Drones in business

Drones, or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), are increasingly being used in business and are mostly used in agriculture, mining, surveying, photography, maritime industries and tourism.

Offering precision and convenience, drones can provide businesses with an affordable alternative to satellites, helicopters and aircraft.

There are many ways to get involved in this growth industry, whether it be through designing, building, providing or using commercial drones.

Business support

You may be able to take advantage of these government programs to help you set up your drone business or integrate the use of drones into your business.

Learn more about business grants in Queensland and how to find and apply for grant funding.

Flying commercial drones

To fly drones, you need to comply with federal and local regulations.

Otherwise, you can engage a drone provider with the relevant certificate and licences to fly the drone for you.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulates flying of drones and other remotely piloted aircraft.

Licences required

To fly a drone under 2kg, you must abide by CASA's standard operating conditions.

If your drone is over 2kg or you wish to operate outside the standard operating conditions, you must be a certified operator, or fly with a certified operator, to fly commercially.

To become a certified operator you will need to hold an individual remote pilot's licence (RePL) and a remotely piloted aircraft operators certificate (ReOC). Anyone who works for you and flies a drone will also need to hold their own RePL.

Safety and privacy laws

Safety rules apply to drone use to protect other people in the air and on the ground. Restrictions also apply for privacy reasons.

For some operations you will need permission from CASA and, depending on where you intend to fly, you may need to provide a safety case and risk assessment.

As well as complying with CASA requirements, you should check whether local councils in the area you intend to fly have introduced their own by-laws relating to drone use.

Training

A training subsidy for the ACV30316 Certificate III in Aviation (Remote Pilot – Visual Line of Sight) qualification has been introduced in Queensland.

AVI30316 is the only qualification specific to remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) operation. More qualifications may emerge as the industry develops.

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