter is safe, even in close proximity to people. However, civil aviation safety regulations, such as the one applicable in Australia requires that model aircraft and UAVs (commercial model aircraft) stay at least 30 meters away from anyone not direct associated with the operations of the aircraft. (CASR 101.395 and CASR 101.245)
This rule applies equally to fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft from anything from an AR.Drone to a gas turbine jet weighing 150kg.
This week, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority granted COPTERCAM, an approved commercial operator of multicopter UAVs an exemption from the 30m rule, after the company was able to demonstrate that multicopters were safer than other types of model aircraft if operated by trained and experienced pilots.
This precedent, is a win for all multicopter users.