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Aviation Regulations

In Day VMC only

Day VMC [flying below 1,000ft AGL] Day VMC means:

  • Daylight conditions – sunrise to sunset
  • 5,000m visibility
  • Clear of cloud
  • ‘See & Avoid’ principles to avoid a collision with other aircraft (manned or unmanned)
  • and if less than 10nm from an aerodrome;
    • In accordance with all established radio procedures
    • Min vertical separation of 500ft to aircraft
Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) of the pilot

Means what it says – Visual Sight – By the Pilot – At all Times

VLOS does NOT mean partially obscured behind trees or buildings (however brief), at night, into clouds, or anything that requires more than prescription lenses or sunglasses with which to see it. [ie no binoculars, telescopes, zoom lenses or similar, only clear un-aided vision].

Not above 400ft AGL
  • 400ft – Above Ground Level
    • Equivalent to 121m max [not 150m]
    • With the inherent errors in GPS, remote pilots should set autopilot altitudes at not more than 116 metres above [localized] ground level to ensure you remain below the 400ft maximum.
Not in Controlled Airspace

Controlled Airspace is a generic term defined as; Airspace of defined dimensions within which air traffic control services are provided to IFR flights and to VFR flight in accordance with the airspace classification. In Australia, this covers Classes A, C, D and E airspace:

  • Class C & D airspace is the airspace control zones (CTR’s) typically around city & regional airports and sometimes between airports in close proximity to each other.  [ie Brisbane & Archerfield airports]
    • Class C can extend from the surface to FL180  [18,000ft]
    • Class D typically extends from the surface to 4, 500ft max
  • Class A airspace is high-altitude, typically above FL245  [24,500ft]
  • Class E airspace is ‘en-route’ airspace, typically above 8,500ft
  • A Control Zone (CTR) is;a controlled airspace extending upwards from the surface of the earth to a specified upper limit. CTR’s surround controlled airports & aerodromes and are designated as either Civil CTR’s or Military CTR’s.
  • For example:
    • Brisbane CTR extends for approx 7NM around Brisbane airport [Civil CTR]
    • Amberley CTR extends for approx 10NM around Amberley airport  [Military CTR]
    • Sunshine Coast CTR extends for approx 8NM around SC airport [Civil CTR]
    • Gold Coast CTR extends for approx 7NM around GC airport  [Civil CTR]
  • Where it states; Not in Controlled Airspace, Class C & D airspace around controlled airports & aerodromes [from the surface of the earth to a specified upper limit] are typically what this refers to.
  • This means all UAV/UAS/RPAS flights (whether recreational or commercial) within all control zones (CTR’s) in Australia, are illegal & potentially unsafe to manned aircraft, unless authorized or approved by CASA or Airservices Australia, or both.
  • A sanctioned MAAA flying field would be an example of an authorized or approved area.[ie Tingalpa Model Aero Club inside Brisbane CTR]
  • A CASA certified commercial UAV Operator can also apply for approval to operate inside Controlled Airspace
Not within 3nm of an airport, aerodrome or Helicopter Landing Area (HLA)
Not over a Populous Area

[Reference: Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) Part 101.025]

An area is a populous area in relation to the operation of an unmanned aircraft or rocket if the area has a sufficient density of population for some aspect of the operation, or some event that might happen during the operation (in particular, a fault in, or failure of, the aircraft or rocket) to pose an unreasonable risk to the life, safety or property of somebody who is in the area but is not connected with the operation.

Whether or not you believe the UAS to be reliable is largely immaterial. For the purposes of ‘airworthiness’, the reliability of these unmanned aircraft is unknown, and on that basis caution must be exercised.

Examples of a ‘Populous Area” would be:

  • Populated City & Suburban environments
  • A street or road with vehicular traffic on it
  • A footpath, track or pathway with pedestrian traffic on it
  • Sporting and social events
  • Populated beaches, rivers, dams etc
  • Not within 30m of the general public or people not associated with the flight operation