Commercial drone flyers must now pay to register their drones

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The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has introduced a $40 annual registration fee for drones weighing more than 500g that are used for commercial purposes.

Registration for drone pilots became mandatory in January, though was free until 26 July 2021. Drones under the 500 gram limit, like the DJI Mini 2, are currently exempt from registration. 

In the past we've written that CASA defines business use fairly broadly, and includes selling photos or videos taken from a drone or using photos or videos in content that is used to generate an income through advertising or sponsorship. 

Business use also includes: inspecting industrial equipment, construction sites or infrastructure; monitoring, surveillance or security services; research and development; and any drone activities conducted for your employer. 

Under the new rules, you can be asked to produce your certificate of registration by an authorised representative of CASA or member of the Australian Federal Police or State and Territory police services. Flying an unregistered drone that weighs more than 500g "for business or as part of your job" can incur a fine of up to $11,100. 

You can find out more about drone registration via the CASA website.

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