WHO WE ARE

The Association of Australian Certified UAV Operators Inc. (ACUO) began in 2009 with seven of the then eight CASA certified UAV operators, and was formally registered as a not-for-profit association in the State of Queensland on the 31st March 2010.

ACUO is bound by its Constitution to:

  • Protect the interests of CASA Certified UAV Operators
  • Establish the association as a responsible authority and;
  • Promote the growth and expansion of the commercial UAV industry in Australia

ACUO was the first commercial UAV Operator association of its type in the world however in the last couple of years we have seen similarly focussed associations being formed in Europe and the Americas. This ‘Operator’ focus stands in contrast to the acknowledged existence of generic, marketing-oriented industry bodies, which do not address the challenges of day to day commercial aviation activity, or “Aerial Work Operations”. In this respect, ACUO is the only UAV industry body directly representing the commercial sector of unmanned aviation in Australia.

The ACUO membership has decades of experience in commercial UAV operations and an impeccable record of safety. Since commercial UAV operations formally began in this country in November 2002, there has not been a single accident or incident resulting from ACUO member’s thousands of hours of commercial UAV flight operations.

This record of achievement by ACUO members is a major source of pride and is a status we are eager to protect by maintaining the highest standards of safety and risk management.

SPECIFIC OBJECTS OF THE ASSOCIATION ARE:

  • To improve the standards of unmanned aviation for commercial purposes whilst promoting and maintaining a sound regulatory framework in which to do so.
  • To improve the safe and responsible flight activities of commercial unmanned aircraft within an easily accessible and low cost environment.
  • To foster and encourage the formation and growth of development of unmanned aviation controllers, and to provide the guidance and training impetus for inexperienced controllers and new entrants to the industry.
  • To revive, encourage and promote interest in Australian commercial unmanned aviation by encouraging participation in unmanned flying.
  • To act as an information resource for counsel to organisations or individuals whose decisions may affect commercial unmanned aviation activities and operator rights.

WHAT WE STAND FOR

President Joe Urli with ATSB Signing 2018

Through independent meetings with CASA, ACUO presents important industry perspectives to the aviation regulator, discusses regulatory issues of importance to certified UAV Operators and provides high-level advice & recommendations on a range of issues the industry needs to address as a matter of priority. This includes mitigating risks to aviation & public safety, setting appropriate industry standards, strict enforcement of the aviation regulations as part of a wider regulatory reform process, and raising public & business awareness to both the risks & the benefits from commercial unmanned aviation.

ACUO has not swayed from these core issues and continues to engage with CASA, Airservices Australia, other federal bodies and organizations, in ensuring the commercial unmanned aviation sector is adequately represented, administered & regulated. ACUO is directly involved in the regulatory reform process as a member of the newly formed CASA Standards Consultative Committee (SCC) UAS Sub-Committee.

ACUO Management Committee works hard to ensure certified UAV Operators and the industry they are heavily invested in are adequately represented, protected & promoted at all levels and in all related forums. ACUO has been active in representing certified UAV Operators on fundamental issues of Privacy, Insurance, Training Standards and operational Area Approvals. ACUO also actively assists members with administrative and regulatory issues that affect commercial UAV Operators from time to time.

ACUO regularly provides advice on RPAS related issues to governments, public and private enterprise, organizations, businesses & individuals on the fundamentals of RPAS operations in the Australian national airspace, and associated issues.

MORE ABOUT US

MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Our Management Committee is elected annually from the membership to promote the benefits of professional RPAS Operators, and to protect the industry from unnecessary burden.

PARTNERS

ACUO is a Non-Corporate Partner Organisation member of UVS International, the global unmanned systems industry association headquartered in Paris. ACUO is Australia’s representative on the International RPAS Coordination Council, a prestigious industry body initiated by UVS International to coordinate RPAS standards globally.

INVOLVEMENT

ACUO also participates in a variety of international RPAS committees focusing on issues of importance to the commercial sector of unmanned aviation, including Insurance, Flight-Crew Training & Licensing and Airworthiness & Maintenance.