Drone trial to cut red tape

An important step in cutting red tape for commercial drone operators is about to be taken.

A trial of a streamlined approval process for commercial drone flights near three capital city aerodromes will start in May 2021.

The six-month trial will run at Canberra, Perth and Adelaide aerodromes.

It means remotely piloted aircraft operator certificate (ReOC) holders will be able to apply through a CASA-verified drone safety app for approval to fly in designated areas within three nautical miles of the aerodromes.

This digital and automated process will reduce application processing times from weeks to minutes.

The designated areas have been identified as safe for drone operations and will not place normal manned aircraft operations at risk.

The trial does not include recreational drone flyers or people who operate in the excluded category, which includes some commercial drones under two kilograms.

CASA’s acting CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Graeme Crawford, said the trial will make sure the systems and processes work effectively while ensuring the right safety outcomes.

“Our aim is to reduce red tape wherever we can while always keeping safety as the number one priority,” Mr Crawford said.

“This will make business easier for many commercial drone operators and reduce processing times for CASA and Airservices.”

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