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If you’ve ever heard a drone fly near you, you probably understand why people don’t appreciate having them too close. Drones are quite loud, and some may have cameras attached that record videos or take pictures. However, in Australia, the Civil Aviation System Authority (CASA) states in their information resources1 that flying a drone in a way that poses a risk to someone’s property is not allowed. Let’s go a little more in-depth about what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to flying drones in Australia.
Due to the increased popularity of the drone industry, there has been an influx of citizens who have raised concerns over their privacy and rights when it comes to small aircraft operations. Not everyone is a fan of this new technology, especially after knowing that it could be used for spying or physical damage. Here, you’ll find out the legalities of whether drone users are allowed to fly over or within proximity to your home.
According to the CASA, there are laws that prevent any person from infringing on each citizen’s privacy rights. For example, drone flyers are advised not to record or photograph others without consent because failing to do so could be a crime.
You’ll be relieved to know that CASA does not permit drone flyers to operate their devices at night. This way, people can get some sleep without worrying about a neighbor’s drone whizzing around outside. It’s also dangerous to fly one after dark anyways because the conditions are too difficult to see in.
Additionally, pilots must have their aircraft at least 30 meters away from any person that is not flying to drone themselves or aiding in the operation of the drone.
You can’t shoot down a small aircraft with your firearm or other means, even if it breaches your home’s borders. It’s a federal offense and could lead to hefty fines. Technically, the pilot could press charges for damaging their property if you did go through with it.
Instead, you can take videos of the location of the drone and the pilot if you believe they are committing a crime. Then, you can send this information to the CASA or police for a dispute that could lead to legal action.
In Australia, drones are able to be flown in areas with high visibility during the daytime. They must also be within sight of the operator and not interfere with public safety. This includes flying around emergency services, airports, directly above a group of people, or near certain protected wildlife areas. They must also stay below 400 feet (120 meters) at all times.
In the future, there may be more specific laws added to Australia’s aviation sector, and, hopefully, they will prevent unwanted drone use before it happens. You won’t be able to be justified in every scenario, though. There’s still some ambiguity to privacy legislation, but you shouldn’t have to worry. As long as you have a phone or camera to record evidence for the incident, you’ll be able to take it to the authorities and plead your case.
Featured Image Credit: Jason Blackeye, Unsplash
Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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