Flights over your property by resource authorities

You might see planes, helicopters or drones flying over your property and want to find out who is responsible. We call these flights 'aerial activities' and they are considered preliminary activities under the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act 2014.

Resource companies might conduct flights to:

  • collect aerial imagery and LiDAR (3D laser scanning) throughout the different life stages of their resource activities
  • collect data to build 3D modelling for engineering design and site construction planning
  • carry out surveillance of activities to manage subsidence, assess vegetation health, and monitor rehabilitation activities
  • calculate volumetric and stockpile information to determine engineering and rehabilitation requirements and costs
  • validate the safety and compliance of haul roads and windrows.

However, there are also many other reasons why a flight might take place over your property that may be unrelated to a resource authority.

Find out who's flying overhead

Step 1: Contact the Civil Aviation Safety Authority

As a first step, contact the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to find out who's conducting the flight and why. Make sure you have the date, time and location of the aerial activity, and any other information that may be helpful to identify the flight.

CASA is the government agency responsible for regulating aviation activity across Australia. CASA will be able to confirm who was flying over your property. Although anyone can fly over your property if CASA has approved the route, resource authorities may be subject to certain notification requirements.

If there's a resource authority over your property, the flight may have been from the resource authority holder. If you're not sure if there's a resource authority, make a public search for resource authorities to find details of any resource authority on your land or in your area.

Step 2: Contact the resource authority holder

If you have a resource authority over your property and the flight was from the resource authority holder, you can contact them to discuss the activity, and any issues or concerns you have.

If you've discussed the overhead flight with the resource authority holder but they haven't resolved your concerns, you can get further help:

Responsibilities for resource authority holders

A resource authority holder must notify you if they plan to conduct flights over your property as part of their approved resource activities. However, there are exceptions to this requirement. For example, resource authority holders may not be required to provide you an entry notice if:

  • you have waived the requirement to be provided an entry notice
  • the aerial activity is regulated under external legislation and does not require notification under Queensland legislation.

In certain circumstances where aerial activities are conducted over large areas of land, resource authority holders may be able to notify multiple landholders at once by publication. This means that the entry notification for a flight may be published in a way that is widely accessible to all landholders, such as in a newspaper, rather than each landholder receiving an individual notice.

To undertake authorised flights over your property, resource authority holders need a work program or development plan approved by the Department of Resources. This allows the resource authority holder to undertake activities to identify the presence of minerals, gas or petroleum on the property, or undertake other relevant activities.

A resource authority holder can fly over your property without a resource authority, but they must:

Find out more about land access rights, responsibilities and obligations in the Guide to land access in Queensland (PDF, 2MB).