Australia’s civil aviation safety body will slightly loosen the rules around commercial drone operation within the next couple of weeks, making it easier for you to make a bit of money on the side from your drone photography or drone video business.
The Australian reports that lightweight drones — those under 2 kilograms, which would include the popular combination of DJI Phantom 3 plus a GoPro or other compact video camera setup — will be allowed to be operated by commercial drone pilots or companies undertaking commercial work, without having to apply and be granted a commercial drone operation licence.
For companies and operators to be exempt from those licencing requirements, though, the drones they operate will have to follow the same rules as recreational users:
• Stay at least 30 metres away from people with your drone.
• Keep your drone under 400 feet (121.92m).
• You may not operate your drone above a large gathering of people (e.g.: at sporting events, over crowds at the beach or groups of protestors).
• You must keep your drone within sight while you’re operating it.
• You may not operate your drone within 5km of an airport and a place where planes take off or land from.
Drone operators’ licences are still in high demand at CASA; the authority has a backlog of over 100 applications for commercial pilots, and has granted over 200 licences thus far.