Do you fly a drone for DEW?

If you fly a drone for DEW or a Landscape Board as part of your job you are required to register your drone by 28 January, as well as complete an internal survey by 26 February.

Drones, or to use the correct aviation term, ‘remotely piloted aircraft’, allow hard to reach areas or features to be accessed and filmed quickly from the air, making them an inexpensive and effective way to monitor compliance, assess hazards and measure changes in land and sea scapes.

DEW uses drones for a number of purposes, both operational and promotional, including native animal counts (e.g. the auditing of koala numbers after the bushfires on Kangaroo Island), to undertake burn mapping after prescribed burns and to showcase the remarkable scenery in our national parks.

However, their use is not without risk and a number of the laws surrounding their use have changed. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) now requires:

  • all drones flown for business use to be registered by 28 January
  • all operators of drones flown for business use to have RPA operator accreditation (or a remote pilot licence)

Business use includes activities such as:

  • selling photos or videos taken from a drone
  • inspecting industrial equipment, construction sites or infrastructure
  • monitoring, surveillance or security services
  • research and development
  • any drone activities on behalf of your employer or business.

This applies to drones of all sizes. From 28 January you can be fined up to $11,100 for flying an unregistered drone for business or as part of your job.

Drone registration only takes a few minutes and can be done on the CASA website, where you can also undertake free operator accreditation. When you register your drone make sure to use the department’s organisation Aviation Reference Number (ARN) which is available on iShare (internal access only).

DEW drone survey

The department intends to maintain a list of drones used for DEW/Landscape Board business. DEW drone operators are requested to complete this survey by 26 February about the types of drones used in the department, how they are used and where they are located. 

For more information about the survey or about drone usage at DEW, including information on suppliers who provide drone services through DEW’s Preferred Supplier Panel for Spatial Imagery Services, please contact Coordinator Image Data James Cameron or 8463 3944.