Drones set for large-scale commercial take-off in Australia

Just thought I'd share a news article about possible changes that are occurring with the Australian, Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in relation to drones.

“Under a new weight class system, prospective drone entrepreneurs with craft weighing 2 kilograms or less could take off after completing nothing more than an online application form”





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Comment by Alex on February 28, 2013 at 8:53pm

This could be great!

Comment by Billy B on February 28, 2013 at 9:38pm

Just been to AUVS-A conference. It was nice to hear that CASA is actually very open minded with small UAVs. Thats is, as long as people won't do stupid things like flying into manned planes etc...

Comment by Joshua Ott on February 28, 2013 at 9:38pm

That was a good article, thanks for posting it.

My favorite line was: "... that's seven kilograms, about the weight of a six-month-old baby, at 14 knots, or 26 kilometres per hour," Jim Coyne says

Comment by Jean on February 28, 2013 at 9:51pm

This is good news for me, as an Australian.  But I have to say that this analogy is ridiculous:

'Senior CASA officer Jim Coyne says the safety risk posed by this group is negligible, comparable to being hit by a cricket ball.

"A cricket ball weights about 160 grams, but at 100 kilometres per hour, [with a] kinetic energy of about 62 joules….there's been no recorded incident of anyone being killed by a cricket ball in the stand," he says.'

That's possibly because cricket balls don't usually fall out of the sky from a great height.  A 2kg drone falling and crashing onto a person could easily kill them.  That's why we never, ever fly over people. Cricket balls also don't have sharp, rapidly-spinning propeller blades (though he's probably just thinking of the "toy" drones that use shrouded propellers.)

I'm obviously very much in favour of protecting our right to participate in this hobby, but trivialising the potential for danger in statements like this to the general public (many of whom do not have an appreciation for basic physics) will cause complacency and greatly increase the risk of serious injuries - which is the last thing this hobby needs.

Comment by Andrew Rabbitt on February 28, 2013 at 10:52pm

...but you're allowed to drive past a school yard teaming with young children with a device containing 40000J of kinetic energy...

Comment by Mikey on February 28, 2013 at 11:07pm

@ Jean-Baptiste:  I think CASA will never allow drones to directly fly over people - regardless of the machine's AUW. So I think Jim was using the incident in Brazil, where an octocopter flew into the stands as his comparison.

I also note you are in Brisbane.   I live on the outer northwest.   Nice to see a fellow local on here:)

Comment by Michael Johnston on March 1, 2013 at 2:52am

Can't see anything on the CASA website yet.


Comment by Not Sure on March 1, 2013 at 4:16am

that's cause it's been in discussion for over 1 year, and it's only ever going to come out as an advisory circular...so not legislation (ie not legal).  The majority of the 30 or so OC holders wont' stand for open season on commercial drone usage without insurance/OC/licenced pilots.  On average it takes a company many years to achieve an OC, if people think they will sit by and watch this circus act happen, think again.

also, when you look at the specs of a <2kg drone, flying <15knts, it simply means multicopters.  No fixed wing would perform well under those specs in a commercial environment, indoor hobby maybe...

Comment by flyingoz on February 25, 2014 at 12:12am

You are one of the only industry groups to think casa are doing a good job.

There is a major inquiry on currently, which questions the process casa uses and a senate inquiry that seriously questions how casa operates.

The following lists some of the submissions [public] http://vocasupport.com/election/regulatory-review-2013/asrr-submiss...


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