The following links will direct you to important information, publications and news relevant to unmanned aviation generally, and commercial unmanned aviation operations in Australia more specifically.
Find all there is to know about UAVs/UAS/RPAS in Australia from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA):
The difference between Model Aircraft & RPAS, How to become a Remote Pilot or a UAV Operator, and all the associated documents, forms and guidance material relevant to unmanned aviation in Australia.
This is a direct link to the current Australian civil aviation regulations as they apply to UAVs/UAS/RPAS, Model Aircraft, Rockets & Balloons. Parts A, B & C are common to all aviation activities described under CASR101. Part F also applies specifically to UAVs/UAS/RPAS. Part G also applies specifically to Model Aircraft. The CASR Part 101 regulations are the definitive guide to what is and isn’t currently achievable in unmanned aviation.
AC 101-1(0) – ‘Unmanned aircraft and rockets - unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations, design specification, maintenance and training of human resources’:
This is the original guidance material issued by CASA in 2001 and whilst dated, still contains sound fundamental principles relevant to the safe operation of UAVs in Australia. A new suite of Advisory Circulars incorporating current best practice are being finalized and are expected to be released by CASA before the end of 2014.
This is the guidance material for the operation of a Large UAV in Australian airspace. This Advisory Circular describes the regulatory requirements, means of compliance and the process to obtaining CASA approval to operate a Large UAV in Australia.
Civil Aviation Advisory Publications are only advisory but do provide information & guidance in a designated subject area. CAAP’s must be read in conjunction with the regulations. Of interest to the UAV industry is guidance on matters relative to unmanned aircraft operations. Of interest to UAV Operators in this regard may be:
- CAAP 48-1(0) – Fatigue Management for Flight Crew Members
- CAAP 166-2(1) – Pilots’ responsibility for collision avoidance in the vicinity of non-controlled aerodromes using ‘see- and-avoid’
- CAAP 179A-1 – Guidelines for Navigation using GNSS
- CAAP 233-1 – Electronic Flight Bags
This is the CASA guidance material on Safety Management & Safety Management Systems and the associated resources. Whilst primarily for large [manned] aviation organizations/operators, the fundamental principles of Safety Management can still be applied to UAV Operators and can be incorporated into our own operations.
This is the complete list of CASA Certified UAV Operators in Australia. If you suspect that someone is operating commercially without CASA certification, and they do not appear on this list, please contact the CASA UAS office for confirmation or to report the suspicious activity.
This is the home page of Airservices Australia, the aviation regulator in charge of Australian airspace.
This is the access portal to the NAIPS flight briefing information where you can check NOTAMS, weather information and other safety related information for specific regions of Australia. For UAV Operators this provides an information reference to weather, safety related issues & other aviation activities which might be occurring in your area of operations. ASA requires registration to use the NAIPS service.
The AIP is for all information related to aviation in Australian airspace including airspace classes, regulatory requirements, radio procedures, emergency procedures etc. The online AIP also contains the complete DAPS and En-Route Supplement for information on airports and Prohibited, Restricted & Danger Areas (PRD Areas).
This webpage is specifically about Unmanned Aerial Systems in Controlled Airspace and is information for all UAV Operators. The ASA advisory material includes PDF maps of city & regional airport airspace-zones and how (if you are certified) you can apply for approval to operate in these airspace-zones that are otherwise ‘off-limits’ to all UAV activities. (without express approval from CASA or Airservices Australia, or both)
This is the aviation section of the Australian Federal Government’s transport safety investigation website.
From here you can find a wealth of information about aviation in Australia including statistics and publications.
This is an extensive public-access library of publications specific to Australian aviation including RPT, General aviation and recreational aviation.
This is the primary aviation notification system for specific safety risks that happen in aviation occasionally
If you believe aviation or public safety is at risk, please, report it here.
ACMA is the regulator of the Australian radio-frequency spectrum. If you use a radio or radio-controlled equipment, video-downlinks or even WiFi internet, you are using spectrum and there are certain requirements to ensure all spectrum users can operate harmoniously.
There are different forms of Radiocommunications licencing including, Spectrum licencing, Apparatus licencing and Class Licencing. This link will define the differences in the licencing frameworks and where they are used.
Class Licences are used by ACMA to manage spectrum for use under a limited set of common frequencies &/or common equipment and common conditions. Class Licencing is therefore based on using parts of the spectrum on a ‘shared’ basis for which there is no actual ‘Licence’ issued and no fees involved. Use of Spectrum & radiocommunications equipment under a ‘Class Licence’, is conditional only on abiding by the terms & conditions for that particular ‘Class Licence’.
The most common Class Licences used by mainstream UAV Operators are:
- Aircraft & Aeronautical Mobile Stations:
This Class Licence includes radiocommunications equipment such as aircraft radios and ground radios used for specific aviation purposes
- Low Interference Potential Devices (LIPD):
This Class Licence includes radiocommunications equipment such as Spread-Spectrum devices, Infrared devices and Video Transmitters
Refer to this Fact Sheet too for the operation of short-range spread spectrum and digital modulation devices under this LIPD Class Licence.
- Radio Controlled Models:
This Class Licence covers radiocommunications equipment used to control model aircraft, landcraft and watercraft.
If your radiocommunications equipment does not meet the requirements for a Class Licence, this link provides information on Apparatus Licencing and what is involved.
- Aircraft & Aeronautical Mobile Stations:
UVS International is the eminent global authority on all matters pertaining to UAVs, headquartered in Paris. UVS International holds one of the most extensive repositories of UAV related information in the world. UVS International initiated the International RPAS Coordination Council, a prestigious industry body to coordinate RPAS standards globally. ACUO is a Non-Corporate Partner Organisation member of UVS International and is Australia’s representative on the International RPAS Coordination Council.
This is one of the most comprehensive UAV news resources around the world.
Australia is a signatory to the Chicago Convention on International Aviation and as such is governed at the highest level by the overarching aviation regulatory framework set by ICAO.
ICAO Circular 328 is the first formal guidance document to come out of ICAO that sets out the overarching policy guidelines and regulatory framework for member states to frame their own aviation regulations relating to Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).
The European Aviation Safety Agency is the centrepiece of the European Union’s aviation safety system comprised of the Agency, the European Commission and respective National Aviation Authorities (NAAs).
Some of the work done by this agency related to UAVs is:
ASTM INTERNATIONAL – (Formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials)
ASTM Committee F38 on Unmanned Aircraft Systems addresses issues related to design, performance, quality acceptance tests, and safety monitoring for unmanned air vehicle systems.
Committee F38 meets twice a year, usually in May and November, with approximately 50 members attending three days of technical meetings. The Committee currently has jurisdiction of 14 standards, published in the Annual Book of ASTM Standards.
The following links will take you to the standards developed by ASTM:
- F38.01 Airworthiness Standards
- F38.02 Flight Operations Standards
- F38.03 Personnel Training, Qualification & Certification Standards
RTCA – (Founded as the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics)
This is the new committee that replaced the original Special Committee SC-203 that did much of the early standards development work for RTCA.